For Chinese athletes, there’s something that’s even more important than the medals, the records, the championships — the national flag.
China’s national pole-dancing team pulled out of a global championship contest in Italy last week after organizers failed to display a Chinese flag outside of the venue.
When they first arrived at the World Pole Sport Championships in Florence on Friday, Chinese pole dancers couldn’t help but notice that among the row of flags surrounding the championship venue, a Chinese national flag could not be found.
Immediately, the team protested that glaring absence to the contest’s organizing committee. While they waited for a response, they put up a flag themselves.
An official soon told the team that a flag pole had been broken, but promised to have it fixed by the semi-finals on Saturday, CCTV-5 reported.
But, when the semi-finals ended, there was no still Chinese flag to be seen. In protest, the five Chinese pole dancers who had qualified for the finals decided to withdraw from the rest of the competition.
For patriotic Chinese athletes and fans, the national flag is a very big deal. However, organizers don’t tend to treat the old red and yellow with quite so much reverence. A national uproar erupted during the 2016 Rio Olympics this summer when Chinese viewers noticed that flawed Chinese flags were being flown during the medal ceremonies.
After apologizing, it took the Olympic committee six days to get some non-flawed flags at the event.
[Images via NetEase]
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