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Old 07-30-2008, 06:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
Adequate Swag
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The number of issues arising within weeks of these Olympics is simply outrageous.

The air quality is downright unnacceptable. I was viewing pictures of downtown Beijing as recently as yesterday, and it's just ridiculous. The air pollution index (I think that's what it's called) is supposedly hovering around 100, and apparently 50 is considered healthy in most countries.

Also, journalists are not being given the right to total information accessibility, as they have found plenty of sites blocked by the Chinese Government (including places like Amnesty International, the BBC's Chinese language site, and most humorously, Fire Joe Morgan)

Both of these issues are in direct conflict with promises China made prior to being awarded the Olympics. Yet the IOC, predictably, can't really do anything at this point.

Now, if I'm an athlete with a lower public profile than a Michael Phelps or a Lebron James (guys who a) can afford to miss an Olympics and b) have the ability to affect change moreso than most) I still go, because the shelf life of an Olympic athlete is way too short. Most of these Canadian athletes are students or hold other jobs, and dedicate their personal lives to training in sports that offer little monetary compensation or career potential. Most also have one, maybe two chances to go to the Olympics in their life, and as it represents the apex of their craft, it's hard to expect anyone to pass it up.

But attention does need to be drawn to the fact that the Chinese Government's promises made to get the Olympics have been shown to be a total farce. A couple athlete boycotts would certainly do that trick, although I'm thinking that the American media should have us covered on that front.
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