Life, Running, & Medicine.
Notes on life as I see it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Democracy, human rights a backburner issue in Beijing

The 2008 Olympic Summer Games had what most would agree was the most awe-inspiring Opening Ceremonies.  Truly a gargantuan assemblage of human capital and technology to make it fly and it went off without a hitch.  Some would even say it was intimidating to Americans to see such a demonstration of national ability and pride by another country, and a red country nonetheless.
However a story that quickly fell of the radar to Page 6 news seems to overshadow the whole affair: Joey Cheek (2006 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist in 500m speedskating) was denied his travel visa to China just hours before his trip.  Also refused for travel include Kendra Zanotto (2004 USA Synchronized Swimming Team), Chris Boyles (decathalon and soccer), and Brad Greiner (Water Polo turned model turned activist co-founder of  From what everyone can tell, and what is public information, it looks like the only reason for the visa revokation was the three's involvement in, a human rights website promoting awareness and peace in Darfur.  The Website was founded by Cheek and Greiner, among others.  It has a following of over 400 registered world-class athletes who have signed up in support.
The Chinese Government has taken heat for multi billion-dollar investments in Sudan (mostly for oil) while ignoring the humanitarian crisis, many say they are enablers of the genocide.  China denies wrongdoing of course.  It is a huge hypocrisy to host the Olympic Games and disallow peaceful activism.  Somehow this made news on the TV networks for about an hour then I never heard anything more.  I almost assumed it had been resolved.  I feel like the world media outlets have a greater responsibility to the people to carry this story a little further.  NBC I am disappointed.

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