This is the Latitude News Mishmash, our collection of the best and worst stories the global press had to offer over the past seven days. This week: Chinese athlete flaunts rules by falling in love, an amazing rescue on thin ice in Canada, and Singaporeans are way crazier about their dogs than Americans.
Chinese swimmer in hot water over girlfriend
In the U.S., we expect famous athletes to date beautiful celebrities: Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker, Derek Jeter and well . . . just about everyone.
But in China, some athletes aren’t allowed to date at all. Sun Yang, a 21-year-old swimmer, became a national hero at the 2012 Olympics in London when he became the first Chinese athlete ever to win gold in the 400- and 1500-meter freestyle events. But his relationship with an airline stewardess angered Sun’s hawk-eyed coach, who said the affair was a distraction and demanded the young athlete call the whole thing off. Sun understandably tried to fire his coach, and the spat grew public. Soon China’s athletics commission decided to punish Sun by forbidding him from appearing in advertisements and commercial endorsements.
Public opinion has so far sided with the swimmer. “Please let Sun Yang call the shots for his youth,” read a commentary in Xinhua, China’s official state news-agency. On Weibo, China’s version of twitter, one user wrote: “[The coach’s requirement] is too paternalist!” Another added: “[Sun] is a human being, not a medal winning machine!”
We’re pretty confident that a little good old-fashioned love-making won’t hurt Sun’s chances at the next games. After all, Michael Phelps was able to rebound from a very public bong hit and still win four gold medals and two silvers in London.
You’re on thin ice
This week in Nova Scotia, Canada, a deer got itself into trouble when it walked onto some thin ice. It didn’t fall through, but instead simply slipped and could not, no matter how hard it tried, stand back up again.If night had fallen, it easily could have frozen to death or died of exhaustion. But a quick-thinking helicopter operator flew in for a rescue. He didn’t pluck the deer off the ice the way you might expect. Instead he used the propeller’s powerful downdraft to push the deer across the ice like a hockey puck.
While the maneuver, which you can see in the video below from CTV Atlantic News, saved the deer’s life, it also succeeded in scaring it half to death.
A dog’s life
Singaporeans are raising the standards for what it means to be a good pet owner, potentially even out-crazying those ladies on the upper east side of Manhattan who walk their dogs in strollers. A stroller for your dog? How about a cruise?
As Pakistan’s Dawn.com reports, the tiny nation has one of the highest standards of living in Asia. And as the standards for people increase, the standards for dogs are setting new records. Just head on over to the docks in Singapore to pay $32 (per human or dog) for a cruise around that bay.
“’Actually, this is their third cruise,’ said Andy Pe, 43, the doting owner of two Black Labrador Retrievers, a Yellow Labrador, a Golden Retriever and two mongrels. ‘They enjoy the sea breeze and water so much.’”
And dog love goes deeper in Singapore than leisurely cruise:
Dog yoga – or Doga – is also catching on in Singapore after becoming popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“Pets are left at home for hours, so Doga is a way for owners and dogs to bond,” said Rosalind Ow, 42, the owner of Super Cuddles Clubhouse, which started offering Doga classes last August.
Luxury options extend to the departed. Owners can publish tributes to their deceased pets in the classified ads section of the city-state’s leading daily The Straits Times on Sundays.
At the suburban Pets Cremation Center, niches can be rented at a columbarium after the funeral services.
Whatever happened to a good, long walk?