Controversy over the location of the 2008 Summer Olympics, to be held in Beijing, China, seems to be competing with the ideals and purpose of the games.
Leaders from all over the globe are being forced to choose between supporting the outstanding athleticism exhibited by athletes on their national teams and taking a stand in promotion of human rights.
According to CNN.com, the White House recently announced that President Bush will attend the opening ceremony for the games, which begin on August 8th, 2008. Other leaders, however, will be absent.
The Olympic Games represent union and togetherness, rivaled by no other event in terms of national pride and cross-culture competition. Each participating country fights for honor, power, and prestige, and weapons are not needed for victory.
Even so, the scale of the event may provide a perfect opportunity to speak out against injustices exhibited by the host country. After all, human decency should trump an athletic convention, right?
Gold medals seem trivial in comparison with the freedom of persons.
Needless to say, it is a difficult decision.
It would be nice to think that there could be a definite separation of sport and state, but certainly no line can be drawn. Politics, in the form of drug use, cheating, rule-breaking, relationships, and more filter in and become a factor of the games.
There are those who are out of the Olympics for love of humanity and those in it for love of the games. There are those who cannot decide, do not care, and do not know.
Though it is unfortunate that the games should have to be tainted by politics, the Olympics support fair play and the same concern about fairness should be applied to the political situation with Tibet.
I respect the authorities who are choosing not to attend and choosing to stand for fairness and freedom against a nation who denies both. Yet, on with the games.
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