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Monday, April 7, 2008

China’s PR Olympics Torched By Protesters

posted by on April 7 at 9:39 AM


Security officials snuffed out the Olympic torch and carried it through Paris in the safety of a bus at least five times Monday before canceling the final run of a relay repeatedly disrupted by chaotic protests against China’s human rights record.

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I agree. Good. I am tired of everyone saying "the Olympics is about athletes, not politics." I believe there are examples in past Olympic history that prove the Olympics can be about both. Now is the perfect time for other countries to voice their displeasure with China, after the Olympics China can once again thumb their noses at the rest of the world--but right now China needs the rest of the world in order to pull off the Olympics.

Posted by PopTart | April 7, 2008 10:28 AM

For whatever it's worth, the Chinese people in Beijing are starting to get pretty fed up with all the crackdowns there because of the Olympics. Smoking bans (they all smoke like fiends), drug busts, closing whorehouses, etc., etc. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 7, 2008 10:42 AM

This monetary and political spoogefest that we call the Olympics is headed for some serious reality. Either forget about the whole thing, or set up standing summer and winter venues, and be done with it. This will happen, would be nice if it happened in some nice controlled way, and not by necessity or force.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | April 7, 2008 10:48 AM

You know, back in '01 when Beijing was chosen, everyone knew that this was exactly the kind of shit that would happen. If they'd gone with Toronto or Paris, we could all just go back to sleep.

On the other hand, I may actually watch more events than mens' diving this time around, as I'm sure some clever fellow will make a scene during the games. Or I may just catch that particular even on YouTube.

Posted by Gitai | April 7, 2008 11:56 AM

Like what #4 said, the potential for protest by the athletes - or less specifically, a spectacle - will just about be the only to get American's to actually tune into this. I just don't think we get all that jazzed at watching our athletes place on the podium anymore - they've been expected to for so long.

But athletes exercising their right to protest - a right not afforded to most, is actually something somewhat unifying, at least IMO.

The single black glove in '68, the man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square, those are lasting images. But so far, footage of the protesters at the torch runs in London and Paris is NOT helping their cause. What I saw was a pack of men descending on what appeared to be a young girl and attempt to wrestle the torch away from her, and some some idiot clumsily blasting an athlete in the face with a fire extinguisher. (those aren't toys kids, you can asphyxiate or suffer sever frostbite from that gas).

Posted by Dougsf | April 7, 2008 12:57 PM

You can always count on the Parisians to riot

Posted by Shilo Urban | April 7, 2008 2:14 PM

@5 - Mexico City and Tiananmen Square were both individuals standing still, which made them powerful and memorable photos. All of the torch run footage has been a bit too chaotic to provide an iconic image like that.

A medal winner donning their Dalai Lama mask on the podium, or a diver taking a crap off of the 10m platform into the pool would be etched into our memories forever.

Posted by Mahtli69 | April 7, 2008 3:45 PM

#5 is right. This isn't good. Peaceful protests are fine, but attacking people and throwing debris at a guy in a wheelchair? WTF people? That is not good.

Posted by booji boy | April 7, 2008 5:43 PM

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