Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Let the games begin.
The Communist Chinese have revoked the visa of American speedskater and gold metalist, Joey Cheek, just hours before the speedskating champion was set to fly to China. He wasn’t even planning on wearing a mask.
Cheek took the bronze in Salt Lake City in 2002, and in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, went on to win the men’s 500-meter event in dominating style. He was elected by his teammates to carry the US flag into the closing ceremonies.
Joey Cheek is the founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes whose goal it is to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan. Communist China’s military, economic and diplomatic ties to Sudan have been well-publicized in the lead-up to the Games.
“I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.”
Another reason to boycot the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.