COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.


have your say

What, for you, were the highlights and low points of the Beijing Olympics?


©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

One of the highlights for me was not so-and-so winning a gold in this or that, but tough man Hoshino and co. being exposed for the empty rhetoric and self-delusions the media blew into the stratosphere and then they subsequently crashed back to the planet called Earth. As to why this was a highlight, it's because I am filled with hate and my life sucks. Anyway, the head honch of the athletes yesterday layed into Hoshino's method of picking a few elite players from each of the teams and practicing a bit together and described it as a bloody shambles. Shame, Hoshino, shame.

The lowlight for me would be the extreme single-minded Japan-focused media coverage, and which ended up being very, very repetitive as Japan won about half the gold medals it did in Athens. Why bother even going abroad to compete? Just do it in Japan and call yourself the best, that way other athletes won't even obscure the footage of red and white. There was an interesting article on the net (written by a Japanese) which slammed the Japanese media's coverage - which had more time and space for coverage than ever before - and which by international comparison was ridiculously inward-focused. The article was subsequently pulled down quick smart, because the Japanese don't like reality served straight up. But I was able to save it before it disapperared. I was gonna post the link here but after due consideration I don't think I should.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The highlight for me was Usain Bolt's incredible run in the 200m final to break Michael Johnson's 12 year old record of 19.32.

The low point was when JT failed to report this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights: UK performance in getting so many golds and medals overall.

Lowpoints: Biased Japanese media coverage so I couldn't see any of my favourite sports; I particularly like the way that they've not presented overall performance in comparison to Athens. Doesn't make them look so good, and they don't want that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights - Yup, UK performance, well done: plus the look on the Australian diver's face when he took the gold after fluffing his first attempt in the final. Pure gold. In fact, the look of sheer delight on the faces of all the medalists who did better than they had expected to. Kitajima's tears in his interview after taking his second gold.

Lowpoints: The sulky silvers (and a few blue bronzes), all those who'd convinced themselves the gold was theirs for the taking only to see it snatched from them by someone who was able to go that little bit further.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Richard III, If you like to watch UK tv online go to VP gates, for 15 USD a month, you can get a UK ISP, not a detectable proxy. You can watch whatever UK folks watch. I watched Olympics online via BBC website.

THe highlights were seeing true determination and dedication from so many athletes. I also admired the UK performance, best for over 100 years, outstanding.

The low points were, too many things were staged to make China look good.Especially the poor girl who wasnt shown signing, because she wasnt cute enough, very sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight - Saori Yoshida winning gold in wrestling, and in taekwondo, the Cuban kicking the referee in the face for comical/shock value.

Lowlight - "One world, one dream", peace, love, respect and all that good stuff that the games seem to promote, just a stupid facade to protect the reality of it all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight -- The Georgian and Russian athletes embracing on the medal podium only a couple of days after the war broke out there. That is what the Olympics is supposed to be about -- transcending politics and nationalism. Lowlight -- the predictably nationalistic coverage of the Japanese media and press, particularly in the second week, when Japan's results were at best disappointing. A 44% drop in golds, and a 33% drop in total medals meant we were subject to endless replays of the Week 1 successes and/or silly interviews with the medal winners, instead of showing other events. A guess they had to do something to try to keep ratings up, since the networks had paid Dentsu a fortune for the rights. But, the coverage certainly didn't reflect Japan's 11th place finish in total medals -- way behind both South Korea and China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highpoints: Britain excelling in sports that I enjoy - sailing, cycling & swimming in particular. We stayed at 3rd place in the medals table right until the end and we were clearly the strongest of the European nations. Rule Britannia!

I was also pleased to see Japan get bronze in the 4 x 100 metres relay. It was a real team performance and made a nice change to see athletes celebrating so enthusiastically even though it was 3rd place.

