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Darfur vs. Olympics | Politicizing the Games

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On February 16, 2008 @ 9:24 pm In Green Report / Media | No Comments

A day after Steven Spielberg announced the withdrawal of his participation in the Beijing Olympics, citing China’s lack of commitment to resolving the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, China defended their policies, saying the atrocities in Sudan had no connection to this summer’s sporting event.

International officials agreed, saying the Olympic games should not be “politicized” and asked that the urge to raise sensitive issues be resisted.

When asked his opinion, President Bush stated that the director’s decision to withdraw was personal and “up to him”, adding that, in spite of his own concerns over the lack of speedy international action in Darfur, he was planning on attending the Olympics, which he viewed merely as “a sporting event”.

“On the other hand, I have a little different platform than Steven Spielberg,” the President told the BBC, “so I get to talk to President Hu Jintao. I do remind him that he can do more to relieve the suffering in Darfur.”

Spielberg, who’s had a very successful career merging entertainment with political issues that are important to him, said he felt China should be doing more to pressure Sudan into ending the crisis that has left more than 200,000 people dead since 2003.

But the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) said a line should be drawn between the event this summer and the atrocities. “Linking the Darfur issue to the Olympic Games will not help to resolve this issue and is not in line with the Olympic Spirit that separates sports from politics.”

Should politics be removed from the Olympic equation? That’s up to your conscience.

(via CNN)

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