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Thanks to the country

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感谢国家 (gǎn xiè guó jiā): thanks to the country

The phrase, “thanks to the country” became a popular Internet expression after speed skater Zhou Yang (周洋) won the 1,500 meter event in the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. After winning the event, Zhou thanked her parents but failed to thank her country. This lapse was criticized by Yu Zaiqing, Deputy Director of the National Sports Bureau. Yu said that she should have first thanked her country. Heeding his advice, Zhou held a do-over news conference in which she first thanked her country and then secondly thanked her parents and coaches.

In modern internet usage, “thanks to the country” is an ironic or sarcastic phrase implying that the “thanks” was forced or was not merited. It can be used after mentioning an action taken by the state with only minor benefits and substantial losses or costs. For example, “The world should really thank the country for spending USD 58 billion on such a great World Expo,” or “Kim Jung-Il should really thank the country for showing him such a good time while he’s in China.” It can also be used when the government takes small measures to address a problem that the government caused in the first place. For example, “I have to thank my country for ending the Cultural Revolution.”

Zhou Yang compelled to worship before the altar of the government's priorities: 1) Thank the country, 2) Thank those who supported me, 3) Thank my coach, 4) Thank the staff, 5) Thank my parents
“I am going to punish you by having you write the words, ‛Thanks to my leaders’ 10,000 times....... No, that's not right; how about you write, ‛Thanks to the country.’”
If God gave me another chance this is what I would say, “First I want to thank my country and especially Yu Zaiqing, Deputy Director of the National Sports Bureau, who criticized me for first thanking my parents. . . .”