As a newspaper columnist for many years, I have had ample opportunities to reflect on the Olympic Games and their significance in the overall scheme of things, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what is happening regarding the Olympic Torch Relay.
The torch to me is a symbol of peace and a willingness to let go of petty differences, and not so petty differences, between nations and peoples to celebrate the achievements of great athletes from across the world. This year the symbol is tainted by protests that have gotten so violent that athletes have not been able to run, and many people have been arrested in London and Paris.
I agree that China’s record on human rights stinks, and I also agree that the International Olympic Committee could have picked a better site for the 2008 Summer Games than Beijing. What I don’t agree with is using violent protests to make a statement.
Even the Dalai Lama has asked people to stop the violent protests.
And for the sake of the games and the athletes who have been training for years for this opportunity to compete, I don’t think anyone should boycott the Summer Olympics. Politics has no place in the Olympics. It says so right in the Olympic Charter
So let’s find another way to let China know how much we deplore some of the government’s actions, especially in Tibet, and let the athletes have their day.