Friday, August 8, 2008

Going for Gold?

How do you feel about the Beijing Olympics?  I have to admit to an ambivalence and that I'm uneasy, hampering the enthusiasm I've had for previous Games.  For those of us with a conscience, it's hard to ignore the backdrop to this year's event.

Shocking stories of people who have been turfed out of their homes, to make way for the 'essential' building work - without proper recompense for having their ancient relic status property demolished - have been featured in the news, along with the phrase: "protest at your peril".  Human rights abuses abound.  Hardly a cause for celebration, however remarkable the opening ceremony.  The more serious impact on the lives of many of the country's residents detracts not only from the ethos and focus of the event but also from the humorous undertones in the recently published dress and behaviour codes for the Games. 

I'm still excited and thrilled for the UK's inspiringly delightful teenage sensation, 14 year-old diver, Tom Daley.  I'll be looking-out for Antonis Aresti in the Paralympic Games, as I recently met and interviewed his charming young coach, Efthymios Kyprianou but my enjoyment has been tarnished.

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