Let the Games Begin

Finally, after the posturing, campaigning and general hoohah the Olympics kick off tomorrow.

As an aside – the Opening Ceremony is FIVE hours long. Clearly stage one of the mighty Chinese charm offensive is to bore us all to death.

Great to see before a race has been run, a hammer been tossed, Jacques Rogge asking people not to use the Olympics for propaganda purposes. Wish his own IOC had thought about that before allowing China to launch the most expensive propaganda campaign in history.

Great to see George Bush having a go about China’s human rights. Let’s leave aside the hypocrisy of that and imagine that he does mean it. In that case he really has nothing to lose by making a real stand: You didn’t need to get on the plane George!

Great to see China asking people not to interfere in the internal politics of another country. Pretty much what people in Tibet have been saying all along.

It has actually been heartening to see that some of the athletes have signed an open letter condemning some Chinese policies. A bit more of that would be good: The athletes deserve this stage and I think they should use it however they see fit – even if that means refusing to be bullied by the IOC.

I vaguely know one of the British protesters who was arrested after climbing a pole and unfurling a Tibetan flag (it seems such a quaint protest). You’ve got to admire their guts and dedication. You might disagree with their methods. You might not even agree with their cause. But we should at least applaud them for providing such a global antidote to the apparent apathy of a generation.

Question: Will I watch the sport? Yes I will. The athletes dedicate their lives to reach this stage. I think they deserve our support. It is not their fault that the biggest event of their careers is run by a cabal of, at worst, corrupt bureaucrats or, at best, ignorant incompetents.

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