Low points? the behaviour of some of the Chinese spectators, which was basically rude and unsportsmanlike, biased judging by the Chinese (in Taekwondo, for example) and the Japanese TV coverage - calling it coverage is, as usual, stretching the definition of the term. One expects focus on the medal prospects, but sports without Japanese competitors (or where they had no chance of medals) were almost completely ignored. Instead we get replays of the medal-winning performances again, and again, and again, and again.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights were the opening and closing ceremony. Sportswise, Phelps and Bolt performances. Lowest Point: The cuban gorilla kicking the referee and trying to thump a judge aid. I live in USA and all the media coverage was USA minded, it all depends in wich country you live and you can't help that. Almost no soccer coverage and excesive phocus and re-runs of Phelps,his mother, and all american winners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight - reading all the over-patriotic posts on JT. Very amusing!

Lowlight - Having to watch 200 replays of the Japanese fella that one gold in breast stroke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights: The great overall performances by the Chinese athletes and eclipsing the 50 gold medal mark.

The outstanding performance of Great Britain and the high number of medals won. This bodes well for an even better performance in 2012.

The U.S. winning its highest ever total medals outside the boycotted 1984 Games. The 110 medals are a sign of American prowess in so many Olympic events.

LOWLIGHTS: The poor performance of Japan. A drop from 37 medals in 2004 to 25 these Olympics, and an even more staggering flop in gold medals won-from 16 all the way down to a measly 9. When considered in light of the fact that these Games saw the most available medals ever, the paltry take of Japan should be even more disturbing to the O.B. powers-that-be who run the JOC.

Without baseball and softball, and minus Kosuke Kitajima in London, the Japanese had better get to work on improving their judo team or getting more weight classes added in womens wrestling, or it will be even slimmmer pickings in 2012.

Good luck, Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights: Baseball game Korea vs Cuba, bottom of 9th - bases loaded - 1 - out, 2 strikes and final delivery resulting in double play ! what an exciting moment ! Congratulations Team Korea ! Lowlights: Baseball game Japan Vs Cuba, Manager Hoshino disciplined, fined US$2000 and Japan lost - Wednesday the 13th Aug.2008!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Definitely, this was the high point for me:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

high: Korea vs Cuba, it was a great baseball game. New world record holders. Phelps, Bolt,

Low: The Cuban ready to take on the refs. Closing ceremony ticket prices selling for ¥900000。

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The U.S. winning its highest ever total medals outside the boycotted 1984 Games. The 110 medals are a sign of American prowess in so many Olympic events.

Really? I fail to see what is so great about it when you consider the per capita statistics.

USA - Population 300million - medals 110

Australia - Population 20million - medals 46

Therefor, Australia won more than five times the amount of medals as the US. They should be ashamed, not proud!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight: the world record of Elena Isinbaeva.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ExPrinceska at 06:20 PM JST - 25th August Highlight: the world record of Elena Isinbaeva.

Absolutely without a doubt in full agreement with Princess here.

Elena in a class all her own hopefully above even her nationality.

A real star .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight: Kobe Bryant, wildly popular in China, schooling some chuckle-headed tool working for MSNBC - or the Chi-Coms, kinda hard to tell:

Collinsworth: Tell the story when you first got your USA uniform.

Kobe: Well I had goosebumps and I actually just looked at it for awhile. I just held it there and I laid it across my bed and I just stared at it for a few minutes; just because as a kid growing up this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.

Collinsworth: Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?

Kobe: Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s... we believe is the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say "You know what? Our country is the best!"

Collinsworth: Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by.

Kobe: No, it’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights: the mascot that fell by itself on one of Japan's baseball games, and was aided by another mascot but couldn't get up, I guess its head was a bit heavy! Low points: the Japan-only reports on tv.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After remaining quite quiet about the Olympics coverage here (Japan), it's time for me to vent.

Many posters here have complained about the over-the-top one-sidedness of the Olympic coverage in Japan. I haven't paid such close attention to the commentators or the broadcasts, and I also know that in medal-successful countries, the focus tends to me on the homegrown talents reaping medals for their nations to the excusion of a balance in broadcast. People accuse Japan of avoiding coverage of other events so that Japanese successes can be replayed and replayed. On this I cannot really comment.

