Each time the Olympic Games appears on the horizon people climb on the bandwagon to use the publicity of the games to highlight their own special causes.
In the case of Tibet of course there is *real* reason to protest regardless of the even and one can’t complain about the efforts being made to bring the suffering within the country to the attention of the world, even when this disrupts the passage of the ‘Olympic Flame’ as it cruises around the world publicising the event (as if it really needed any publicity!).
Activists have put forward the usual calls for various governments to boycott the games and not allow their athletes to compete… as usual this is utterly pointless because even if *all* countries refused to attend it would affect the Chinese government not one iota.
The time for making these futile gestures is long past and if governments were in the slightest part serious about influencing the Chinese government there are *far* more effective ways of doing it… for example refusing to trade with them!
Boycotts have never worked. Who recalls which countries boycotted the 1976 Montreal Games and why they did it? Who recalls the names of any that missed the Moscow Olympics in 1980? I’ll bet the numbers for both are *very* few. Yet who recalls Jesse Owens and the Berlin Olympics 1936?? Far more I’d warrant!!
If anyone remembers the Montreal Olympics at all it might be because of the astronomical cost… or perhaps because of 14 yr old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci and her astounding skill that produced many ‘perfect’ scores!!
Yet each time the Olympics rolls around there are more calls for boycotts, more protests, more causes jumping on bandwagons, more calls for the games to be ended and calls for almost anything and everything else to be enacted… except calls for more sporting participation!!
As far as I’m concerned the Games should be returned to Greece and found a permanent home somewhere on the mainland where each participating nation can contribute towards the upkeep of a permanent site, in much the same way as the United Nations is funded. If nothing else, perhaps that would help cut out a lot of the politicising of the games and cut the ongoing costs of creating infrastructure to a minimum.
At the very least it would stop lunatic suggestions floating about like the latest one we have in Australia that the Chinese are refusing to allow our athletes to take their ‘favourite food’ with them… i.e. Vegemite.
According to our Olympic Rep (John Coates) there will be ‘no problem’. Personally I have never understood why anyone would want to eat boiled road kill to begin with let alone cart it half way around the world.
I put it down to good old Australian sheer bloody mindedness, and the best of luck to them! 🙂