Monday, March 31, 2008

I hate when politics... too large a part in sport (Jacques Villeneuve 1971-)

I've developed a severe pain in the hoop with all the talk of China and whether or not we should boycott the Beijing Olympics. The coverage of it is hard to escape and has intensified beyond belief over the past two weeks first with the beginning of the torch's journey from Mount Olympus to Athens and now Beijing where is was lit this morning. The story of its trip so far is one of protests, calls for the Games to be moved or scrapped and of countless people getting their heads kicked in for taking part in free-Tibet demos.

I really think it's a terrible pity but not for one moment suggesting we should ignore the issues of China's Human Rights violations, child laws, media suppression and the frequent bating of students but surely it's not right to politicise sport or perpetuate the notion that athletes, most of whom have dedicated their lives to making these games should now turn their backs on competing at the highest level.

I had the pleasure of spending two weeks in China last year and time and time again encountered ordinary decent people all of whom are awaiting the arrival of the Games with a sense of nervous anticipation, keen to demonstrate to the world the great strengths of a magnificently proud nation. A population down to the very last who have gone out of their way to eliminate aspects of their culture that the West would find unruly as well as embracing English with gusto, a phenomenon that would have been unheard of years ago. Surely it would be as equal an injustice if they, as with the athletes, were to be robbed of their chance in the spotlight?

Anyway you might remember I used to blog here once upon a time - sorry for lack of postage, I'll endeavour to get back in the saddle

1 comment:

  1. I tell you what Tib, having done the immitation, it takes ages to do one of your type posts with all the links so I'm not surprised you don't get to post as much, but at same time, get back in line, tsch.

    The whole sport & politics goes back forever unfortunately, and at the end of the day the sport suffers. In retrospect, was anything gained from the Cold War Olympic boycotts? But at the end of the day I'll tune in for some gymnastics and swimming and hope for some ridiculous D list sport that has an Irish contender to follow.