However, tonight's 7PM NHK national news, in my mind, took the cake. I watch this evening news to be informed as to what's important in and to Japan (or, at least, what NHK thinks Japan should be interested in) rather than to gain an international insight to world events. I know it's not going to give me broad exposure to the world.

But tonight's news overstepped the mark considerably. The first 8 minutes of a 30 minute broadcast was dedicated to the return of a handful of Japanese women softball team members to their workplaces, and the fete-ing they received from employers, colleagues and the general public.

Now, their gold-medal win (which I appreciated) took place on Thursday. Today is Monday. Does the national news have to focus so greatly and with so much prominence on such an 'earth-shattering' event as these team members arrival at their workplaces? Admittedly, this was the biggest team group to have won a gold for Japan at the Olympics, but come on - isn't this a bit too much???

I come from a country (Australia) that LOVES its athletes and sportspeople and often pays them undue attention. But I would be gobsmacked (as would most of the nation) if such a large slab of prime news time on the national broadcaster was dedicated to team members returning to work, 4 days after an event. If it did it would receive howls of protest.

When people claim that Japan is no longer patriotic, and the fear exists that the youth of the country are growing up without enough love of their country, I only have to watch this sort of engineered, myopic jingoism to know that some people are working that this never happens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight: Watching Mark Spitz throw a hissy fit for not being invited.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight: Japanese softball team won the gold. Beijing is less polluted & cleaner(Just for 2 wks. Michale Phelp won the 8 golds in Beijing. US Volley ball team won the gold despite the Coach sadness. One competitor kicked the referee.

Lowlight: Japanese baseball team did not win. US Volleyball coach father in law was murdered. Foreign reporters were harassed by police. Taikwondo, Boxing & Gynmnastic referee's judgement. Most of the game has empty seats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to laugh at all the comments about J-tv, come on its been common knowledge for ages Jpn focuses on Jpn, so much so they make the USA look great in this regard, ha ha.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The highlight: The S. Korean baseballer Lee Seung-Yuop's 2-run homerun in the 8th inning of the second match against Japan.

The low point: The Cuban taekwondo fighter Mato's kick to the head of the referee.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The highlights ? So many, I can think of 110 to be precise. But of all those, well it would have to be the whole Michael Phelps experience. Out of those probably the mens 4x100 freestyle relay was the epitomy of excitement and national ferver for this American. Considering how much the French had mouthed off and how tight the race was, seeing the US pull it out in the end was truly epic !

The low point, again easy, Japan's television coverage ! Way too much focus on Judo, Volleyball, womens wrestling (sick), and Japanese athletes finishing in the middle of the pack ! I totally understand a nations obligation to cover it's athletes, however, I disagree with the Japanese tendency to do so at the expense of other nations or athletes. Not showing any of the mens or womens basketball tournement on terrestrial television was a huge letdown. The mens tournement in particular seems to be all abuzz in Beijing, not in Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights: The Brazilian women volleyballers and the American women beach volleyballers winning gold medals.

Lowpoint: Not seeing that cute little Yang Peiyi, whose great voice was lip-synched.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

High points of games, remarkable civilised competitors/athletes at games, if compared with past games.

Another highlight is war torn afghans getting first medal in taekwondo sports, which made all afghans unite in common joy.

Low point,all the protests against this nice 2008 games, we saw on our TV sets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


China beat its own record and the USA in golds (ok, 10 more overall medals from the USA, fair enough) China hosted the greatest Olympics of recent times. Many countries made their best ever performance at these games. Beijing Olympics produced the best ever Olympian and most new world records. All western media suddenly forgetting about the "smog" in the games. (Maybe the "smog" actually helped those achieve new records and Phelps and Bolt...) The torch travelled around the world conquering the ups and downs and finally safely taxiing at Bird's Next in magnificent style.

