Taiwan Gold

This just kicks ass, literally: SFGate: Taiwan wins first golds in taekwondo.

Taiwan won its first gold medal Thursday in taekwondo, then had to wait only a few minutes more for another.

Shih Hsin Chen won her 49-kilogram match for the breakthrough, aware as the seconds counted down that a lot was at stake.

I know that this is our first gold medal and I’m very proud of it,” said Chen, who beat Yanelis Yuliet Labrada of Cuba. “It means a lot to me and my family.”

About 15 minutes later, Mu Yen Chu won another gold medal in the men’s 58-kilogram division.

After Chu beat Oscar Francisco Salazar of Mexico, he walked around the mat displaying the special white flag that Taiwan has used at the Olympics since 1980 under an IOC resolution.

As a concession to China, Taiwan participates at the Olympics under the name “Chinese Taipei.” China claims the self-ruled island is part of its territory and has sought to bar its international exposure. The sides split amid civil war in 1949.

Of course the last two sentences serve to illustrate how unfairly Taiwan is treated in the Olympics and elsewhere. It seems incredibly silly, and strange, and awful, that Taiwan’s gold medal winners are the only atheletes in the entire Olympics that are not allowed to wave their own country’s flag. I wonder how this will play out in 2008?