On the 4th of August this year, China’s capital, Beijing, will witness the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics. The fact that activist groups – ones supportive of the struggles of the people of Tibet, Burma and Darfur – are calling for a boycott is old news. The question of whether they should be staunchly supported or not is what hangs onto my mind but before that…
I present to you the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games’ slogan: “One World One Dream”.
“One World One Dream” fully reflects the essence and the universal values of the Olympic spirit — Unity, Friendship, Progress, Harmony, Participation and Dream. It expresses the common wishes of people all over the world, inspired by the Olympic ideals, to strive for a bright future of Mankind.
Bla, bla, bla. Okay, we get it. It’s just so, ah, very deeply moving.
The main reason I’m reluctant in supporting the boycott movements is because of the athletes. They’ve trained so hard and waited for so long to participate in these games in order to achieve their golden dreams. I respect them and admire their determination. The hosting location of the games isn’t their fault.
On the other hand you’ve got a huge bunch of people suffering thanks partially to China. Tough decision huh? Well no, not really. Not unless you get all emo about it and allow yourself to be swayed by sentiments in favor of the athletes.
I know what I want. In this case I primarily want to see an end to the Darfur crisis. We’re steadily moving towards that direction although the pace has definitely been excruciatingly slow. Part of the reason we’re heading down this road of progress is because of the effective pressure that has been applied on China.
I don’t know about you but I’d like to see it continue. As for a boycott actually taking place, I don’t believe there will be one. Won’t happen. This is actually a secondary reason why I’m not willing to invest time and effort in supporting the boycott movements. Khartoum officially accepted the UN-AU troops. Of course it’s doing the best it can to inflict the UN with a continuing wonderful headache.
At the moment China isn’t worried about a boycott. Politically, it isn’t feasible now especially after Khartoum’s positive decision. What China is worried about is bad PR. It wants the Olympic Games to be a success and an image booster. Yup, sure thing. Good luck with that!
Lovely slogans and sparkling branding aren’t going to work I’m afraid, at least not with me. I’m simply not feeling it. I love the essence of the Games but I believe their true spirit this time is going to be tainted.
And hey, you know what? Just for the sake of it, instead of a boycott, I have an even better idea. Why not start a movement demanding the Olympic Games be shifted to Taiwan instead?