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Uphold Olympic spirit
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-07-08 07:28

With the city of Beijing racing against time to do all it can to present the best possible Olympic Games, the world should take advantage of the last days before August 8 and decide what it will bring to - and take home from - the once-every-four-years global sports fiesta.

The waves of China-bashing, which climaxed into disgusting anti-China farces in a handful of countries during the Olympic torch relay, were a timely reminder to the people of China that there are people uneasy about its growing presence.

But China is no longer what it was 30 years back. Nor are its people. After the initial outbursts of rage, more and more have come to believe it is simply not worth their time to worry about those dejected losers who are unable to adapt to new realities.

A huge bonus for the authorities at home, very much against the wishes of those who had wanted to sow seeds of discord within the country, is that the average citizen has seen through the real intentions of the fuss-makers and rallied more closely than ever around the Olympic undertaking.

And the consensus now is to make the Beijing Games a success. The unpleasant episodes in the past months only consolidated the resolve to make it so.

With the meticulous preparations led and coordinated by the organizing authorities, as well as the unreserved support of the central and local governments, and that of the concerned public, we have full confidence Beijing will live up to all our anticipations of a successful Olympic Games.

But such a success entails more than host hospitality.

The single obvious threat to the impending Games appears to be politicization. It is no secret that various anti-China forces have been colluding to hijack the Games for political ends.

Yet the Beijing Games belongs not to Beijing, or China. It is rather the entire world celebrating sportsmanship, peace and friendship in Beijing. We should not tolerate any plot to derail the event, because that will be blasphemy against what is held dear in the heart of the international Olympic family.

With exactly a month to go before the Games, the world must make a choice - about the future course of mankind's most celebrated event in spectator sports.

For the health of the international Olympic movement, let sports be sports.

(China Daily 07/08/2008 page8)