Monday, April 07, 2008

Sport and Liberty are inseperable

In light of the protests over Beijing's crackdown on Tibetan protests and the protesters' attempts to extinguish or trip the Olympic torch bearer, Jacques Rogge, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chair has spoken out. Mr Rogge called on Beijing for a "rapid, peaceful resolution" of the Tibetan problem.

The IOC has finally got sense in its head!

I think everyone who has competed in sport would realize what the IOC belatedly realized and the Beijing government (as well as most governments) can never realize is that sport and liberty are inseparable.

The athlete wants to be better than his/her best and that can only be achieved in total freedom. This is the same freedom that citizens in democratic countries enjoy.

We can thank the protesters for waking us up on that truism. Olympic sport and probably all sport has become big business and of course the politicians benefit from it. Nation-states would use sporting events as a stage to demonstrate their superiority. An Olympic historian once wrote that Hitler still casts a long shadow on the Olympic games. The torch relay through several nations started at the 1936 Berlin games.

The video footage of a triple ring of security protecting the torch as it passed through London should lead the IOC to reassess how Olympic bids are awarded. London police made up the first ring, some IOC personnel the second and the interior ring was made up of Chinese security personnel.

The next stop of the flame is Paris. Expect the French brand of militancy. The government of Nicholas Sarkozy has promised to protect the flame with the kind of security given to George W Bush!

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