beijing1The 2008 Summer Olympics are officially underway in Beijing. After a dazzling display at the opening ceremonies, badminton, fencing and shooting have already begun. The Boston Globe’s John Powers previews what’s to come with Bill Littlefield.

It’s a safe bet that Beijing’s population in August will increase by about half a million people. Only A Game’s Anne Donohue has been in Beijing, and reports on the sights and sounds of the bustling Olympic host city.

With a record of 59-1 during their pre-Olympic tour and 3 gold medals won in the last three Summer Games, the odds are in favor of the U.S. Women’s Softball team winning a fourth. After the Beijing games however, softball will be scratched from the list of Olympic events. Bill talks with some of the players about their feelings on softball’s final trip to the Olympics.

There’s no doubt about it. China has been a globally growing force, and the 2008 Summer Games are the country’s chance to show off that power and status to the world. However, politics, pollution and other factors have cast a negative light on China and the Olympic games. Xu Guoqi’s new book Olympic Dreams chronicles China’s politically-fueled sports history over the past hundred years. Professor Xu joins Bill and discusses this and China’s hopes for the future after the Olympics conclude.

Is it pronounced Bei-JING or Bei-ZHING? It’s a question for the ages. Thankfully, Bill had a chance to speak with the Two Chinese Characters, John Weinstein and Carsey Yee to clear up this issue plaguing the American media.

Bill and Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce discuss: Philadelphia wins one in arena football, Former Olympian Joey Cheek’s visa gets revoked and Posh Spice, a communist?

Bill answers some mail from Only A Game listeners.

Picture a bunch of young people who live in a house and are constantly fighting. Has the makings of a good reality, show doesn’t it? That situation is basically as real as it gets for the Judo athletes all living together and training for the Olympics. Only A Game’s Shannon Mullen has our story.