With less than a year to go, anticipation for the Olympics seems to be growing by the day – on billboards and television commercials, passing street vendors selling memorabilia or simply passing through a tunnel while riding on the subway.
It seems that some parents couldn’t hold their excitement in, as almost 3,500 children have been named "Aoyun" (Chinese for "Olympics") since as early as 2000, when China first made the bid for the upcoming Games. According to a Beijing Daily report cited by the Associated Press, only six of these kids live in Beijing and a majority of them male.
An additional 4,000 or so Chinese also share their names with the Beijing Olympic mascots, otherwise known as the "Five Friendlies,” the report said. Yao Ming, the tallest player in the NBA who hails from Shanghai, is also the name of 5,598 other people in China, and 18,462 others are named Liu Xiang, the world’s fastest hurdler, the report stated.
Are the Chinese lost in sport frenzy? Or are they simply caught up in Olympic excitement? Or better yet, are these similarities a result of having a country with a population of 1.3 billion in which 87 percent share 129 family names? Probably all of the above.