Monday, August 04, 2008

Umm, no John Furlong

Vancouver Olympic organizing committee boss John Furlong wants everyone to stop giving the Chinese a hard time, as the Vancouver games are coming up soon and people might start picking on us:

In an interview just before boarding a flight to Beijing, where he will take in the entire 17-day Games, Mr. Furlong played down the firestorm of criticism over everything from air quality to human-rights abuses in the authoritarian country, including the furor late last week over continuing Chinese censorship of some Internet sites. In another blow before the Beijing Games, 16 Chinese police officers were killed yesterday morning in a violent attack in the Muslim region of Xinjiang, in what authorities called a “suspected terrorist plot.”

At the same time, VANOC knows only too well that when the last drum has been pounded at the conclusion of the closing ceremonies in the famed Bird's Nest Stadium, the spotlight will shift immediately to the next Olympic city, Vancouver. As the world has focused on every twitch and turn, good and bad, leading up to these Olympics, so too will it begin to scrutinize preparations for the 2010 Winter Games.

“You suddenly realize you're up next, and every move we make will be analyzed and spoken about,” Mr. Furlong said. “For us, the end of the Games in Beijing is the signal that we're on the straightaway, and the training time is almost over. There's no doubt we're going to be coming back home with a considerable new level of scrutiny and weight.”

Unless you're planning on suppressing human rights, censoring the media and pumping the skies full of pollution during Vancouver 2010, I wouldn't worry about it John. In the mean time, issues of human rights and broken Chinese promises about media freedom should continue to be raised, and the Chinese government (and the IOC that gave them the games) should be held to account.

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Skinny Dipper said...

John Furlong doesn't want to upset the Vancouver Olympic sponsors. The Olympics are about selling products such as Coca-Cola to us fat slobs. The athletics are just a sideshow.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Hosting the Olympics will put Canada under the international microscope. Our failings wrt the environment and aboriginal relations will rightly be subject to international scrutiny just as China's Tibet policy and filthy atmosphere have been focused upon this year. Canada's First Nations policies and the tar sands will be focused upon leading up to 2010 -- whether or nor we criticize the Chinese.