A hostage to the Olympics

March 09, 1994|By Wei Jingsheng

THE reason the word Olympics is respected all over the world is that it is full of humanitarianism and represents the good and honest nature of mankind.

But there are exceptions.

Just as many malicious things are committed under the guise of good intentions, the Olympics, a magnificent thing itself, conceals many evil doings contrary to the Olympic spirit.

One such case involves a Chinese citizen, Qin Yongmin, who was arrested and illegally put in a labor camp for opposing the government's bid to play host to the 2000 summer games.

It is known to everyone that I supported China's Olympic bid. However, I am thoroughly against the use of force to suppress those opposed to the bid.

So far there has been no reaction to the arrest of Qin Yongmin from the International Olympic Committee, of which China is the largest member country, and all of its subcommittees.

So I am unable to judge whether the IOC still upholds the Olympic principle. I am also unable to judge if the Olympics are a nonpolitical sports event or a political game.

In bidding for the right to play host to the Olympic Games, some people resorted to violent means. That someone was arrested and given a prison term for expressing his views about the Olympics is an indication that the movement and spirit have deteriorated.

One case of this deterioration, overlooked deliberately in the 1930's, gave backing to Nazism, which caused the biggest setback in the history of the modern Olympic movement.

As an ordinary sports fan, I call on members of the International Olympic Committee and the IOC's member countries, as well as all sports fans, to pay attention to and intervene in the case of Qin Yongmin.

Wei Jingsheng, China's most prominent dissident, was released September after 14 years in prison. This was translated by the Beijing bureau of the New York Times.

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