Friday, April 18, 2008

Olympics

Olympics is something that different people eagerly want to attach different significance to. But to the common people it is an exciting event where athletes from around the world come together and compete. There is the San Francisco torch bearer who saw the hope it represented in her fight against cancer; there is the Palestinian runner who kept up training in the midst of bullets and debris in Gaza; there is the Chinese American gymnast who looked forward to compete in her ancestral land which her mom left as a refugee 30 years ago. Are these hopes any less significant than those of the loudest protesters?

Recently many people raised the specter of the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany and the origin of the Olympic torch relay from that era. They are saying: forget Olympics -- it has always been hijacked by politics. Yes, that is probably unavoidable. But the passion for it from ordinary citizens and athletes worldwide is also genuine and positive.

The Olympics is also a great opportunity to further help China join the world community and to welcome its role in major initiatives, such as Darfur. China bashing is counterproductive, and many governments in the West really stand on flimsy moral ground when they point their fingers at China on issues such as human right violations, arms sales, support for undemocratic governments, and suppression of the native people.

Here is a collection of links to websites that present somewhat different point of view on Beijing Olympics and Tibet.

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