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Why I Support A Beijing Boycott.


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I don't know what your head are thinking... Beijing and China gov't are trying their best to host a successful Olympic Games for the world. They work so hard and do so well from the beginning. But you still can't change your Prejudice on China.

Yes, you may not like our gov't, but you should know that the Chinese Gov't have made 600 million people out of poverty within 30 years. They lead 1.3 billion people to a richer life. No mater you admit or not, the Communist Party of China is the most successul one in the nowadays world. China is getting more and more Prosperity. I don't care your bad words about China. What we Chinese should do now is hold a wonderful OG and make our country better and better.

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I have a question: if an athlete were to protest during a medal ceremony, say holding a Tibeten flag or something along those lines, what would happen? Would the IOC let it go or would the Chinese be in a position to pressure the IOC to punish the athlete?

I actually am half expecting protests by athletes during the games that will make Mexico City look like a Sunday picnic. The athletes have a very large forum if they and a global audience and quite frankly, since it is, by all accounts, their show, what could be done to punish them?

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I have a question: if an athlete were to protest during a medal ceremony, say holding a Tibeten flag or something along those lines, what would happen? Would the IOC let it go or would the Chinese be in a position to pressure the IOC to punish the athlete?

I actually am half expecting protests by athletes during the games that will make Mexico City look like a Sunday picnic. The athletes have a very large forum if they and a global audience and quite frankly, since it is, by all accounts, their show, what could be done to punish them?

It's a good question, and it might depend on the particular country they are representing. I know that some NOCs are requiring their team members to sign contracts forbidding them from making provocative statements or actions. But there have also been some back-tracking by some countries who have tried to do that, but the public outcry has been too high about it.

I too really do expect we'll see protests along those kinds at these games. I'm sure it's going to be aflshpoint at some time in these games.

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He would get disqualified, i suppose...

Disqualified? For a personal statement? This is not flashing a sponsor or an advertiser on your warm up gear, it's a personal statement and certainly does not affect the results of the event. The only time in my memory the IOC has ever stripped anyone of medals was due to drugs altering the performance. Not even the Black Power protesters lost their medals.

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Disqualified? For a personal statement? This is not flashing a sponsor or an advertiser on your warm up gear, it's a personal statement and certainly does not affect the results of the event. The only time in my memory the IOC has ever stripped anyone of medals was due to drugs altering the performance. Not even the Black Power protesters lost their medals.

because is PERSONAL.

the opinon of the athlete is personal and all respect that, but he's not in a private party or in the tv program or interview, he is in an OG and there are rules.

and if autorities let that, the next OG would be just a protest place and it would lose their attrative, because in a OG the main reason for its success is that there's like a kind of harmony and not protest for one reason or another.

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This is the Australian policy (and a pretty wishy-washy one at that):

Members of the Australian Olympic team will be forced to sign an agreement that means they will have to ask permission to comment on human rights during the Beijing Games.

It comes as the monk-led uprising in Tibet focuses attention on China's record ahead of the Games in August.

Australian Olympic officials say athletes will not be gagged from making political comments, but the Lateline program has revealed they may be sent home if they do not ask permission first.

One part of a 53-page agreement that all athletes going to Beijing will have to sign says: "Unless and until otherwise directed by the Chef de Mission, athletes may comment or communicate with the media only in relation to their events, prospects and performances at the games."

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) media director Mike Tancred denies the rule amounted to a gag.

He told ABC TV's Lateline program that the rule is designed to stop athletes criticising team mates, such as during the Sally Robbins incident in Athens.

"We want them to talk about their own prospects and performances, thank their mum and their dad, their coaches, but not to be critical of their team-mates or other teams," he said.

The Olympic Torch relay is scheduled to pass through Tibet in six weeks on its way to Beijing.

Team Darfur

2004 Olympic finalist Michelle Engelsman, who is hoping to qualify for the Beijing team in next week's swimming trials, is a critic of China's human rights record.

She has joined Team Darfur, a worldwide group of athletes raising awareness of China's support for the Sudanese regime responsible for violence in Darfur.

The Tibetan uprising has added to her concerns.

