Olympics lip-syncing scandal

"Tiny singer wins heart of nation" is a headline on the China Daily website today but the 9-year-old Lin Miaoke has hit the news elsewhere after it emerged that she mimed during the opening ceremony because the actual singer didn’t have the right look for Olympics officials.

Yang Peiyi, two years younger than Miaoke, was dropped at the last minute because she wasn’t photogenic enough.

"This was a last-minute question, a choice we had to make," the ceremony’s musical designer, Chen Qigang, said. "Our rehearsals had already been vetted several times – they were all very strict. When we had the dress rehearsals, there were spectators from various divisions, including above all a member of the politburo who gave us his verdict: we had to make the swap."

Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints that marched across the sky in the countdown to the Bejing Olympics opening ceremony were faked for video coverage.

Gao Xiaolong, the head of the opening ceremony visual effects team, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence.

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