There's no such thing as a bureaucratic error in an authoritarian regime.
China has a long, state-sponsored history of cheating by every means necessary and exploiting its female athletes, from the doped-up female runners of "Ma's Army" to the human growth hormone-fueled victories of the Chinese women swimmers over the last 15 years. The revelations about the opening ceremony's fireworks fakery and lip-sync switcheroo involving two more exploited Chinese girls simply underscore the regime's threat to whatever is left of the integrity of the Olympic Games.
The Olympic creed, articulated by Baron de Coubertin, asserts: "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
With their head-in-the-sand response to the Chinese gymnast scandal, enabling international Olympic officials have driven the final nail into the credibility coffin of the games and turned the guiding principle of athletic competition on its head.
The Olympic Village has become China's triumphant Potemkin village.
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