At the closing ceremony we showed the Turkish flag when there was supposed to be the flag of China.
Wolfgang fixed this in a few seconds.
I have full understanding for anyone to be angry about this error. I myself am angry that we did not check each other’s work carefully enough to spot this.
However I have no understanding at all for the rumors that this might have been in any way deliberate. I cannot think of a reason that would make any of us do such a terrible thing.
I personally tried really hard not to offend anyone. I even went so far as to create our own flag for the team of Chinese Taipei because I thought that this was the solution closest to the one that everyone can live with at the Olympic Games (the flag they use there has the rings inside, which I replaced with the IYPT logo). Sadly the Photographer who did the team photos couldn’t find it and didn’t ask, so he used a different flag on that picture.
There is a “law” called Hanlon’s Razor that states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” This is exactly what happened here.
To stop any more rumors, I’d like to give the simple explanation why this happened:
At this year’s AYPT there was a team from Turkey.
Just like the year before, Wolfgang had created a presentation with slides that show the team’s name, a flag, the team-members and how many points they received.
At the IYPT it was again his task to create such a presentation. He started with the files (e.g. the flags) from the last AYPT. It was a very hectic time, everyone of us had so much to prepare, so when he added the flag for china, he instead added another red flag that was in the same folder – the one from Turkey.
Immediately after the incident Wolfgang and Ricky personally apologized to as many Chinese team-members, jurors, IOC members and volunteers they could find. All of them accepted our sincere apologies.
I am deeply sorry for this, and I hope that you can forgive us for this error and for all the smaller ones as well.