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Citius Altius Fortius

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  1. Today I read a very interesting interview with the German vice president of the IOC - I translated it myself and I hope you understand it (I am not a professional translator) - I would like to add that I don't share all views of Thomas Bach. F.A.Z. - „Jeder kann sich äußern - außerhalb der olympischen Stätten“ 26. März 2008 The vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and president of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB) vaunts the freedom of opinion – in the limits of the Olympic Charta. Thomas Bach speaks in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung” about Sports in the political context and the long silent of his president. It is said in the Olympic Charta: Every way of demonstration or political, religious or racist propaganda is forbidden in the Olympic sites. What is allowed for the athletes in Beijing – and what is not allowed? The charta instructs political neutrality, due we don’t want, that dictatorships or teams of autocratic countries do advertising for their leader. Mature athletes are able to express themselves on press conferences of their teams or in discussions in the Olympic village. If a gold medal winner of Beijing dedicates the medal to the oppressed nation of Tibet in the international press conference – will he/she be disqualified? The freedom of speech of the athletes is guaranteed. Everybody is able to express himself/herself.. But: the Olympic Sites have to be free of every single political statement. Is the press conference an Olympic Site? I do not speculate about hypothetical individual cases. But it would be interesting to know where the limits of this elastic clause are. That is not a elastic clause. It is explicit. If many athletes start in orange in reference to the monks cowls in Tibet – will he/she be disqualified? Again: I do not speculate about hyp1othetical individual cases. Who will decide during the Games, if it had been a forbidden political statement? The executive of the IOC, in which is an athlete deputy, too. The Chinese organisation committee has nothing to say in this decision? No. IOC representatives aren’t to dispose to make a political statement about the conflict in Tibet. Why does the IOC believes, that it has to be apolitically. Politically neutral. But not apolitical. Of course we act under the political circumstances. So IOC-President Jacques Rogge didn’t have to keep quite a week, in which the Chinese potentates call sometimes for fight and sometimes they appeal on the Olympic charta? Take the statements of Jaques Rogge. Or let us take the statements of the German Olympic Sport Federation from may 2007 or from Monday, then you will find clear words about the not satisfying situation of human rights, against all kinds of violence, the call for an immediate abdication of violence and a solution through a dialogue. And you will find a remark of Jacques Rogge about silent diplomacy, which he maintains. There are a lot of statements – perhaps not like one or another wants. Calling for compliance with the Olympic rules – that is very general. A demand of adherence the basics of the Olympic charta – for example discrimination – would be wishful. The calls are very clear. We understand under compliance with the Olympic rules the compliance of the covenants by China, too. For example the possibility for 25,000 journalists to enter China to report about the Games – not handpicked by the Chinese authorities but by accreditation of the IOC. But at the moment there is no freedom of the press. All foreign journalists had to leave Tibet. Therewith the covenants had been broken. The covenants are restricted on the time of the Olympic Games and for accredited journalists. Wasn’t the IOC very proud on the loosening of the rules for foreign journalists in China prior the Olympic Games? Yes. These loosening is very welcome, like it is very unfortunate, that China thought, that it has to cut down the coverage about Tibet, now. If you look at it, how the Chinese potentates speak about harmony among nations in connection with the Games in these days – don’t you get the fear of to be abused? Freedom of opinion is valid for everybody. And everybody is able to draw conclusion, what it is said in speeches. It can’t be a job for the IOC to set rules in this matter. By the way I ask to think about the final question and not to stick to symbolic deeds in the whole discussion. The final question is: How is it able that sport can make a contribution for an improvement of the situation? But not with keeping out of… But not with a boycott for sure. There are other ways how sport can contribute. About what are we talking right now? About Tibet. Why? Why identifies the whole world with this problem. Due the Olympic Games will take place in Beijing. But this can’t be the sense of Olympic Games. Sense of Olympic Games, that is a good catchword. If you want to give the Olympic Games the sense to solve all problems of the world that is wrong. That is not their business and not their claim. It is the creation of dialogue. And the opportunity that the problems are introduced to a broad public. Good. Isn’t that a political motive for the awarding of Olympic Games. Of course. Like I have already said, political neutrality, but not apolitical. But the awarding of the Olympic Games to Beijing wasn’t political neutral. You can’t demand from the IOC members, that they make decisions without any consideration of the outside world. Every intelligent person has to know, that the awarding of a event with the dimension of Olympic Games will have a political impact. You can’t turn a blind eye on that. But that did the IOC-president Rogge for a week in the light of the newest incidents. He stayed silent until Easter. Isn’t that a weak performance? He has expressed himself. But he had been out of the office. He had been on a business trip and was asked about the situation during the press conferences in the different countries, but these answers had arrived fragmentary, since the world press wasn’t there. But isn’t there a public relation/press department in Lausanne? . . . We understand your silent as you won’t want to criticise your president. Exactly. Since there is no reason for that. What are you saying to critics, who claim, that the IOC can’t withdraw Beijing the Games since financial reasons? I resist this. The IOC could cope with a cancellation of the Olympic Games. To build up reserves was one of our mayor tasks in the last years. Wouldn’t it be right in sense of responsibility for the athletes not to award Olympic Games to dictatorships? First of all: the IOC is not a world government, which differs the countries in good and bad. And if you say: that human rights has to be considered of a country, before it can host Olympic Games. How would you deal then with a country, which is on war on a foreign continent without legitimation by the United Nations, that imposes the death penalty and where the secret service is allowed to torture by an explicit intervention of the president?
  2. ... and we should keep in mind from where the $ 2 billions come from: the western industries esteem China as the largest market in the world and as cheap production place...
