Another Olympic Boycotter
Posted on August 7th, 2008 in current events
I’m normally quite excited about the Olympics, but this year I’m really quite dismayed. I don’t think I will be watching them at all. I’m sure I’m not the only person feeling this way, either.
The first Olympics I remember were the ’88 Calgary winter games. I don’t actually remember watching any events on tv, but I remember that we got a set of glasses (drinking, not specs) from Petro Canada that survived in our house for about a decade. Thinking back, my dad may still have those.
Four years later, the winter games (from Lillehammer, I believe) were taking place while I was attending a winter camp. I was 11 that year. The theme of camp that winter was, of course, Olympics. I was on team Denmark, and I won a “gold medal” in cross country skiing.
So while I’m definitely more enamored with the winter games than summer, I still have enjoyed the summer. Four years ago, I was in university during the games, and I posted the entire schedule on the wall of our living room, so we’d know when we could watch the events.
But this year just doesn’t hold that magic for me. I have never been a huge fan of the country of China, and I was actually disappointed when Beijing won the bid to host this year’s games. I don’t remember who else bid, but I remember thinking others would be more appropriate.
Why isn’t China an appropriate choice? Well, their human rights policies are a huge issue for me. I have always been a supporter of freedom for Tibet, not to mention how they treat their own people. And it’s not an issue of communism, because there are other communist nations in the world that I don’t take issue with. Political affiliation doesn’t necessarily relate to the policies the government chooses to institute.
China’s environmental record is also appalling. They promised the IOC that they’d have their act cleaned up by the time the Olympics started, but they barely even bothered. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that China made any public effort towards the environment. And at that point, their efforts were basically futile. You can’t forbid half the cars from the roads and shut down construction sites temporarily and expect it to have any drastic or lasting results.
So unfortunately, I just can’t support it this year. I apologize to the athletes, I still support them. But I won’t be watching any events on tv, or listening to any coverage on the radio.