Journey to My Home: China, Hong Kong, Beijing Olympics 2008
My Beijing Olympics Experience
Lee Siu Hin
(view from Beijing Olympics, the "Bird Nest" stadium)
One of my goals of this trip is come to visit Beijing Olympic Games, and my dream comes true!
Between my work and meetings in China, I had been able to buy several Beijing Olympic tickets to see different sport events--includes: volleyball, beach volleyball, Judo, weightlifting, field & track, gymnastics and closing ceremony--it's much excited to see the competitions at live.
This’ll be the first time for China (and the third times in Asia) to host the Olympic games. For most Chinese people, and it’s now just a show-off opportunities for their big stadiums (like: “bird nest” and “water cube” stadiums), or excitements of the big gold medal wins (china will be the estimated winner for Olympic gold’s counts), it’ll be also a complex emotional fulfillment of “100 years of Olympic dreams,” a combinations of nationalism, anti- imperialism, linking with our past and hope for the better future.
100 years ago on 1908 during China’s dying Qing dynasty, and the high of foreign imperialist invasion, colonial occupations and exploitation against our country, a Chinese activist asks three questions “When China can participate at Olympics? Win gold medals? And host Olympic Games?” Like many other things which had been taking for granted for the Westerners, China was too poor (and the government didn’t care) to able to participate at any Olympic games for the first 40 years of it’s beginning.
The first Chinese athletic finally participated at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics Games. At the beginning, it was almost send by the Japanese backed China’s Manchuria puppet regime after Japan’s invaded north eastern China (a racist term commonly known by “Manchuria” by western countries) at September 18, 1931.
The western countries, includes U.S., U.K. didn’t stop the Japanese invasion—even encouraged them their occupation (Japan colonized the region and using it as the stepping stone to invaded China until it’s defeat at the end of WW II on 1945).
Japanese occupiers then decided to send a puppet Chinese Manchuria sports team to 1932 Los Angeles Olympic summer games in order to legitimatize their puppet Manchu state (For many Chinese, they consider the Japanese invasion of 1931 was the beginning of WW II). They found a field & track player named Liu Changchun at their occupied territory, and ordered him to join the team. Liu refuse to join and fled to the Chinese-controlled area, he appeal to the Gomantong-run Chinese government to send him to the Olympic games (because Japan’s planning to send their puppet sport team), the government refused his request because of “lacking” money, Liu didn’t give up—with helps from the people he was able to raise enough money to travel to Los Angeles with his coach to attend the game, he was the first and the lonely Chinese player to join the game (and lost the competition), but he made the history as a Chinese hero--the first Chinese to join Olympic games (there’s a new film about his story “The One man Olympic” preview URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cB4xYdM2D8 Chinese: http://ent.sina.com.cn/f/m/tomolympics/index.shtml ).
Incidentally, a similar story happen again this time at Beijing Olympic games—instead of China, this time it’s happen to Iraqi team. Highly censored by U.S. and western medias, at the eve of the Olympic games the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disqualified Iraqi because of their current U.S-U.K. baked Iraqi government dissolved the original Iraqi Olympic committee (created by late Saddam’s Iraqi government), a direct violation of government/politics intervene with the spots. The Iraqi players broke down into the tears.
After the compromise with the IOC the team was finally allowed to come to play at Beijing the very last moment. It was the front page news in China but the major embarrassment for U.S.-U.K. and their puppet regime want to use Olympic games to legitimated their occupation.
On the other hand Many Chinese commentators are angered about the current cold-war style media bias and lies against China and the Olympic games—a formula of what they called the western media bias against China:
“When we (China) spend creditable efforts to organize Olympics, they (western media) said we’re wasting money for the face; when we mobilized million volunteers to support the games, they accused there’re punch of secret police and spies ; when we bring the best to show to the World, they called it a propaganda. When they running out of anything to say, then they running the spin circle of critizing China’s environment records-spots dope allegation-safety concern-human rights-Tibet-cheating allegation, etc.” Fundamentally, “any international Olympic visitors could tell you it’s not true,” many Chinese said to me (some German, Greek, Spain, and some other western countries’ spot players had been caught dope cheating at the Beijing Olympic games, but the U.S. media had been ignoring the stories).
With 1.5 million volunteers to support Beijing Olympic games (Most of them are college students and retired citizens, I know several of them who’re working as Olympic volunteers), another tens of thousands of volunteer cheer leading teams (mainly run by workers and students, they cheer for Chinese team but also designed to cheer for foreign players), with nearly all sold-out 8 million Olympic tickets, and nearly 4 billion people viewed the Beijing Olympic ceremony via TV and the overwhelm Chinese public supports in the opinion poll, and leaders from 80 countries had been visited the game so far, several Chinese commentators wrote on the newspaper and the Internet blogs, for those anti-China forces who dreams to disrupt the Olympic games in order to “embarrass” against China are totally not real, and it shows “their deep roots of mind-setting anti-China bias,” some concludes.
More my pics from Beijing Olympics: http://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/images/China2008/Olympics01/
Lee Siu Hin
National Immigrant Solidarity Network http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
ActionLA Coalition http://www.ActionLA.org
Peace NO War Network http://www.PeaceNOWar.net
Lee Siu Hin is a long time peace, labor, immigrant rights and human rights activists, and the long time Pacifica Radio KPFK Los Angeles, CA and WBAI New York, NY producer/reporter.