"To be going into a country that has massive rioting and death going on, that's definitely something to be paying attention to and be concerned," she said.

"But I think the biggest thing to come out of that is greater external pressure to allow foreign media in, to allow the UN to go in and have a look at what's happening and really push for human rights."

She says the way the Chinese government's dealt with the uprising amounts to a broken promise.

"Those are promises that Beijing made when they applied for the Olympics, that they would allow foreign media in, that they would improve their human rights record," she said.

Engelsman says she was made aware of the rule restricting comments to the sporting arena when she first made the national team in 2001.

"Quite simply, you're not an expert and it's not your place," she said.

"So that's nothing new and I can appreciate the need for that."

Olympic spirit

Engelsman does not want politics to overshadow the Olympic spirit and the efforts of the 10,000 hard-training athletes who will compete in August, so she is not opposed to the rule.

"Because we are there as a representative of Australian and the AOC, that does take away some personal opinions in that regard," she said.

"Anything that I may want to comment on or anyone may want to comment on, they're doing that as an individual and then they risk the ramifications involved, which could be being sent home."

Lisa Forrest, who led the Australian team to the 1980 Moscow Olympics, says athletes should not be used by political interest groups.

As team captain in 1980, Forrest defied Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's orders to boycott the Moscow games.

"I think that any attempt to stop an Olympian from speaking out is wrong," she said.

"If it's not going to be a whole effort on the part of government, of business, I don't think the athletes should bear the brunt of having to protest about it."

ABC

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I don't know what your head are thinking... Beijing and China gov't are trying their best to host a successful Olympic Games for the world. They work so hard and do so well from the beginning. But you still can't change your Prejudice on China.

because the people who want to boycott (that if they get that, is another question) think that China is the evil, and the USA, europe and the western are good children. :lol:

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Giving you the benefit of the doubt, why then did people continue to watch after the Black Power protests in Mexico City? Or the US basketball team refusing the medals in Munich? Or after the 1980 and 1984 boycotts? Or the screwing refering in boxing in Seoul and Barcelona? Or...

Well, you get my point.

Bottom line: can the Chinese government force the IOC to punish any protesting athletes?

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Bottom line: can the Chinese government force the IOC to punish any protesting athletes?

No. The awarding and the protocol, etc., are all owed to the IOC. If anything happens on the podium, I think the best the Chinese can do is just point the cameras at the flags.

Well, what's her face -- Bjork -- I think was just hustled outta the country. The Chinese will find ways; and they'll survive it. Hey, if the Olympcis endured the Black Power salute and the terrorism in Munich, it will SURVIVE something like protests at their medal ceremonies.

Been there; done that.

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Angola is said by Human Rights Watch to have "lost" $4 billion of oil revenues between 1997 and 2004, and in 2004 the International Monetary Fund got it to agree to manage that income more transparently.

But just before the big signing of this deal, the Angolans told the IMF it could keep its cash and leave town: China had just offered it a $2 billion loan, no questions asked.

... 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...

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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So if Chicago wins in 2016, those against the invasion of Iraq (if in case that goes on till then) should also boycott the Games?

An incredibly touchy subject, and while in a perfect world the Games shouldn't be politicized, that is inevitable.

It would be nice to see come August 2008, it would be all about the celebration, the sports but that is one dream that can never be achieved.

I just hope that Beijing is prepared to face these protests and pressures. Knowing they had detractors, they should have built in a contingency plan into their organizing of the Games, for protests and the like. I'm sure there are even more of these in the coming months leading up to the Games.

A boycott would only be unfair for the athletes, the people of Beijing and the sponsors. I think awarding the Games to China thinking they'll give more liberties to their people is a bit messianic for the IOC. (If that was their reason) But still I think all of us are hoping for a positive impact and change and I guess that can be brought about if 2008 goes on as planned.

I'm against a boycott. It’s counter productive, and will only bring about more division. I’m sure Beijing is aware that the world is and will be watching.

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Well, to be fair, unlike with China, the United States will be under a new President by the time of the vote in the first place and in all likelihood, assuming the Democratic Party wins in November, the status of US involvement in Iraq will change.

