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|| News Item: Posted 2008-07-29

Beijing Olympic Predictions
By Sports Shooter Staff

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Nhat Meyer
Editor's Note: Sports Shooter asked members of this site that are going to the Olympic Games in Beijing, China for their predictions, insights and observations as they count down the days until the Opening Ceremony on 8-8-08. Below are the comments of those members that responded:

Nhat Meyer, San Jose Mercury News
"I think, and this is no great prediction, this will be the Olympics with the highest attendance. It might not be the greatest ever but I think it'll definitely rank up there.

I also think, sadly, unless there is some miraculous change in the industry, that this will the last time many newspapers send photographers to the Olympics."

Michael Goulding, Orange County Register
"Just a thought... I spent a good part of the day getting the gear packed and the lists checked off. I realized that I'm glad all the preparation is starting to fade -- while the anticipation and excitement of covering the Olympic Games in China is finally sinking in. Do I have the right plug, have I done that stupid list right, should I get both Hepatitis A and B? All that stuff is being replaced by the awareness that I'll soon be making photos of the best with the best and that's a very good thing."

David Eulitt, Kansas City Star
"My predictions for the 2008 Olympic Games? I wish I could tell you, but I am currently filling out three forms to do so, requesting formal prediction access (non-broadcast rights version).

I predict Michael Phelps will eclipse Mark Spitz as American's greatest swimmer (if he isn't already).
I predict my contact lenses will burn from pollution.
I predict my body will become used to eating energy bars.
I predict that enough of my sweat will be absorbed by the photo vests that a suitable clone of me could be created in a laboratory.
I predict I will mutter to myself..."you won a gold medal and that's the best jubo you've got??"
I predict that the Opening Ceremony fireworks will humble all other Olympic Games' ceremonies.
I predict I will not eat anything that has ever had more than four legs.
I predict a Pocket Wizard of mine won't trigger when I really want it to.
I predict, around day 7, I will be so tired, most of my conversations will be with myself.
I predict I will photograph one sport I'm not totally sure what the rules are. (aka team handball).

If I have an extra half-day before the Games, I'd love to see the Great Wall, but I doubt I'll get a chance to. Someday, I'll go see the US-Mexico border wall and try to imagine it's the same thing.

Seriously, I LOVE the Olympics, so it will all be an experience to savor."

Amy Sancetta, Associated Press
"I would like to see Dara Torres win the 50, see Shawn Johnson win the all-around, and see something to eat without either a face or legs still attached. This is my 10th Olympics, and I'm hoping it'll be as exciting as ever."

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

USA TODAY's Jack Gruber looks for feature photos in front of the National Aquatics Center, aka the Bubble, where the Olympic swimming and diving competition will be held in Beijing, China.
Jack Gruber, USA TODAY
"I predict I will drink 5.75 gallons (21.7661 Liters) of the official Olympic soft drink while in Beijing."

Dan Powers, The Post-Crescent
"My prediction is that despite the heavy haze, the AP's Morry Gash's hair will still look perfect!"

Robert Beck, Sports Illustrated
"I'm hoping Kojo and I don't get killed while driving. And that if we get lost, we get found before everyone leaves the country."

Kohjiro Kinno, Sports Illustrated
"I, Mr. Kohjiro Kinno, predict we will run out of the cases of PowerBars we brought over by day 2."

Rod Mar, Seattle Times
"I predict that every time some random Asian photographer is shown on television, someone will start a "I Just saw The Kahuna on TV" thread on the message boards."

George Bridges, Managing Editor McClatchy-Tribune Photo Service
" I predict the following: Two cyclists, 1 weightlifter, 1 sprinter and 2 swimmers will leave in disgrace for positive drug tests."

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press
"I predict that my underwater camera cables will tangle so badly with Heinz Kluetmeier's that he will finally hang me with them.

I predict that Robert Hanashiro will be sidelined with a severely swollen tongue after eating a Scorpion on a stick from the wrong end.

I can't decide what I want to see more... the Great Wall or the Beijing Hooters. Either will be among the great wonders."

Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times
"I'm looking forward to sleeping three hours a night in my media village room. A room that, (I am told), may be smaller than my son's San Diego State dorm. Just kidding. I hope you all are as excited as I am to be going - considering the state of our profession."

Photo by John Burgess / The Press Democrat

Photo by John Burgess / The Press Democrat

Kohjiro Kinno
George Bridges, Managing Editor McClatchy-Tribune Photo Service
I've been watching chef Ming Tsai's video podcasts of the food markets in Beijing. Anytime I travel I like to find the local markets to see what life is really like. I remember things like the Sunday pet market in Seville, the incredible produce in Paris and the illegal bazaar in the plaza by my hotel in Athens, so I'm looking forward to touring the street markets of Beijing -- although I think I'll pass on the scorpions or snake dishes just like I passed on the grilled squid-on-a-stick in Taiwan.

Donald Miralle
"A week before the start of the Games, Scientists at the Bureau of Weather Modification, practicing ultra-secret techniques to induce rain showers before the Games that would wash away pollutants, muster up the first man-made category five hurricane. Hurricane "Fuwa", named in honor of the five Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, blows away all the filthy air but also half of the venues with 155 mph winds.

Shortly thereafter, the post-storm clean air is again polluted when the 1,750-acre Central Park sized man-made oxygen forest erected north of the Olympic village burns down due to arson. Despite the 16 Billion dollars the Chinese Government invested in the cleanup of the Beijing air, the British Olympic team and USA Triathlon Team wear high-tech breathing masks engineered by NASA at the Opening Ceremonies while other athletes skip the Ceremonies all together to the dismay of the Chinese hosts.

However in a stroke of luck, 99% of media contract food poisoning at the Media Village and word of the air quality disaster doesn't get out 'til after week one. At that point few care as NBC's rating for coverage and viewing of the Olympics skyrockets to the most-watched Olympics ever averaging 10.1 million viewers last week (5.1 rating, 10 share)."

H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY
"I actually have high hopes for the efficiency of the games this time around. I like the idea of a totalitarian government as the host. Hopefully they can make the buses run on time.

For all the horror stories of pollution and the like, I still think things will go well. China wants to put on a good show for the rest of the world. This is their best chance to make an impression and I think they will make a good one.

Here's a bold prediction: An athlete will be stripped of his or her medal or medals for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Hey, I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I just have a feeling."

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