China Revokes Visa of Gold Medalist Joey Cheek

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Trinity, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    China revokes visa of gold medalist, Darfur activist Cheek

    By Chris Chase
    Wednesday, Aug 6, 2008 12:13 am EDT

    Olympic gold medalist and outspoken Darfur activist Joey Cheek has had his visa revoked by the Chinese embassy, hours before the speedskating champion was set to fly to China. And he wasn't even planning on wearing a mask when he got there.

    Chinese officials don't need a reason to revoke anyone's visa but, in their eyes, they had plenty of reasons to snatch Cheek's. He is the founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes whose goal it is to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan. China's military, economic and diplomatic ties to Sudan have been well-publicized in the lead-up to the Games.

    Said Cheek of his ban in a prepared statement:
    "I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.
    Cheek was going to China to support the athletes on Team Darfur -- including soccer player Abby Wambach -- and to promote the cause, one that he has championed for years. After winning gold in the Torino Games, Cheek announced he was donating his $25,000 USOC bonus to Darfur and implored his sponsors to do the same. It seems that Joey Cheek is truly one of the good guys.

    And now he's out of China before he even got there. With the Games getting closer (just two days away now), the world seemed ready to forget about all the Chinese issues in order to focus on the Games themselves. Unfortunately, China's actions make that impossible. In a time when we should be wondering who will light the Olympic cauldron, whether Michael Phelps can break an all-time record and how Liu Xiang will react to the pressure of 1.3 billion of his countrymen hanging on his every step, we're instead left to discuss the Chinese government's reluctance to allow any dissension in their country, despite repeated promises that they'd clean up their act when the Olympics came to town.
     
  2. Mr. Snakey

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    The pollution is so bad in China everyone is wearing masks.
     
  3. koval

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    I still can't understand why the IOC gave China the rights to host the 2008 olympics. It was obvious from the beginning that they would not honor their commitments (look at their past commitment failures). They will only deal when it suits them or is in their favor.

    They're have so much placed on the olympics that they would actually lose face if atheletes pulled out just before the games begin. So in a way, by refusing entry to him for the games they have actually placed them in the spotlight (not what they like).
     
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I'm disgusted with the IOC about now. Giving the games to China was a horrendous choice. It's my hope that athletes will refuse to participate or refuse their medals in protests, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  5. SpeedoGuy

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    Does anyone here believe that the IOC awards Olympic venues based on the values of promoting international goodwill, sportsmanship and athleticism? Or could there be other rea$on$?
     
  6. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    other rea$on$ is the vote here
     
  7. Deno

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    well to begin with one of the things they attempt is to keep politics out of the whole thing it seems this is not possible for anyone to understand. I think China should have a right like any other country. I am just afraid with this day and age that something terrible happening there is evident. I think they spent 400 some million on just the birds nest. Millions lost on industry and people not allowed to use there cars to all cut down on pollution, I think China and its people should be commended for there efforts. It is a crime that China spends all this money on this event while millions live in pre civilized conditions. But then every country has it slumes gettos and homeless. If the US had a population of 1.3 billion I could not imagine how many unemployed and homeless we would have.
     
  8. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    I cannot agree...I don't support China's right to host the Games. I believe it is a privilege and not a right. There are certain conditions that should be met to host. The IOC allowed China to host so the problem is theirs. Air quality and even human rights abuses that fall under politics affects being a proper host. I do not wish to go to someone's home where I cannot breathe without being affected by pollution and where human rights abuses occur. It undermines everything that the Olympic Games stand for.

    It is disheartening that not much will change after all of this $how that China is putting on.

    I can only hope that like after Jesse Owens competed in 1936 Olympics, that the heart in the performance of the Olympians will ensue a change that no political diplomacy or military action could achieve.
     
  9. silvertriumph2

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    It is very sad, but the whole thing is a farse and a
    disgace!

    The idea that the IOC or China has ever, or ever will
    fully follow the high ideals of the original Olympic Spirit,
    is, unfortunately, hard to imagine.