China hasn't budged one inch since JAS gave them the Games finally and if anything are becoming more beligerant as the Olympics draw near. Unlike Athens, the venues are ready and the IOC won't pull the Games unless a war breaks out. Pity the poor people in China who are forced to live through this, they really have no choice.

So if Chicago wins in 2016, those against the invasion of Iraq (if in case that goes on till then) should also boycott the Games?

An incredibly touchy subject, and while in a perfect world the Games shouldn't be politicized, that is inevitable.

It would be nice to see come August 2008, it would be all about the celebration, the sports but that is one dream that can never be achieved.

I just hope that Beijing is prepared to face these protests and pressures. Knowing they had detractors, they should have built in a contingency plan into their organizing of the Games, for protests and the like. I'm sure there are even more of these in the coming months leading up to the Games.

A boycott would only be unfair for the athletes, the people of Beijing and the sponsors. I think awarding the Games to China thinking they'll give more liberties to their people is a bit messianic for the IOC. (If that was their reason) But still I think all of us are hoping for a positive impact and change and I guess that can be brought about if 2008 goes on as planned.

I'm against a boycott. It’s counter productive, and will only bring about more division. I’m sure Beijing is aware that the world is and will be watching.

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So if Chicago wins in 2016, those against the invasion of Iraq (if in case that goes on till then) should also boycott the Games?

An incredibly touchy subject, and while in a perfect world the Games shouldn't be politicized, that is inevitable.

It would be nice to see come August 2008, it would be all about the celebration, the sports but that is one dream that can never be achieved.

I just hope that Beijing is prepared to face these protests and pressures. Knowing they had detractors, they should have built in a contingency plan into their organizing of the Games, for protests and the like. I'm sure there are even more of these in the coming months leading up to the Games.

A boycott would only be unfair for the athletes, the people of Beijing and the sponsors. I think awarding the Games to China thinking they'll give more liberties to their people is a bit messianic for the IOC. (If that was their reason) But still I think all of us are hoping for a positive impact and change and I guess that can be brought about if 2008 goes on as planned.

I'm against a boycott. It’s counter productive, and will only bring about more division. I’m sure Beijing is aware that the world is and will be watching.

Great point , the problem for the United States on a Boycott is that in 1984 China showed up for the Games rather then join the Eastern bloc in a tit for tat boycott over Moscow 1980 . It would certainly be a backhander for the Us to turn around and punish China in 2008. China basically holds the mortgage on the United States. Considering the United States invaded Grenada in 1983 countries worldwide could have taken the same stance on the US on that action as was taken on the USSR. Personally I think Chicago 2016 could lose because of Iraq because no matter who is elected president in November Troops will still be in Iraq in 2009 or the time of the 2016 vote.

Canada is not going to boycott simply because it will rule themselves out of their own Winter Games according to rules on boycotts set forth by the IOC since the Boycott era of 1976 to 1984. Boycott and you are excluded from the games for the next Games four years later.

Britain could suffer the same fate for London 2012 if they were to boycott. Without the US, UK and Canada there is not much traction for a boycott. Russia is not going to Boycott after all they have a human rights record that is in step with China LOL

so really it is a point that is mote.

jim jones

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No. The awarding and the protocol, etc., are all owed to the IOC. If anything happens on the podium, I think the best the Chinese can do is just point the cameras at the flags.

Well, what's her face -- Bjork -- I think was just hustled outta the country. The Chinese will find ways; and they'll survive it. Hey, if the Olympcis endured the Black Power salute and the terrorism in Munich, it will SURVIVE something like protests at their medal ceremonies.

Been there; done that.

More like the Olympics surviving Avery Brundage. A Man that wanted to continue that Games in Munich without blinking an eye to the terrorist attacks and murders of the Israeli Athletes. The Black Power Salute well another example of how you cannot idealistically dream Politics out of the Olympics.

jim jones

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The UK can't possibly boycott the Beijing Olympics - Gordon Brown wasn't due to attend the Opening Ceremony anyway, he will attend the Closing Ceremony though to see London's performance. Princess Anne will be there of course, as a member of the IOC - her daughter is also one of those expected to do well in the Equestrian Three-Day Eventing in Hong Kong.

