Friday, April 11, 2008

Great column

If you don't already read it, I urge you to take a few minutes and read Rich Galen's column today about the furor surrounding the Olympics.

Rich also provides a link to his "Secret Decoder Ring," which will link you to all the background pieces he mentions in his column.

Rich points out that, according to the International Olympic Committee, the Modern Games were reinstated in Athens in 1896 "to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

Rich writes that the goal of the Olympics is "a worthy effort which, unfortunately, has been -- as Hamlet said -- honored more in the breach than in the observance."


The IOC didn't just decide Tuesday afternoon to allow China to host the 2008 Olympics. They awarded the Games to Beijing in July, 2001 with Sports Illustrated saying:

"The International Olympic Committee put aside human rights concerns in making their historic decision, hoping to foster further change in the world's most populous country."
In other words, the outcry against China's human rights record is what the IOC was counting on when it awarded the Games to China. Far from overlooking it, the IOC sought to spotlight it, in hopes that the exposure to the freedom and prosperity enjoyed by the rest of the world would inspire oppressed Chinese to demand change in their communist society.

I mention some of this in my column tomorrow.

Take a few minutes and read Rich's column. It's entertaining and informative -- and you'll want to subscribe.