Saturday, August 23, 2008

The cost of the Games

I chose to blog exclusively on the Olympics during the Beijing Games from my interest in politics and social justice.

I read the bible as a social justice treatise, espousing the highest ideas of humanity and what God would want for us here on earth.

I believe politics is where social justice takes effect, and so, if we want to live in a just society, we must take an interest in the society's politics.

The IOC, which had its roots in politics, but now is nothing but an image and a brand, promoted the awarding of the Olympics to Beijing as an opportunity for China to start addressing its social justice issues.

Not surprisingly, organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International were concerned that China may use the Games as a pretext for even greater suppression of its people.

To address these concerns, the IOC had the Chinese government agree to conditions addressing human rights and social justice issues.

At this late state in the Games, it is obvious the Chinese government had no intention of meeting its commitments.

Much worse though, is the revelation the IOC is completely ineffective in addressing anything but the protection of its image and brand, and has been complicit in assisting the Chinese government's suppression of its people.

IOC President Jacques Rogge has repeatedly claimed the IOC is "a sporting, not a political association."

If so, what was the point of having the Chinese government agree to do anything but host the games?

And what will happen the next time the IOC imposes conditions on a host city which go beyond the purview of sports logistics?

Related Links

IOC gave nod to website censorship [Toronto Star]
China, IOC pay the price of Olympic hubris [National Post]
IOC to focus on sport not politics in Beijing: Rogge [CBC]
IOC 'sporting, not political association': Rogge [China Daily]

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