Behind the closed doors of the Olympic Committee men and women must be sighing in despair how they ever got themselves into the present situation by selecting China for the site of the 2008 games. International Olympic Chairman Jacques Rogge admitted the turmoil surrounding the torch relay is posing a “crisis” for the Olympics. He urged China to respect its “moral engagment” to improve human rights and to fulfill promises of greater media freedom. The recent incidents in San Francisco he said, “was, however, not the joyous party we had wished it to be.” He even hinted the rest of the international route for the torch may be cut short or even cancelled.
Rogge was asked by reporters if he had any second thoughts regarding awarding the Olympic Games to China. “it is very easy with hindsight to criticise the decision” but Beijing had “clearly the best bid” and placing the games in the world’s most populous nation appeared to be an important step toward working for world peace. Rogge was concerned that promises of freedom for the media had not been completely complied with by the Chinese government.
Most probably, the decision to award China the Olympic games was correct. However, athletes must now by their freedom of speech make clear to the Chinese government their commitment to freedom for all people, including those in China.