Chinese Athletes Put Back Into Storage

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Vol 30 Issue 01

Band's Van Breaks Down

CHAPEL HILL, NC—Promising local band Spacegoat suffered a major setback on its path to fame yesterday, when its 1982 Dodge van broke down en route to a show in Durham.

African Nation Not War-Torn

PORTO-NOVO, BENIN—According to inside sources in the capital city of Porto-Novo, the nation of Benin is not currently torn by war. In addition to lacking massive civil strife and severe political turmoil, the sources say, the small West African nation is also not under threat of violent military coup by leftist guerrillas. "Benin is a peaceful country," said New York Times West African correspondent Richard Coombes. "Its people are not being killed in large numbers and buried in mass graves. Further, Benin's many cities and villages are not being burned to the ground by roving bands of power-hungry, machine gun-wielding warlords." Benin's Department of Tourism is capitalizing on the nation's lack of combat, next week launching a $30 million "Benin—You Will Not Be Killed Here!" promotional campaign.

Lester Jackson Gets His Sorry Ass Home

ST. LOUIS—At the strong urging of his wife Rhonda, Lester Jackson got his sorry ass home last night, narrowly avoiding an explosive domestic confrontation. "He better get his sorry ass home real soon," Rhonda Jackson told reporters around 11:45 p.m. yesterday, more than two hours after her husband was supposed to return from his weekly poker game. "Cause if he don't, he ain't gonna like what he find when he do." Several minutes after Rhonda Jackson made her statement, Lester Jackson dragged his sorry ass through the front door, trying to pass off another one of his sorry-ass excuses and wearing that sorry-ass hangdog look on his face he always wears when he knows he's going to get it real good.

Dream Team Wins Small Soft Drink

ATLANTA—The U.S. men's basketball "Dream Team" took home a small soft drink from McDonald's yesterday, making its players big winners and quenching their Olympic-sized thirsts. "We win when the USA wins," said power forward Karl Malone, taking a sip from the Dream Team's 12-ounce Coke. "This refreshing beverage is ice-cold proof of that." The Dream Team won the food prize Sunday, when U.S. fencer Dana Owens took gold in the individual women's epee, defeating Qatar's Faizla Hourani 15-11, 15-9. Nine of the eleven Dream Teamers shared the drink, the exceptions being center Shaquille O'Neal, who is signed to a long-term exclusive contract with Pepsi, and reserve point guard John Stockton, who wanted a Mello-Yello.

Navy Admiral Thinks He's 'Mr. Important'

QUANTICO, VA—According to a recently published report, Navy Admiral John A. Weinhardt, 57, thinks he is "Mr. Important," or something. "Oooooooh... Aren't we Mr. Special? Aren't we just Mr. Look- At- All- My- Medals- I'm- So- Important- I'm- a- Mr.- Big-Shot- Important- Mr.- Navy- Man," read part of the 340-page classified government report, which concluded, "Like wow, I'm really powerful. Oooh, look at all these people saluting me... Like, I'm just so cool, you know?." Admiral Weinhardt has declined comment on the allegations.

The Not-So-Friendly Skies

Last month's mysterious crash of TWA Flight 800 near Long Island, which came on the heels of several other major air tragedies, has sparked a national debate about the safety and security of commercial airlines. What do you think?
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Chinese Athletes Put Back Into Storage

BEIJING, CHINA—After two weeks of remarkable success against the world's finest athletes, the Chinese National Olympic Team was carefully disassembled and put back into storage yesterday, placed in a specially designed, high-tech cryogenic freezing pod for preservation until the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

"You have brought great honor to your nation," said Chinese Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping during a ceremony before more than 800,000 in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. "Now we must remove your sculpted limbs from your muscular torsos and return you to your sarcophagi so that you may achieve even greater glories for the People's Republic in the future."

Amid great cheers from the crowd, Deng then pulled a switch, lowering the athletes into the $440 million, titanium-reinforced, liquid radon-cooled absolute zero temperature athlete preservation chamber, where they will be preserved in a perfect state of suspended animation until July 2000.

The elite 120-member Chinese team, which boasts many of the world's finest gymnasts, swimmers and runners, has been kept in the state-of-the-art computer-regulated Mao Zedong Memorial People's Revolutionary Sports Pod, located 200 feet below the surface of Beijing, since the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Despite the overall success of the Chinese team in Atlanta, not all of its members were returned to the pod. Following each Olympics, only the top performers return, with those failing to earn a gold medal killed, stripped for needed parts and replaced by more promising young athletes.

The Chinese Olympic Team will be cooled to a temperature of absolute zero, then lowered into the $440 million Mao Zedong Memorial People's Revolutionary Sports Pod, where it will be stored until the year 2000.

"Only the finest athletes can be preserved," Chinese Olympic Committee spokesperson Zhou Li Quing said. "Those who have brought shame to both nation and family by losing must be paraded naked through the streets of every city in China for people to spit on, then coated with honey and staked down over an anthill. "

Zhou added he is considering a proposal to parade defeated athletes through China's more remote rural provinces as well.

Among those frozen yesterday was 1996 Olympic men's archery gold medalist Liao Bu. "I will see you in the year 2000," Liao said, minutes before being sealed into a pod with his award-winning arms. "But until then, I wish to bring great honor to China as the coldest Olympic archer in the world."

Xiaolu Chang, a five-time Olympic gold medal-winning middle-distance runner, has been in the pod since the 1968 Mexico City Games. "Must win medal," said Xiaolu, 51, who has the perfectly preserved body of a 23-year-old. "Must win medal."

According to scientists, the Chinese athletic pod represents the finest Olympic carbon-based life-form storage facility in the world.

"The only one that compares is the $430 million Mother Russia Olympic Figure Skaters' Pod in Moscow," said M.I.T.'s Paul Blair. "Built for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, it has since been updated with a plutonium-powered coolant turbine, high-speed fast and slow twitch muscle defrosters and separate storage compartments for individual skaters and pairs."

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