Here we go again. Yep, it’s that time of the year where people start complaining about the Olympics again. But not because of the budget being blown or drugs being abused or even the smog in the streets. No, this time people are on about China and their human rights record. And they are questioning why China got the Olympics to start off with. How could a country with such a human rights record get the Olympics? And of course it isn’t the people in China complaining. No, they don’t have that opportunity. They can’t say anything because the state controls what they are allowed to say. And even if they could complain we would still not be able to hear it because the state controls the media and Internet.
But at least the Olympic Committee has come down hard. They made it clear that they will take action “if and when there are things which are brought to our attention that are not in line with our values“. That’s put them in their place. Don’t mess with the Olympic values. That is sacred and everyone knows the importance of these values. Right?
You would expect to find these values quite easily. I mean, this is the Olympics. They will have their values right on the front of their T-shirts. Scribbled on their hands for quick reference. And on the back of their business cards. But why don’t you go and try to find them on their website quickly. Just click here and come back when you find it.
You back? Good. I had a good supper in the meantime. And a little siesta. It wasn’t where you expected it to be was it? It wasn’t on the front page. Not even a link on the front page. Did you do a search for values? Found references, but very little else. Not the actual values in black and white. Well, let me help you out a bit.
The values are a bit hidden. You have to go to the Olympic Charter to find anything. On page 12 you will find the Fundamental Principles of Olympism. And here they state clearly that “any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement” and “belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter“. So that clear then – you are out of here if you abuse human rights.
And China has one of the worse human rights records in the world. They are ranked by Freedom House as equal to Zimbabwe. Worse than Iran and Iraq. And way worse than Nigeria and Venezuela. Human rights are not only abused. It is spat on and locked up with the keys thrown away.
Human rights are as easy to find in China and Zimbabwe as the values of the Olympics. You heard of it, but you just can’t find it. So the Olympic Committee made it clear. You can get the Olympics if you are as good as China when it comes to looking after your people. And they owe us an Olympics after stealing it from Cape Town the last time around. So come on uncle Bob. Make us proud. Bring the Olympics to Africa. The Olympic Committee made it clear that you are good enough to fit in with their values.
I think I will go for a run now. If he is good enough for the Olympics then I should be good enough to qualify for the marathon. Go uncle Bob – you know a bit of both. Running for a long time and values that fits an Olympian.