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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

boycott beijing 2008: cheek refused entry over darfur.

Times Online:

Joey Cheek, an American Olympic gold medallist who has been leading a campaign to stop China from trading arms with the Sudan, has been refused entry to the Beijing Games.

Cheek, who won gold in the men's 500 metre speed skating event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, has recruited nearly 400 Olympians and former Olympians worldwide to his cause, called Team Darfur, and was refused a visa at the Chinese embassy in Washington yesterday.

"Despite the fact that I've always spoken positively of the Olympic ideal, and never called for a boycott or asked an athlete to break an IOC rule, my visa was revoked less than 24 hours before my scheduled departure," Cheek said. "The denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur."


Skinny Dipper said...

One thing I notice about Canadians and the Olympics is that I don't see Canadians wearing Beijing Olympic T-shirts, hats, shorts, or pants. I don't see us buying drinking glasses at gas stations supporting the Olympics. Even official sponsors seem to be low key in supporting the Beijing Olympics. I look at a Coke can and see a bunch of stylized lines that is supposed to look like some Chinese scenery.

I don't care about the opening or closing ceremonies. I don't care how Canadian athletes will perform. I do care about people who lost their homes without compensation can't speak freely because they live in dictatorial country. Athletes can trample on the ground where homes used to be.

Sadly, the Olympics are just a marketing ploy to get the Chinese to buy consumer products.

Athletes who will be wearing Speedo LZR outfits will be breaking Mark Spitz's 1972 swim records. These athletes deserve an asterisk* for their achievements. Heck, give me an LZR and I can probably break Spitz's records.

I'll be supporting Canada's athletes by going to the neighbourhood swimming pool wearing a real manly eye-catching speedo (oo-ah or yuck)--not a friggin' LZR penguin outfit or boardshorts that go down to my ankles. I am supporting Canada's athletes because I am an athlete myself (with a little pot-bellé). We all are if we want to participate in athletics.

Live the Olympic dream; go outside and play.

Grokodile said...

Well, doesn't that suck. At some point they, the government, eventually have to "lose control", don't they?

Luigi Pollio said...

Politics do not belong in sport. Period. If I was an athlete that trained most of my life for this one moment, I'd be right choked at the intellectuals sitting at home telling me to give up on my dream because the host country is being naughty.

dipper- "Athletes can trample on the ground where homes used to be." That is hilarious. How much sacred ground has been desecrated on Canadian soil? Take up that cause. Think locally, Act locally.