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Olympic confusion

I don't generally pay much attention to the Olympics.  I'm not a sports fan and I don't have time to watch much TV anyway.  So they're kind of a non-entity for me.

But here's my confusion.  So many countries don't agree with China's policies but aren't boycotting the games like they have several times in the past.  If we can boycott over a little thing like the invasion of Afghanistan (*coughcough*) then we won't boycott over what our country has stated are egregious human rights violations?

Where's the outrage?  Why are we still participating?  Why are the athletes and journalists allowing themselves to be subjected to the arbitrary rules being pushed down on the event?

Seems to be a bit of a lack of moral fibre these days.  It used to be that when we didn't agree with a host country's policies we packed it up and didn't play in their playground.  I know it seems unfair to the athletes who work so hard to be in their peak condition for the event but these games are never about the athletes, really.  They're about the countries involved.

I'd say, right now, any country that truly disagrees with how China runs itself pick up and go home.  Don't whine, don't offer platitudes about respecting other culture's diversity.  Just say "We don't like what you're doing" and leave.

But that's not going to happen since the games were given to China as a way of making them part of the big happy international community.  Which, in my opinion, they're not ready to join.  Nor do they really want to join.  They want all the benefits but don't want any of the accountability and transparency that's supposed to be included.

Oh well.  That's my one and only post on the Olympics.

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  1. August 6th, 2008 at 10:44 | #1

    I think there is a couple of factors at work here. One, China is in theory a country with which we have good diplomatic relations, and extensive commercial connections. Further, China has so many resources that traditional means of squeezing countries (sanctions, etc.) are ineffective. So the apparently policy seems to be just gently coercing through shame to get them to enact reforms.Personally, I think the Olympics will be a trainwreck as China begins a spectrum-wide crackdown on dissent and negative journalism, and the IOCC is revealed to be either morally bankrupt or impotent.

  2. August 6th, 2008 at 18:47 | #2

    A few things about the Olympics in general have me baffled.
    First of all, since when is the Olympics meant to be an opportunity to express political sentiments at all? Yes, China is ugly-in-deep in human rights violations, but aren't the games supposed to be about breaking down political barriers and promoting worldly brotherhood? Hell, I guess not.
    Secondly, since when does one have to belong to a sponsored national team to participate? I suppose there's nothing wrong with any country wanting to sponsor a national team, but at what point was it decided that ONLY national teams may compete? Why not allow a hypethetical purely-corporate sponsored team…or even a team raised by a civic group like the Rotarians, or Elks, or Gay Men, or Cancer Survivors?
    Third, and this is personal because I had to endure four years of living in an Olympic city and dealing with the horse-crap..but WHY has not anybody taken the International Olympic Committee to task about all the backroom deals and pocket-lining that takes place before the so-called decisions get made concerning who hosts the games?
    Oh…and during that time, I was lucky enough to find myself in a restaurant in a booth right next to the president of ACOG, and when the waitress asked if we (Steve and my other friend and I) were excited about the ICOG visitation, my pal Ed says "I couldn't give a rat's ass."

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