    The IOC and the judges are too political, and of course,
    corruption in its ranks has come to light in the past.

    The Peoples Republic of China, or at least their leaders,
    are not believers of fair play, human rights, or any of the
    democratic ideals that most of the world follows, so in my
    opinion China should not have been "awarded" the Olympics.
    Plus, it was stupid to think that China would be able to clean
    up their invironment in time for the games....no matter how
    many people were displaced, conscripted to work on the
    projects, or the factories that have been closed or vehicles
    taken off the road AT THE LAST MINUTE. It is not a place to
    feel free to breath....in many ways!

    The IOC and China have been very irresponsible and extremetly
    unfair to the athletes of the world by submitting them to these
    unhealthy conditions. Let us hope that there will not be health
    problems occurring many years down the road due to the bad
    air and water the atheletes will encounter.

    In 1981 I spent a little over a month in China (BEFORE cars came
    on the scene as they are today.....at that time there were only
    bicycles (millions) and the only vehicles/cars on the road, I was
    told, were official government ones). I had to wear a gauze mask
    90% of the time. After about 30 minutes the mask was black with
    soot and junk! I used 3 or 4 of them a day and still had lung and
    breathing problems for 4 to 6 months after I returned home. No
    where did I ever find the air quality acceptable. It was awful!

    I don't know what to say.. I would love for the games to be
    boycoted by the world. Or at least during the games the athletes
    should show their distaste for China's actions with regard to the
    revoking of Olympian Cheek's visa. But, then what are we to expect
    when even the world press, the access to the internet, protests, etc.
    etc, etc, are being limited or stiffled....so these games should be
    very interesting.

    I have bad feelings about these Olympic Games....I hope I am wrong.
     
  10. TwasBrillig

    TwasBrillig Member

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    I agree with ST2 regarding the air pollution in and around Beijing. I spent quite a bit of time in China from 1986 through 1989 and even with very few cars on the roads air particulates were extremely dense. Much of that was due the use of soft, "dirty" coal.

    That said however, any sovereign nation has the right to deny entrance of anyone for any reason.
     
  11. Rikter8

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    Ya know... everybody should just quietly get up and leave.

    Host the olympics somewhere else. Who needs all that Fancy shit. It's about atheletes being able to do incredible things, not all the flowers around the stadium.
    Let them sit holding the bag.

    That might send a message to China that, "Ya know what, we won't put up with this"

    I know if I had a bad dinner host, I'd just leave peacefully and head down to Quiznos, to salvage my dinnertime meal.
     
  12. b.c.

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    Perhaps the stripping of Cheek's visa has little to do with China's attempt to keep politics out of the Olympics and much more to do with this:

    Al Jazeera English - Africa - Chinese 'arming Darfur conflict'

    "The Human Rights First report said that Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and ammunition for rifles and heavy machine guns have all flowed into Darfur.

    China sold Sudan $55 million worth of small arms from 2003-2006 and has provided 90 per cent of Sudan's small arms since 2004 when a UN arms embargo took effect, according to the report."


    and this:


    savedarfur.org | China | China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict

    • Since UNAMID’s passage, China reverted to supporting Khartoum: With one recent exception, China has remained silent as Sudan has blocked the rapid and effective deployment of UNAMID, renewed its violent actions towards Darfurians, and undermined the humanitarian situation. China has blocked additional UN actions to pressure Sudan to change its behavior.
    • Military relationship remains troubling. Two studies released in 2007 by well-respected organizations have fueled concerns that weapons from China are being used against the people of Darfur, and that China is not doing enough to prevent such usage. Also, in the spring of 2007, China indicated its desire to further its military relationship with Sudan “in every sphere.”
     
    #12 b.c., Aug 7, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  13. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    Umm...that is China attempting to keep politics out of the Olympics.

    By revoking Darfur Activist Joey Cheek of his Visa...China is attempting to keep the Save Darfur political statement from being brought up at the Olympics. For the world to see...which would cause China to lose face during their well funded facade of national pride on display as hosts of the 2008 Games.
     
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