One of Beijing’s dirty little secrets (after the gag-inducing smog), is that the Olympics folks have had trouble attracting viewers to particular events. Some athletes have performed to near-empty stadiums, and there doesn’t appear to be an easy solution.
One problem is that corporate sponsors aren’t using their tickets, but bad weather and visa problems are also to blame. Cardboard cut-outs are an option, as are recruiting volunteers to spend an afternoon watching a sport they otherwise wouldn’t.
And then there’s this: Sexing up the proceedings so that people are fighting for seats. Shockingly, women’s table tennis doesn’t have much of a following, which is why the players are being nudged to dress like strippers*: