Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympics losing credibility

That the Chinese have lost all credibility amongst the people is a given. Folks all around are discussing stories about how the Chinese went about hosting the Olympics. Children were snatched away from their parents so they could be trained for the competition. Apparently, the Chinese officials were looking for certain physical profiles and any child fitting them was simply taken away from their homes and trained rigorously for the Olympics. Perhaps the under aged Chinese gymnasts were some of them. The fakery in the opening ceremony was well published, lip syncing singers, CGI fireworks etc. There are also stories of how the stadiums and other facilities were built. Communities were bulldozed, houses were torn down, people were simply asked to leave because their houses were in the way of the plans for Olympics. The Hans were too engaged in putting up a show than to care for their people, but then, when did they ever. Quashing Tibetian protests, heavy handed diplomacy and the general intolerance of anything unfavorable does not help their cause either.
All that effort does not seem to have paid off for the Chinese. Not the least financially. If seat occupancy is anything to go by, there not many spectators. The Chinese do not seem to have made much money in ticket sales. And surely, making arrangements, providing security, facilities for the various officials, athletes, tourists and making cosmetic changes to their cities may have cost them a lot.
With the cost increasing in hosting the Olympics, it won't be a surprising if there aren't any takes in the future. Obviously, security is going to be the biggest concern for everyone, the rising cost of fuel will increase transportation costs and huge infrastructure costs may just not make the Olympics economically viable.
And then there are talks of massive corruption in the IOC. The controversy with under aged athletes and the IOC not handling it properly, repeated doping scandals, allowing China to host the games apparently gives people an impression that corruption has a big hand in the functioning of the IOC. The Olympic charter is losing its meaning. It has now become a quest for medals at all costs (doping, snatching and training under age children) than spirit.

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