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Taiwan’s national flag anthem plays during badminton medal ceremony in historic Tokyo Games moment

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    Taiwan’s national flag anthem was played during the awarding ceremony for badminton at the Tokyo Games on Saturday in what may be considered a historic moment for both Taiwan and the Olympics.

    The national flag anthem: The song, which dates back to the 1930s, blasted through the stadium’s speakers as Taiwanese duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin watched the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag rise in the medal ceremony, according to Taiwan News.

    • Lee and Wang bested China’s third-seeded duo Liu Yuchen and Li Junhui at the grand finals of men’s double in just 34 minutes.
    • Liu and Li were also present as they watched the flag rise during the ceremony.
    • Although China has prevented Taiwan from playing its national anthem during the Games, the country was allowed to play the national flag anthem with the lyrics changed for the Olympics, “with references to the actual national flag excised,” Taiwan News noted.
    • Wang took to his Facebook on Saturday to celebrate their victory with a post, saying, “I am Wang Chi-lin. I am from Taiwan.”

    • Meanwhile, one of their opponents, Li, took to Chinese social media to apologize for their loss and proceeded to thank “the Great Motherland” and his coaches. In his closing remark, he said, “Lastly, congratulations to “China’s Taipei Team,” followed by three Chinese flags.
    via Taiwan News

    The reaction: Some people extended their congratulations online, while others criticized the rules Taiwan had to follow in order to join the Olympics.

    • Republic of China (Taiwan) President Tsai Ing-wen congratulated the duo for winning the gold medal on Twitter on Saturday.

    • On the other side, some Chinese social media users criticized their athletes for losing to Taiwan, according to ABC.

    Taiwan’s Olympics name: Apart from the national anthem, Taiwan also must wave a much different flag when competing in the Olympics and have its name changed to “Chinese Taipei.”

    • Taiwan took on many names in the Olympics in the past decades. It started in 1952 when China and Taiwan were invited to the Olympics, but the two governments claimed they represent China. In the end, Taiwan had to drop out, AFP reported via Hong Kong Free Press.
    • In 1956, Taiwan joined the Olympics again as “Formosa-China.” Formosa means beautiful, as what Portuguese sailors called Taiwan in the 16th century. However, Beijing boycotted the Games and left the International Olympics Committee (IOC) two years later.
    • Taiwan played under the name “Taiwan” during the 1960s Games, despite the authoritarian government’s objection and request to play under the name “Republic of China.”
    • The country participated in the 1972 Games as the Republic of China before boycotting the 1976 Olympics after Canada, the host country, demanded that it compete under the Taiwan name.
    • Taiwan was suspended after the IOC recognized Beijing as the representative of China in 1979. However, the country was allowed back in the Olympics in 1981 after agreeing to compete as Chinese Taipei.
    • In addition to the name change, Taiwan also has to fly the “Plum Blossom Banner,” a white flag that features the Olympic rings, as its flag while participating in the Games instead of its own.

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