Low points: None really.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

blvtbzk -- Great post. I had the exact same feeling. Especially when the 8 minutes and 30 seconds on the softball players was followed by another one minute and 30 seconds of team arrivals at Haneda. For pity sake, the "news" yesterday was that projections say that the pension fund will be bankrupt in 40 years if nothing is done, but that was not even covered. No, instead we got 10 minutes of hero-worship. Pretty amazing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought the opening ceremony was the best opening I've seen in decades.

A low point would be, like many have said, Japanese TV concentrating on Japanese athletes to the exclusion of the Winners. Hello? Do all Japanese TV viewers care only about the Japanese athletes and not the actual winners? That Taro came in 25th in the X event is nice to know but I'm more interested in the top three. You think?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The low point would have to be this

Castro defends athlete who kicked judge in face

HAVANA (AP) - Fidel Castro on Monday defended the Cuban taekwondo athlete who kicked a referee in the face at the Beijing Olympics, saying Angel Matos was rightfully indignant over his disqualification from the bronze-medal match.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

High point: Chris Hoy's three gold medals in the cycling.

Low point: Only seeing one of his races as a japanese cyclist was in it!


0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have a winner: Undecided.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights: Usain Bolt, Opening ceremonies, Team USA beating Spain. Lowlights: Questionable judging favoring the host country, BMX racing, trampoline, and water polo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not enough Basketball coverage. But at least I got to see my boys Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant play in the Finals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlight: The olympics itself. Chance for everyone to get together and just compete in as the best in their specific event for their countries.

Low: The sore losers, the guy who tossed his medal down on the floor, the fans not respecting the winners of other countries, the guy who kicked at the ref, the one-sided judging, the murder of a vistor, the arrest of reporters report protest, so many lows...but the highs were the best. I love the Olympics!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

High- Japan's 4x100 track relay team. The happiest bronze medalists I have ever seen!

Low- the fact that China hosted the event. Ham handed security, fake singers, using thousands of soldiers in the open/closing ceremonies, goosestepping with the Olympic flag, using Han chinese in the place of genuine members of ethnic communities (but still wearing their costumes), using underage gymnasts, the list goes on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Highlights- All 204 nation's people were living together and enjoying sports together.

Low points- I thoughts all seats were going to be taken up. There were many seats still unsold at stadiums. They should given these empty seats to school children for free.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The low point for me was watching a report on television about a young girl who had cancer and her parents who had to live in some deserted and abandoned buildings just off the marathon track. The cost of her treatment was 50 times what her parents made which of course they couldn't afford. As they couldn't pay, the hospital threw her out leaving her to her fate.

The high point was that even though she has nothing she still completely supported her country throughout the Olympics which is something I could never understand though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For residents, the high point was two weeks of relatively clean air for the first time since the Opium Wars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

High points:

China topping the medal table with gold comprising over half of total, dominating certain sports. GB improving a lot. Clean air (albeit temporarily), especially for the two marathons. Great opening and closing ceremonies (although I think it should have ended after the GB routine. Far too long). Records galore and fantastic performances by Phelps, Bolt. And for Japan - Kitajima.

Low points:

The constant Chinese bashing which extended to the whole team and people in general. Sore losers (and that includes posters who just can't seem to recognize achievements by athletes from other countries) and allegations of bribery by the Chinese who, lo and behold, did NOT win everything.

As for those who complained about the games given to China - tough! You should have persuaded your countrymen not to attend. It happened in 1980 and 1984.

Most painful moment:

The weightlifter who dislocated his elbow for all to see. Ouch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

High points: Canadian Simon Whitfield getting the silver in the men's triathalon. Japan softball downing the USA. Japanese men going medal-less in baseball. USA 4 x 100 men's AND women's teams with the MASSIVE choke-jobs.

Low points: having to watch the olympics on Japanese tv, where all they show are the Japanese athletes (98% of the time) and NO BASKETBALL shown on basic cable tv, what an absolute FARCE!!!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites