Friday, August 08, 2008

0808 Let the Games Begin

The start of the Olympics.

Usually I’d be really excited. I’d be all set to sit down for the next two weeks glued to my TV to watch as much of it as possible. I’d be going through sleep depravation to see all the event live. Staying up until midnight and maybe even beyond. I’d have the DVD recorder all set to record them. I’ve been recording the Olympics since 1984. First on Beta unfortunately not all of the tapes made it over to VHS. Now on DVD.

But this time around I have to say I’m not all that interested.

I’ll watch but not with a great deal of enthusiasm. The main reason is I think it is completely wrong that the International Olympic Committee awarded them to China. To me it is just a bad idea. You can start with the struggle over the air quality. To the relocation of people to build the venues. To, and this is the most important thing, the Chinese record on human rights. Tibet comes to mind. The support of Sudan. The totally ridiculous action of revoking Joey Cheek’s visa by the Chinese government because he is such a threat to China. The American team responded by naming Lopez Lomong, one of the Sudanese “Lost Boys” and a member of the anti-genocide group Team Darfur to be the American flag bearer.

The equally ridiculous contention by the Chinese government that the Olympics is no place for politics when that is exactly what the government is using it for. What they mean to say, but can’t, is that there is no place for politics in the Beijing games if the politics in any way shape or form criticizes China.

So will I watch? Yes I will because I really enjoy the Olympics. Because I had the great pleasure of attending the Olympics in Atlanta and it truly is a spectacle. But I have to say I won't be as enthusiastic this time around.

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