It's completely INSANE that China was allowed to host the Olympics. Given the well-known human-rights violations in SO many areas, given the well-known oppression of their people...HOW, in good conscience, can the OIC POSSIBLY have awarded this honor to one of the WORST and most immoral countries on the planet?
In 1982, one of my cousins was bound for the Olympics, and as I understand it, her name was a big one; EVERYONE knew she'd be going. She was a diver, and the day before Trials, she suffered an unfortunate landing in training, and the resulting broken bone broke her chance for the Gold...and her heart. She couldn't face four more years of the same regimen of training only to come so close and meet the same disappointment. She chose to move on with her life.
I remember clearly watching the 1982 Summer Olympics, watching my cousin's sport, completely awed by the athletes, and I announced that day to my parents that one day, I'd be an Olympian, too. Because SOMEONE had to be. Why not me?
Well, I have resigned myself to the fact that this will never happen, yet in my years of adulthood I DID achieve a certain elite training and have come, through that, to appreciate the amazing sacrifices and dedication of Olympians. I've also become a person of faith, which affects me not only spiritually, but socially as I cannot look at the world we live in and remain aloof.
Let's just cut to the chase:
When I see the Chinese flag, I see the blood of the Chinese People.
The flag that welcomes the athletes, the dignitaries, and the visitors is red for a reason, and EVERY time each of us looks at it, we must remember the people of China in their subjugation to the oppressive and deranged communist leaders who deny not only their dignity, but their very basic human rights...even their lives.
A long time ago, an important leadership concept came to my attention; never ask anyone to do what you would refuse to do or could not do. To do so is hypocrasy. But the idea goes beyond leadership and into everyday life and colors our decisions and opinions.
Taking into consideration my cousin's great disappointment and my own forays into serious athletic training in the past (not Olympic-bound - not the same goal), I took an objective look at the Olympics in China. Sure, I could look at it ideologically, even positively. But in the end, I've had to concede that this event does more for the current Chinese Regime than it does for the beautiful Chinese people.
There's a lot of ideology out there; you have a lot of people, even good Catholic authors using the tired argument that "the Olympics doesn't HAVE to be political...."
Well, right. I agree. It doesn't HAVE to be...but the fact that politicization isn't required doesn't change the reality that it IS and REMAINS a political event.
We cannot use the idea that "The Olympics don't have to be political." It's a strawman argument and it can go up in the same flames a match applied to a scarecrow would generate. We live in the real world and we have to see it as such, not as the fantasy world of "what we'd prefer it to be." We can't react to fantasy; we can ONLY deal with what's happening before our very eyes, and if we don't accept it, we can't encourage change.
China isn't doing this for the goodness of her people. China isn't hosting the Olympics for a financial boom. They aren't doing it out of "goodwill", for the latter has to arise out of a true desire to do good...and the objective documentation on human rights failings on the part of China leaves "goodwill" out of the equation.
The people of China deserve something good...so why are they suffering in the shadows of the Olympic stadiums?
Because the Olympics aren't about them. They are about China's use of what Nazi Germany used when they hosted the Olympics, while, in the meantime, they slaughtered thousands of people in death camps.
Yet, their hosting of the Olympics gave them a positive spin in the world, and people were willing to overlook what was REALLY happening because, well, Hitler had such a pretty face when his country hosted the Olympics...he couldn't be THAT bad, could he?
I can think of thousands upon thousands of souls, some still living, who would disagree.
The Nazi Olympics are happening again, folks. And sure, the Chinese government, just like Nazi Germany, is putting on a pretty face. Just recently a man from Minnesota, a prominent and beloved local businessman, was murdered in China by a random deranged killer. And the Chinese government, reportedly, has been just wonderful to his wife who was also severely injured. The government has been incredibly helpful to the family and is providing the best medical treatment available. And that's good..that's exactly what they SHOULD do.
But they won't do this for their own people. And I doubt, if they were there as tourists and not for the Olympics, that we'd be seeing this face of the government; they likely wouldn't take personal interest at all, and we wouldn't expect them to do so. Things happen to people who visit America, and our government doesn't "adopt" them and issue press releases, do they? It would be a full-time job and a news channel would have to be dedicated to all the events.
So, this event alone seems to point to the fact that the Chinese government is over-extending itself in an attempt to "prove" how good and benevolent it is.
ON THE ATHLETES
I don't fault the athletes for competing or for being there. They worked hard to be there, and this is a dream of a lifetime. Congratulations to all, and God bless them. They are living history and will forever look back on these events, but I fear that what China is and will become after this event will also forever taint their memories when they come to realize what was happening in the country that hosted them.
Much like being hosted by a mass murderer and being sent away unscathed. Survivor's guilt.
In musing about this, I tried to, using my experience and knowledge gained from memories of my cousin, place myself in the shoes of an olympic athlete. I've written fiction about being in that very place, but now I change the idea; what if the event was...China?
Knowing what I know, knowing about the underground Catholic Church, knowing that women are forced to have abortions due to the one-child limit legislated by the Chinese government, knowing that they recently killed a Bishop...I'd have to weigh it. Getting to the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime event that happens only to the fewest, and the best of the fewest.
To be counted in that number...wow. Humbling. Amazing. Not something to discount. You can ONLY get there by putting your heart and soul into it.
But knowing all that I know...I honestly believe I would turn it down. I would walk away and ask other athletes to do the same. Not without tears, not without a struggle for I would know what I was giving up. But I would also realize that if I competed, I'd be competing upon soil bloodied by my own Christian brothers and sisters, and through my willingness to participate, I'd be legitimizing the government's actions against them.
Thus, my actions would be a betrayal against my own people. And I, as a Catholic, claim the Chinese as my brothers and sisters in Christ.
If they are being slaughtered, I have no business being friendly with their murderers. The ONLY thing to do is to walk away and use my position as an athlete to make a very public stand and declare a very public condmenation against the Chinese government.
I have not watched the Olympics. A couple times I have briefly had the channel on, although the event wasn't one I care about, yet I still feel guilty even for that. I have watched the medal count, and I'm glad when America does well. And it is KILLING me to realize I won't be able to watch the equestrienne or swimming or gymnastics or track competetions. Because, if I say I wouldn't be willing to compete...then I can at least make the sacrifice of not watching those who do. Even though it has no financial impact upon anyone.
I can't watch the Olympics this year. At all. Because, through this post especially, I am saying that the venue is immoral, thus, so is our participation.
I wish the athletes of all nations well, and I pray good comes out of this event. But I can't give acquiescence to it because the host is the next thing to Satan Incarnate, and I certainly don't think that the Olympics should be held in Hell next time around.
Speak to Chinese Catholics and other Chinese Christians...they'll tell you that this year, the Olympics ARE being held in Hell.
And every time you look at the Chinese flag, take a really good look...because, if you were born under it, it could be your blood dripping upon the athletes that now tread on your grave or the graves of your unborn.