Tuesday, July 29, 2008

China - Olympics

It does get repetitive, boring even, to read, and post mounds of evidence to support why Euros who hoped for 9and some still do) and wished for (some still do) China to balance the US militarily - are fools and shirtlifters.

China dumps gold medallists from Olympics 'for political reasons'

By Our Foreign Staff
Last Updated: 2:27PM BST 29 Jul 2008

[Interesting that the TELEGRAPH would not name their staff!! One of the European papers, probably hoping that China will balance the US militarily, and they won't mention their staff members names. Hmm. Could it be there are just TOO many columnists engaged in this short article OR ARE THEY PETRIFIED OF LOSING CREDENTIALS AND OR BEING ARRESTED AND IMPRISONED. It is one of those possible answers! Pathetic.]

Although China is determined to top the medal tables at the Beijing Games next month, its sports administration has taken the draconian decision to drop 22 gold-medal winning athletes.

China won a total of 32 golds in Athens, and is hoping to top the 40 mark in Beijing.
Some of the athletes were forced out by injuries or strong competition, but the China Daily newspaper, thought to be the mouthpiece of the government, also said "politics" had played a part.

"There were some surprising exclusions ... who would have a realistic shot at winning gold next month," the paper said.

The most obvious political victim was Tian Liang, nicknamed the "diver prince" after winning gold medals in the ten-metre platform dive at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics.

Tian, 28, was kicked off the national team in 2005 for unashamedly endorsing everything from wooden floors to seafood snacks. "He was producing a negative influence on the preparation for the 2008 Olympics," said a sports official.

He also hit the gossip columns for his relationship with fellow diver Guo Jingjing and they were dubbed the "Posh and Becks" of Chinese sport. She managed to stay on the team after she publicly denounced her behaviour.

Since then, Tian has tried to rehabilitate his career by competing at provincial level and refusing to criticise the administration for what happened. He carried the Olympic torch as it passed through Xi'an. However, he was still left out of the team and has voiced his "regrets".

Other notable exclusions included Zhu Lin, the 2007 world badminton women's singles champion, and Zhu Ting, a forward in the Chinese football team. Zhang Guozheng, the reigning champion weightlifter in the 69kg category, and Yang Lian, the favourite in the women's 48kg weightlifting category, were also dropped.

Yang's family sold their house to pay for her training and expressed their bafflement to Sina.com. "She was on the list a few days ago. We do not know what happened at the last minute," said her father.

Other athletes have been forced to compete despite longing for retirement.

Yang Wenjun, the gold medalist in flatwater canoeing in Athens, has publicly complained that he has tried to quit the sport for a decade. Yang said the authorities had threatened to withhold his pension if he did not compete in Beijing.

Susan Brownell, the author of Beijing's Games: What the Olympics mean to China, said: "The situation is different from in the United States, where you simply have to finish in the top three in your discipline to qualify.

"Whenever you have athletes appointed by coaches you get accusations of politics and it has happened before in China."

However she said the motives for the cuts would be "to win more medals - I can't imagine that they would choose an inferior team because of politics".

Mao Zhe Xiong, a professor at Beijing Sports University said: “It is quite normal to have this number of gold medalists not making the cut.”

He added: “Zhong Guozheng has been declining since he won his gold medal and in some events his stomach almost failed to function. He felt under great pressure physically and mentally.

Zhu Lin was not chosen because she did not have any advantage over her rivals and the coaches made a strategic policy.

“There will be a little sadness that such a number has been left out but in the long run it is in the interests of the country and of the individuals.”


Rights abusers


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.