Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I've been loosely following all of the Olympic Noise concerning the Summer Olympics in Beijing this year. There have been reports of violence in the streets, people being locked up if they are in anyway dissident to the rule of Chairman Mao, and 30 page contracts that media representatives are being forced to sign in order to cover the Games.

So far it looks a mess. Speaking just environmentally, the athletes competing at the height of summer in one of the smoggiest cities on the planet are going to have a hard time. I wouldn't doubt if some come out of this seriously compromised simply due to air quality.

And now, a report is coming out from the European Union that the member-states should seriously consider a boycott of the opening ceremonies in protest. This comes with the support of 'Reporters without Borders'. The United States has also shown sentiments of hesitation, while not being quite as forthcoming with saying they would potentially boycott the opening ceremonies.

This most recent news is coming as a response to the violent protests that began last week in Tibet. Depending on the reports you believe, as few as ten people or as many as 100 people have been killed since the violence broke out. It is to the point where the Dalai Lama is considering stepping down as Political Leader in exile because of it all.

I wonder if Canada would take such steps as well, perhaps even with a boycott of participants as well, reminiscent of when the Soviet Union didn't participate in the Olympics.

That being said, I don't want to act as if I'm forgetting that athlete's have been training all of their lives for these events. it is important that they be allowed to compete, and that the spirit of the games is kept alive - but its a tough pill to swallow when we have to ignore and pretend not to notice the human rights atrocities going on in that part of the World in order to do so.

It's an interesting situation and it will be extremely captivating to see all that comes out of these Games. It's the first time the media will have that kind of access in China, and despite contracts and signed agreements I'm sure stories will come out of there, the likes of which we cannot even imagine yet.

Cheers all

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