TITAN EDITORIAL: Olympic-sized mistake

In Opinion

The protests are just the tip of the iceberg.

Serious problems arose for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing seven years ago – when a committee choose to hold the games in Beijing.

With only four months to go, the people of the world are speaking out and political pressure is coming from all sides.

It seems that no one wants the games to be held in Beijing. That is, except for the Chinese government. And why wouldn’t they?

This was supposed to be China’s big coming-out party. With more than a third of the world’s population, the communist state is starting to emerge as a major player on the world stage.

And just like Adolf Hitler had envisioned in the 1930’s, China saw hosting the Summer Olympics as a way to show off their achievements and claim their place as the next superpower.

But, like so much else in life, the idea has proven to be far more desirable than the reality.

The glitter China’s newly elevated status in the world masks the foul underbelly of its inner workings.

For one thing, China is the second-worst polluting country in the world – just behind the U.S., according the British news Web site telegraph.co.uk.

In at least one area of the country, people have to close their windows before going to bed at night, lest they literally wake up covered in soot.

This and other pollution horror stories have made many athletes question whether they should be competing in such a harmful environment.

Haile Gebrselassie, the world record-holder in the marathon, has said he will not run in Beijing for fear of the damage it may cause him.

Other runners have said they will compete wearing masks over their faces to keep the soot and other contaminants out of their lungs. Aside from pollution, facilities have also been an issue.

In accordance with the Communist philosophy, there is no private industry in China. Any and all construction must go through the government.

And no one has ever accused a government of getting things done quickly.

Now, protests around the world are drawing international attention to China’s pitiful human rights record. But it could be worse. The games could have been held in Iran.

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