I can’t believe what a bunch of numpties the International Olympic Committee are. They are, allegedly, the most esteemed leaders of sporting endeavour the world over. Former athletes, coaches and sporting mentors gathered together representing all that is good in the sporting world. That was until 2002 when they awarded the games to China’s best loved and most polluted city Beijing. Now, as we are a few short months out from the games the protests have started, and the IOC and China are crying foul…
Let’s first look at what the Olympics stand for. I did a bit of a search on the interweb and discovered this most interesting of facts on Olympics.org – their own website. Below is a quote copied directly from said webpage – it is part of their own charter.
Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
So, can someone please tell me, when the games were given to China were those old men at the IOC asleep in their luxury chairs – chairs that were probably gifted to each member by the Chinese delegation – did they decide that China’s gross abuses of human rights to it’s own people and the illegal occupation of Tibet equaled (and I quote) “respect for universal fundamental ethical principles?”
China have been the boss of Tibet for between 60 and 700 years, depending on who you believe. China says Tibet has been a territory since the 14th century – Tibet says it hasn’t. Tibet suggests it was, in fact, an independent nation between 1913 and the Communist invasion of 1949 or thereabouts. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong in this scenario, what is clear is that it is very easy for a massive superpower, such as China, and, more recently, the United States of America, to unilaterally invade a smaller nation, such as Tibet, or Iraq. Invading Tibet must have been sooooo hard for the Chinese back in 1949. Bhuddists the world over are well known for their violent, bloody outbursts and ferociously brutal resistance when faced with situations of this nature. What is also clear is that the international community has been sadly lacking in their condemnation of this, and other, occupations.
Whoopdepoop, I hear you say. What has this got to do with the Olympics? Let me draw your attention to the Berlin games of 1936. Mr A. Hitler, leader of the Nazi regime, used these games as a platform for their message of hate. Thankfully a ridiculously fast Jesse Owens was able to gazzump Hitler by winning 4 gold medals and outpacing even the fastest Arian.
If the International Olympic Committee thought that China was going to consign their javelin of oppression to the javelin container of history because they were awarded the 2008 games then they are, as I have previously mentioned, a bunch of numpties. China was only ever going to use it to promote their own prowess as an international sporting, and thus, world superpower. It happened back in the days of East vs. West when everyone looked on in horror as 14yo East German female gymnasts took out gold after gold after gold thanks to strict training regimes and testicular-based strength. Being atop the medal table at the end of the games is the only reason you turn up. The country that ends up there is the best in the world. At everything.
I was watching breakfast television this morning, not really known for it’s ability to get down and dirty with the more controversial of topics. A featured guest was the head of the Australian Olympic Committee who suggested that the games should be free of political statement. He said those people protesting the Chinese occupation of Tibet at the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Greece shouldn’t have. He said now just wasn’t the right time. What a dick! Any protester worth anything knows in the current world of a mass globalised media, the best time to mount any kind of protest and provide the world a glimpse of your point, is when thousands of journalists and cameramen are right in front of you. You don’t wait until they go home to wave your Tibetan flag. You wave it while they are there.
These days more journalists than athletes turn up to an Olympic Games. This year’s games was already a political statement long before any Free Tibet protester began making their point. If you want to condemn a Tibetan for wanting a free homeland, you might as well give up on democracy and adopt whatever system they are using in the United States (Free and fair elections? My arse. The person with the most money wins, they always do. And another thing: the US were so keen to invade Iraq when Saddam invaded Kuwait, why don’t they invade China in retaliation for their invasion of Tibet?).
I don’t believe I will be watching the Olympics this year. And good luck to the athletes trying to slice their way through the carbon-based air of Beijing. Although I wouldn’t put it past the Chinese authorities to ban the use of motor vehicles and coal-fired power stations in the coming months in an effort to clean up the air.
Good luck Tibet. May you become your own country very, very soon.