Turns out that Lin Miaoke, aged 9, actually stood in front of the massive audience and sang while the voice of Yang Peiyi, aged 7, "who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called 'Hymn to the Motherland'" was being broadcast.
The reason behind this? Yang Peiyi was found unsuitable for the role because of her teeth, although her voice was deemed perfect.
Worse than that:
Mr Chen said the initial hopefuls to sing the anthem had been reduced to ten,
and one, a ten-year-old, had originally been chosen for the quality of her
voice. But she, too, had fallen by the wayside because she was not "cute"
So Yang Peiyi got her chance to sing, although she was not allowed to appear in the opening ceremonies.
"The main consideration was the national interest," [the ceremony's musical
designer, Chen Qigang] said. "The child on the screen should be flawless in
image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression. In the matter of her
voice, Yang Peiyi was flawless, in the unanimous opinion of all the members of
Yeah, Yang Peiyi. You sang with a flawless voice. But even that kind of perfection isn't enough to represent China. I think it's awful that girls as young as 7 are being taught that they just aren't good enough because of a physical imperfection. Nevermind your talents! You don't have the looks to match. And looks, really, are all that matter.