International ST wrongly claims that China is the first country to host both...

ST wrongly claims that China is the first country to host both Winter and Summer Olympics

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The Straits Times later published an apology for its boo-boo on the headline of Asian Insider report on Winter Olympics.

On 4th February, Beijing become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics, amid a Covid-19 pandemic that means overseas spectators will be excluded. The Straits Times on 5 February published an insider report on this year’s Winter Olympics and said that the mood at the mega sporting event this year is markedly different from the time it held the Summer Olympics in 2008.

It noted that there was no “palpable excitement and eagerness” among the City residents for the Winter Olympics, partly because of the Covid-19 restrictions. In quoting experts and observers, the report suggested that China was putting “on a show for the world” in the midst of a pandemic and diplomatic boycotts by some countries to prove with a “stern face” that “it deserved to be respected”.

In quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping who called the Games “an important opportunity to display the country’s image, promote its development and inspire national development,” the experts who spoke to the newspaper said that the country is trying to “keep its eye on the prize” in organising the Games – “which is to hold a well organised Game with minimal Covid outbreaks”.

The newspaper however wrongly titled the article as “China first to host both Summer and Winter Games”.

Beijing is indeed the first City to hold both the Winter and Summer Olympics, but it is not the first country to host both Games. The United States holds the record for holding both the Games in different cities of its country. In Asia, Japan has held both Games a total of four times.

List of countries ranked by the number of times they hosted the Olympic Games
Rank First
Year
Last
Year
Country Summer
Olympics
Winter
Olympics
Total
1 1904 2028 United States 5 (1904, 1932, 1984, 1996, 2028) 4 (1932, 1960, 1980, 2002) 9
2 1900 2024 France 3 (1900, 1924, 2024) 3 (1924, 1968, 1992) 6
3 1956 2026 Italy 1 (1960) 3 (1944, 1956, 2006, 2026) 4
4 1964 2020 Japan 2 (1964, 2020) 2 (1972, 1998)

Besides China, South Korea and Russia has hold both the Games twice, while Germany has hosted 2 Summer Games and 1 Winter Game.

The online version of the Straits Times however, was quick to correct the error in its headline.

And today (6 February), the ST print edition issued an apology for its boo-boo the day before.

The newspaper’s apology placated some media observers who faulted the broadsheet for its carelessness. Others however felt that such boo boos will continue as the paradigm for change has not shifted one inch and that the ST is ‘beyond redemption’.

The print and digital editions of The Straits Times and The Sunday Times have a daily average circulation of 364,134 and 364,849 respectively in 2017, as audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations Singapore. The newspaper is sometimes referred as “the mouthpiece” of the ruling party or at least “mostly pro-government” and “close to the government”.

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