Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is coming out against President George W. Bush's decision to attend next month's Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing. Bush says to boycott the ceremonies "would be an affront to the Chinese people" and the American athletes want "to see their president waving that flag."
Carl Lewis disagrees. Writing in The Daily Voice, the iconic track and field gold medalist reminds readers that he and hundreds of other athletes sat out the 1980 Moscow Olympics because of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Bush should take a "stand", he argues.
It's now 2008. And the idea of another boycott lingers for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing. China has human rights issues and there are many nations, including the United States, who want to take a stand. But gone are the days of using the athletes as the sacrificial lamb to make a political statement. It is time for President Bush and other world leaders to take that stand and do the very thing they told us to do back in 1980. This time, he should stay home! The athletes should go and compete.
Numerous human rights activists, athletes and entertainers hope prominent boycotts of the opening ceremonies in Beijing to call attention to the communist nation's dismal record on Tibet, human rights, religious freedom, its extensive trade and military support with Sudan, and, its tacit support of the Darfur conflict.
Carl Lewis, who is from Bush's home state of Texas, is one of only four Olympic athletes to win nine gold medals and was named "Olympian of the Century" by Sports Illustrated.
Some Background ...
Bush Pressures Sudan with Sanctions Over Darfur [R20]
"We All Witness" Darfur Except LeBron James [R20]
UN Climate Report: Poor Will Suffer Most [R20]
Edwards Launches White House Run [R20]
Sudan's Multi-million Dollar Ad Campaign [R20]