  3. Wouldn't it be great if there have been a GPS-signal from the torch and you can follow the relay around the world and in china on a map? Of course this map has to be updated every 15 minutes (or something like this)
  4. I have to admit that I am a little bit superstitious - the organisators of München had the idea to implement a new tradition at the opening ceremony - "Ekecheirija" - München 1972 - with MP3-file (below) - well this Ekechereia had been broken...
  5. Something comparable with the quote in the German new website is on the BBC-website, too: Why should the IOC mention this if it doesn't want to give the impression to the western countries that something will change? BBC - Olympic torch lit despite protest
  6. I am not sure about that, since on the German news Rogge is quoted with (source below): translation: The IOC hopes, that the conflict about Tibet will be settled peacefully as soon as possilbe, the Games could be a catalyator for changes in the country. I would like emphasise that I know that Olympic Games can't do that - I am just annoyed about the IOC, that it tries to "defend" its decision to hold the games in a dictatorship and still "claiming" that the country might change with these games... Tagesschau - Erste Störung auf der "Reise der Harmonie" (First disruption on the "Voyage of Harmony"
  7. Of course the IOC can't change anything in China, but it sowed the hope in the western nations, that China change a little bit with the Olympic Games, due it wanted to take the wind out of the critics sails - now it has to face the music...
  8. I misunderstood you... mhh - then I suppose Rogge mentioned it today, due the IOC were criticise in Greece about this...
  9. ... mmhh - isn't there a part in the article about the couragous firemen, who saved Olympia? quote from the IOC-website: :lol: you are right
  10. I hope the IOC is aware about the possible loss of prestige...
  11. By the way I didn't find a word about the demonstration in Olympia on the IOC website - that is really awkward - I think the IOC would be well advised to mention that - this behaviour could be misinterpreted as censorship...
  12. well - I think the most interesting thing is how the IOC reacts - to defend its decision for Beijing seven years ago the IOC generated the hope to improve the human rights in the PR of China to take the wind out of the western critics sails. Now it becomes more and more evident that the IOC promised, what it can't acquit... I do not support a boycott, but I demand something more than such lip service by Rogge - the IOC has to face the music, which it brought onto itself...
  13. well - it seems that the IOC is getting more and more in a difficult situation and I wonder what it will do...
  14. well - I think the IOC is trying to do what it could, but on the other hand I think it is taken an easy way out of this matter - the IOC selected China as host and knew that the communist party spurns human rights. Therefore I demand something more than this "weak" press release (of course I know that this has to be done behind close doors)...
  15. On German TV it was said that Exile Tibetans want to disturb the torch relay. I think the IOC will get in more and more problems - it will become very interesting how the organisation will react...
  16. Does the incidents in Tibet have a "NO GO" impact on a potential bid of Harbin? What is with Sochi 2014? Russia is not really a democracy - Chechnya is not Tibet, but I wonder if the IOC will behave differently (of course behind close doors)
  17. I think it is much more interesting what kind of conclusions the IOC has drawn behind close doors... e.g. I wonder if it will give Olympic Games another time to a dictatorship? or if it had learned not to raise expectations, which Olympic Games can't fullfil? Of course Rogge would rather swallow his tongue than to say something about that, but what do you think?
  18. It would be great if Olympic Games had such impact, but we can't assume it... Imagine China would say now, that Tibet gets autonomy - the western nations would applaude - then the Olympic Games come and would be a marvellous success - in november the chinese army would invade Tibet again - what could we do? Nothing... Therefore I think a boycott of the Olympic Games would be counterproductive - the chinese people have to get in contact with western visitors and athletes... The change must come from inside China - from the Chinese.
  19. When Beijing was chosen 7 year ago it was clear that the PR of China won't change into a democracy until August 2008, but it was predictable that something like now would happen in Tibet. But back to your question - no it is not "enough" for me, since I think that the Chinese government didn't fight back as hard as they could, due the government fears the public opinion in the western world. If I boycott the Games now, then the Chinese government doesn't pay any attention anymore toward the public opinion in the western world - I will even watch the Olympic Games very closely!
  20. mmhh, o.k. I understand now what you mean - I am on the standard of knowledge that nobody of the western athletes is forced to participate in Bejing - they can choose, but they have to bear in mind that their sportive careers depend on their participation at Olympic Games. That is a very difficult question since I am not in the situation of an athlete, who is member of the olympic team - an athlete has to decide not only if four or more years of work out/training was for nothing but also if their future will change, because of a boycott (you don't get commercial contracts without success)... No, of course not, but do you think they would be informed by the Chinese media, that some athletes decided to boycott the Games? I doubt that - I think the biggest chance to change China is, that western visitors and athletes go to China as much as possible and get in contact with chinese people. The chinese government won't be able to control every single private contact between citizens of Beijing and foreigners = therefore the western visitors and athletes are might be able to sowing the seeds of democracy...
  21. Passthedutchie, I understand your point of view, but what do you expect of a boycott? What do you think will the CCP do, if the western nations boycott the Beijing Olympics? Do you think it would stop the violence in Tibet?
  22. I think a boycott would be counterproductive The PR China wants to accomplish its "deserved position" in the world and tries to use the Olympic Games for this task, therefore it has a huge interest to host the "best Games", but to reach this task it depends on the public opinion outside the PR China. A boycott would mean a reversal of this dependency on the public opinion outside the PR China. E.g.: isn't it strange that the Republic of China can elect a new president this weekend (together with the election is a referendum if the Republic China should ask for UN-membership under the name "Taiwan") without the PR China hasn't started a huge navy maneuver in the sea strait between CHN and TPE or shot some misseles? I think the PR China wants no headlines in the western media.
  23. I think it is more important that sport organisations (like the IOC) don't suggest anymore that sport events can change something in the politics of the hosting nation, due that is out of their power...
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