Recent Swedish Olympic coverage from a Swedish American in Sweden.
Recent events in Tibet have brought up a lot of ill will towards the Chinese. Here in Sweden people have been demonstrating and in Stockholm protesting in front of the Chinese embassy. No one is too impressed with the Chinese record when it comes to human rights. And Tibet always seems to be a bit of a sore spot. The Chinese are accusing the Dalai Lama of being behind the problems so that they will sabotage the Olympics that are coming up in just a few months.
And the Olympics being in China are bringing up some strong opinions here in Sweden. In fact, some people are calling for the Swedish Olympic team to boycott the Olympics. I completely disagree. Sports and politics should not overlap. They sometimes do, but to use sports as a platform to promote a political idea is something I don't agree with. The beauty of sports is that they are simple. There is a winner and a loser. Nothing else matters in the end. But adding politics to the mix makes other things matter.
There are other, more productive ways of getting a political point across. Trade restrictions would be a good start. Diplomatic protests. Governmental protests. The Swedish way is to protest. But forcing a bunch of athletes who have trained for most of their life away with the goal of reaching the Olympics doesn't seem like the most effective way to do this. Plus it smacks of Cold War era attitudes.
And from a purely selfish, athletic stand point. It's just not fair to the athletes. Some of these men and women will never again have the chance to compete in the Olympic for their country. Because of something they can't control. While some of them are I'm sure quite politically active, others could probably care less. And that's ok. Just let them compete.
There is a good chance of course that everything will go on as planned. Sweden will take its Olympic team to Beijing and compete. But the protesters are getting louder. Should be interesting to see how it goes as the Olympics draw closer.