Wednesday, August 06, 2008

About the China Olympics . . .

In times past, I would get quite excited about the Summer Olympics. You see, I was a serious and successful distance runner from ages 14 to 18 and followed Track and Field closely. (FWIW, best times: 9:38 2 mile and 4:24 1 mile if my memory is correct.)

During my running years, my ambition was to win gold in the Olympics. My eye was on the 1500 meter at first. But when it became clear that my talent lie in longer distances, I dreamed of winning the Marathon, and I worked hard toward that dream, running more than 100 miles a week one summer (which in hindsight was overdoing it and hastened the end of my running career).

I say all this to provide some background to my attitude about the China Olympics, which is not very positive. I’ve long been disgusted that a country with the poor human rights and downright evil foreign policy record of China got the Olympics. I rooted for those protesting the torch relay. And, if I watch the Olympics, I’ll be rooting for any protests that might crop up. Yes, there are a couple athletic stories I find interesting. But even in that area of actual athletics, I don’t find this Olympics as interesting as in the past. I won’t be watching much.

But how should the U. S. government respond? Although I think it highly inappropriate that President Bush will attend the opening ceremonies, I think a boycott would have been a bad idea. But then I think the 1980 Moscow Olympic boycott was a bad idea . . . even though it had the wonderful result of the Soviet Union retaliating by boycotting the 1984 L. A. Olympics – an Olympics free of Soviet cheating was very refreshing!

I did and still do look at it from the viewpoint of the athlete. To train and look forward to the Olympics and then have that taken away would be devastating. There are surely better ways to protest than at the expense of the athletes.

If I were an Olympian today? I would go to China, but skirt the rules and protest, perhaps with tattoos or patches saying “Free Tibet.” I would go to the Olympics, protest, and compete. If that got me kicked out of the games, then so be it. To be so kicked out of these sorry Olympics would be an honor perhaps greater than a gold medal.

And I do consider the awarding of these Olympics to China sorry. I hope they are a big flop and an embarrassment to that evil regime.

5 comments:

REC CHIP said...

Mark,

I totally agree. And as one of those who has spent a considerable amount of time this year protesting the torch relay, testifying before congress to expose the Chinese Communist Party and speaking at various rallys against President Bush's attendance at the "Genocide Olympics" I thank you for your support.

Jill C. said...

I'm afraid I'm with you. Even before I had two sons who swam competitively (YMCA, USS), I greatly enjoyed following the Games. This year . . . not so much. (I watched the Tour de France and considered that my Olympics for the season.)

Still we need to pray for the health and safety of the athletes, and continue to intercede for our persecuted brothers and sisters in China.

Anonymous said...

The west has no room to be talking about allowing aboriginal people re-own there land. tibet was made into China in the first century and has been part of china since then, except for a brief period of british rule in the 50's. the USA, UK, and Europe all have removed native tribes from Oceana, North America, and even there own countries in the past 2 centuries and we want China to return a land it conquered over 1000 years ago and yet we in the USA still have the indian lands, hawaii, and texas? china did not kill all the ethnic tribes that it conquered in the first century unlike some western nations. there are over 56 different ethnic cultures in china all strong and thriving in numbers. and we call them inhumane? HELLO People...trail of tears?! We have no authority to tell them about how to handle native peoples because all their native cultures exist and ours are all but in existance and if they do exist they live in squalor but the tibetans, hmongs, hans, and all other ethnic cultures live in equality with each other.

Mark said...

I see the internet flacks for the Chinese regime have discovered my blog. Welcome!

wannabe

Anonymous said...

hey wannabe,
i actually love your blog, i just feel that a lot of people misjudge china. believe it has done terrible things but what nation hasn't? the western media distorted much of the tibet issues in their reports, using wrong labels for pictures, cropping pictures to hide tibetans destroying property etc. i am a college student and i have done major research about the issue and was really suprised about what i found. i just do not think the west has any moral authority when it comes to native people's. china itself is made up of over 56 different cultures, hmong, mongol, tibetan etc. all united as chinese. there are pictures taken by missionaries to tibet that show the extent of torture and sick perverted punishments done to the tibetans by none other than the dalai lama and his theocracy. this dalai lama of course is not one of those type of people but he has had some strange deals in the past with the CIA which he and the CIA have both admited to. just for informations sake when the "peaceful protests" occured in tibet i didn't hear about the 5 chinese girls being burnt alive in a store by the protestors or the slash wounds caused by the protestors machetes. all i heard was about china cracking down on tibet. and there is not a single photograph or reputable report that shows the chinese army retaliating against the protestors the only pictures of police from NEPAL not china. tibet has to decide if they are willing to be part of china or go back to the dalai lama. tibetans gratefully use the chinese hospitals schools and aide. beijing also built the province a brand new railroad. they have equal treatment like the rest of the chinese citizens. if a tibetan destroys property and kills people he will be arrested; if a hmong destroys porperty and kills people he will be arrested; if a han destroys property and kills people he will be arrested. if china is so terrible to the native cultures why haven't the other 55 cultures complained? because they all see the ungrateful tibetans as sepratists trying to rip apart china. much like the US Civil War. did we want state rights or to be united? does the province of tibet want to be its own or does it want to be united? that is the difficult question. situations like this happen everywhere though scotland does not want to be part of the UK Quebec does not want to be part of Canada...the list goes on. hopefully there can be a peacful resolution of tibet wanting to remain part of china like it has for the past 1000+ years or if it decides to separate to do so gratefully without causing trouble.