Thoughts on Beijing and the Olympic Movement
There are a lot of atrocities surrounding China that are and were making people question why these games of peace were even being held here in the first place; isn’t this hypocritical? Genocide in Darfur, human rights issues, Tibet, the list goes on. But while I’m here, I’m realizing that boycotting these games are not the answer. Even though it seems the International Olympic Committee brought these games to China for the wrong reasons, the Olympics have, in fact, put China under a microscope of scrutiny that would never have existed otherwise. So it is perhaps, the games that are bringing about hope and change to these problems in the end (thanks, in a round about way, Jacques Rogge).
After reading Lopez Lomong’s story (the Sudanese born runner who proudly carried the US flag in the Opening Ceremonies…if you haven’t heard it look it up!) and Dan Wetzel’s story about the Chinese earthquake victims (http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=dw-chinaearthquake080808&prov=yhoo&type=lgns) it became clear that everyone, no matter how poor or devastated, whether from Sudan or China is watching, smiling and being inspired by these athletes and what the Olympics represent. And it’s because of this, that the athletes HAVE TO do what they do best, so that they can continue to inspire and give hope. This is also another reason why the Opening Ceremonies were so important because even though the Chinese government has a long way to go (every taxi cab in the city is tapped for the governments listening pleasure; all set aside legal “protest zones” were empty because none of the protesters “applications” were approved….surprise surprise!; websites speaking out against the government in any way are censored; they used a fake little girl in the ceremonies because the real one was ugly and they didn’t want that reflecting poorly on their country…..ummmm!!!!!), according to a lot of old locals, these ceremonies and the fact that the Olympics are here at all is a sign of a new China. Let’s pray this hope and spirit lives on to in fact create that change.
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