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Don't fear Beijing boycott
Jim Wilson and Rebecca Williams
March 19, 2008 12:00am
FEARS of an athlete boycott over Beijing's stifling smog and China's Tibetan crisis have been watered down by senior Australian Olympic powerbroker Kevan Gosper.
Gosper, who's also the vice-president of the Games coordination committee, has moved to allay concerns athletes may pull out of the Beijing Games.
And in the light of China's poor human rights record, Gosper also has called on protesters not to target the Olympic Torch Relay that will include an Australian leg in Canberra on April 24: "The relay is symbolic of the Olympic movement and doesn't reflect on China or any host city for that matter. I am urging protesters not to vent their anger and frustrations on the relay," Gosper said.
Gosper said the crisis in Tibet would not result in a repeat of the 1980 Moscow Olympics athlete boycott.
There are growing concerns a number of athletes will pull out of Beijing due to the latest clashes between Chinese police and Tibetan protesters.
"Boycotting the Olympics is not the answer and there are no credible reports to suggest any country or Olympic committee is considering a boycott of the Games," Gosper said.
Gosper said the $16 billion being spent on air quality measures will ensure other athletes don't follow the lead of marathon world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie.
The Ethiopian star withdrew from the Olympic marathon last week because of health risks associated with Beijing's pollution.
World swimming champion Libby Trickett (nee Lenton) said the Australian team would have an extensive support network to help cope with August conditions.
"I'm not going to worry myself about those things because at the end of the day there is no point, you can't control the environment," Trickett said. The Australian Olympic Committee is taking more than 50 medical experts and will have a 24-hour recovery centre on the outskirts of Beijing.
Herald Sun, 2008, 'Don't fear Beijing boycoot', < http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23400278-14822,00.html > (accessed on 20/3/08).
[ 本帖最後由 michaelyw 於 2008-4-11 10:27 編輯 ]