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Beijin Olympics 2008 – Why?

So, I was just watching the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan (I live in Akita City, Japan), and I have to say that it was great to see such a world athletic event in a nation like Japan. From what I saw everything was well run, and from what I know about Japan I’m sure the athletes and other competitors were well taken care of. For the most part people can do what they want, say what they want, and not have to worry about the government taking action against individuals. Also, you can walk outside in Japan and not lose a lung – even in Osaka. This brings me to the issue of the day…the Beijin Olympics of 2008.

I have nothing against Chinese people, and wish them all the success that the statistics show their country is having. That being said, I hope one day more stringent requirements are actually enforced regarding a host city for the Olympics. This is not some small time event. This is the preminent athletic event in history – bar none. I will not go back and judge history and listen to, “Well, Berlin was host to this event while Hitler was in power.” Done with, gotta move on from that. I will say that we should learn from that. Why is Beijing a host city making China a host country when so much is “wrong” with China? Okay, I get that China is a world manufacturing power and is home to great amounts of investment from multinational corporations. I’m cutting to the mustard here because other stuff is nonsense to me, like the U.S. going into Iraq for weapons of mass destruction and liberating a people – ridiculous – the oil was the mission.

China has a lot of work to do regarding basic freedoms, manufacturing oversight, environmental concerns, the list goes on. The Olympics are supposed to be a celebration of openness, cultural enlightenment, cross cultural interaction and competition. China gets a nod on competition, but fall away from the rest. Certain people don’t enjoy basic freedoms in China. I’m not talking about people on people oppression. I’m talking about government instituted oppression. Say something negative against the government and you might find yourself having a very difficult day. God knows (no punn intended) that the people of Tibet are not enjoying religious freedom, and economic prosperity. The environment in China is in dissaray and needs to be addressed. Economic success is great but when I can see sand on my wifes car that comes from China, I have to wonder what is going on over there. This is where the Olympics are going to be.

I guess it’s nutty for me to judge China because there are worse places for the Olympics to be. I just want a higher standard. If this means that the Olympics are held in Antarctica every year then so be it. Build a biodome and let them happen. I wonder if the athletes will spend as much money in China knowing that the goods could be contaminated or something? I guess it should be okay because China exports the contaminated stuff to other countries.

All countries have their upsides and downsides. I guess in China’s case I think the downsides outweigh the upsides. My inner optimist says, I hope China will turn a new leaf and push forward a platform of openness, true basic human freedoms, and environmental reform as a result from this Olympic effort being put forth.

Peace ya’ll

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