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Canada is not going to boycott simply because it will rule themselves out of their own Winter Games according to rules on boycotts set forth by the IOC since the Boycott era of 1976 to 1984. Boycott and you are excluded from the games for the next Games four years later.

Britain could suffer the same fate for London 2012 if they were to boycott. Without the US, UK and Canada there is not much traction for a boycott. Russia is not going to Boycott after all they have a human rights record that is in step with China LOL

so really it is a point that is mote.

So why weren't the Americans excluded from the 1984 Games exactly? Can you show where such a rule, if one exists, came in?

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I don't know what your head are thinking... Beijing and China gov't are trying their best to host a successful Olympic Games for the world. They work so hard and do so well from the beginning. But you still can't change your Prejudice on China.

Yes, you may not like our gov't, but you should know that the Chinese Gov't have made 600 million people out of poverty within 30 years. They lead 1.3 billion people to a richer life. No mater you admit or not, the Communist Party of China is the most successul one in the nowadays world. China is getting more and more Prosperity. I don't care your bad words about China. What we Chinese should do now is hold a wonderful OG and make our country better and better.

Nobody has questioned the economic progress China has made in the last few decades. What we do question very strongly, however, is the methods used by the regime (I won't call it a government, because government to me implies democracy) to suppress alternative streams of opinion. Until the Beijing regime improves its record in these areas, the questions will continue to be asked. The protests will grow louder and the criticism will intensify.

The spotlight of the world is on Beijing and China this year in a way that it has never been before. The wider world wants to see that China is changing for the better. Not just economically, but socially, culturally and most importantly of all, in the way it treats people who don't swallow the party line. What we're seeing so far does not offer much hope.

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Hi folks. Been reading but not posting.

I am now very proud to say I support any athlete that chooses to not attend the games in China. I have struggled with the fact that really enjoy the Olympics and what it stands for, and its importance not only for the athletes but for the world. The games are truly a time to celebrate, and humanity generally displays its positive characteristics.

Given recent events, I know that we are dealing with a China that is as brutal as it was ten years ago. This China believes in peace, justice, freedom, or human rights no more than it did ten years ago, when it promised to improve its record. That promised secured enough geopolitical pressure to lock up the games it is scrambling to host.

I don’t think any government should force its athletes to stay away from the Beijing games. There may be some athletes who choose to go to the games, and given their living circumstances I can understand. This is a livelihood for many, and they depend on the games to live. Maybe this should be a wake-up call for some of us to review how we treat our athletes who choose to dedicate their lives to representing our nations through amateur sport. They deserve more support and if they choose not to attend these games, they should not suffer.

China should be ashamed of their management of the situation and occupation of Tibet. We should be ashamed of believing that China could change, and believing that the painted grass and green skies correspond with the Olympic spirit.

I haven't poured through the pages of responses yet, but I don't think a boycott is the answer. That will hurt the Olympic movement and the athletes in general.

But, I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of stripping Beijing of the Games. I'm sure Paris could throw together a rather quick an easy Olympics with just 6 months to go.

;)

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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?

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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.

This reminds me a lot of what Kevan Gosper in Australia said. It seems they will not give a straight answer. It seems no IOC member is prepared to say straight out: Will athletes be allowed or not to comment on pol;itical matters in Beijing?

I wonder if journalists will be able to ask political questions or athletes their opinions at the press conferences? Or will any such question be vetoed by the IOC rep at the conference as being "'innapproriate"?

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Yeah - that will become very interesting - I have the impression the different NOCs got a kind of directive from Lausane, how they should answer question about, what is allowed and what is not allowed in Beijing...

What annoys me on the interview is that Bach implicated the USA into the discussion about China - I esteem that as a kind of try of distractions away from the "own faults" - on the other hand it is right that the IOC can't be an organisation, which decide what belongs to human rights and what not.

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I have another question in Germany the sponsors of Olympic Games are getting more and more under pressure by the media - they are asked if they fear a loss of their image, when the consumer are connecting them with the deeds of the Chinese government.

How is it in other countries?

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