[Our President has announced that he will attend the Beijing Olympics next year as an honored guest of China’s communist government. The President is keen to go because, said a spokesman, “he loves sports.”
The President may not be aware that under Olympic procedures, the host nation may stage as “demonstration sports” some events not usually represented in the Games. These items are typically sports characteristic of the host country’s folkways and culture.
From a contact in China’s Olympic Committee, I have been able to obtain a list of demonstration sports the Chinese may stage for the entertainment of their distinguished visitors. Because the Games schedule is not yet finalized, I can’t guarantee that all the events listed below will appear on the program. I can, however, assure the President that all of them have been practiced in the People’s Republic, and most are still played today.]
Tibetan Snow Shooting. In their bid for a future Winter Olympics, the communists will demonstrate their skills at picking off Tibetan refugees attempting to cross snow-covered Himalayan passes into Nepal. (This event may be scrapped because of a dispute with the Olympic authorities over the use of telescopic sights and snow goggles.)
Synchronized Slimming. Competitors here have to devise an agricultural policy so irrational that thirty million peasants starve to death simultaneously. Traditionally the winning contestant has his portrait hung in a prominent position overlooking Tiananmen Square, but for Olympic purposes a medal award will be substituted.
Organ Extraction. A test of speed and skill in wielding surgical instruments. A succession of convicted criminals, or members of obstreperous religious sects, are strapped to operating tables and their organs are removed without anesthetic, to be sold to intermediaries for transplant into wealthy foreigners. Points are awarded based on the total market value of the removed organs.
Indignathon. Competitors have to bluster continuously for six hours, maintaining an attitude of sustained righteous indignation about the Opium Wars, the burning of the Summer Palace, the Siege of Peking, the Chinese Exclusion Acts, and other wrongs inflicted on the long-suffering and ever-righteous Chinese people by cruel, dastardly foreigners. (Some other traditional events — the 10,000 meters Self-Pity, the Triple Emotional Blackmail — have been folded into this one for Olympic purposes.)
Buddha Tossing. Infant children declared by the Dalai Lama to be incarnate Buddhas must be seized and tossed into a barbed-wire enclosure, where they will spend the rest of their lives eating rice gruel and sewing export-quality gunny sacks. Extra points for family members of the living Buddha rounded up and incarcerated. (Half points for those dead on delivery to the enclosure.)
Korean herding. Competitors operating in groups of four must surround parties of North Korean refugees and hustle them back across the Korean border to the warm embrace of the Dear Leader.
Chest thumping. In this rather advanced event, competitors attempt to intimidate each other by shooting down satellites, threatening to nuke major cities, asserting ancient claims to other people’s countries, and setting up missile installations aimed at long-independent provinces.
Student Crushing. Yet another attempt to introduce motorized sports into the Summer Olympics. Competitors driving tanks are let loose among crowds of student protestors with the aim of crushing as many students as possible beneath the tank tracks.
Toy Painting. In a test of manual speed and dexterity, competitors try to load as much lead-based paint as possible onto small children’s toys.
Currency Manipulating. In this financial-trading sport, competitors struggle to keep their currency undervalued and nonconvertible against pressures from foreign bankers and trading partners. The competitor who, beginning from a fixed stock of currency, amasses the largest amount of foreign reserves, gets the gold.
Fingernail Pulling. Developed by the communists’ superbly-trained security police, competitors in the fingernail-pulling event race against the clock, equipped only with pliers, to remove as many fingernails as possible from Falun Gong practitioners in a fixed time period.
Land Seizing. A modern Chinese team sport in which teams must drive peasants off their land to make way for commercial or industrial development. Points are lost for dead peasants and residential structures left intact after the designated period.
Electric Hurdles. Middle-aged women who have been seen practicing meditation are driven over a 110-meter hurdles course with the aid of electric cattle prods, the hurdles wrapped with electrified barbed wire.
400-Fetus Relay. Teams of competitors administer forced abortions to women who have violated the one-child policy. A complicated scoring system awards points to each termination based on age and sex of fetus.
Internet Blocking. In this completely new event appropriate to the computer age, hackers must try to block access to all websites containing a long list of key words and phrases: “democracy,” “liberty,” “rule of law,” “East Turkestan,” “Dalai Lama,” “Taiwan independence,” and so on.
Petfood Doping. A popular sport that has emerged quite recently from China’s crowded factories, petfood doping involves trying to kill off as many domestic pets as possible with a single can of contaminated pet food. (The variant form, practiced in south and southwest China, in which the winner of the event is determined by aggregate body weight of dead pets, is not favored by the Olympic monitoring committee.)