Photo Kevin German

US photoblogger Kevin German took pictures of a gymnasium in Beijing just before the start of a weightlifting contest. He noticed that most seats were empty... until the arrival of professional supporters.

Photos: Kevin German

" They're asked to sit right in front of the cameras "

US photoblogger Kevin German went to Beijing to uncover the Olympics' backstage.

I attended my second Olympic event today. Some friends were kind enough to give me a ticket for the men's weightlifting prelims. I didn't stay too long but long enough to make an overall photo showing the empty seats for the venue that was said to be sold out.

And then to contrast that, I came upon the people that the government asked to go fill those seats at live televised games. They are called Cheer Beijing Workers. They wear funky yellow t-shirts and red caps. There were hundreds of them walking to the Worker's Stadium for the USA vs. Japan women's soccer match. They are told to sit directly in front of the TV cameras at any given arena and to cheer for China ... so I've been told. I was shooting this when I came upon the scalper getting arrested in the previous post.

The last photo is of a poor man waiting outside the fence of Worker's Stadium asking for recyclable bottles from all of the fans. Something that you don't see too often here. The government took steps to make sure all of the beggars and migrant workers were outside the city limits before the games began."