Background and Context of Debate:
Since China received in 2001 the honor to host the 2008 summer Olympics, one of the primary questions was whether it would be able to improve its human rights record to a level deemed appropriate by the international community for the purposes of hosting such an international event. Many believe that, as of 2007, it had failed to do so. In protest, many suggest that the most powerful tool that a country can level against China's alleged abuses, is a boycott of the 2008 Olympics. China, desiring very much to see its 2008 Olympics become a success, is fearful of such moves, and defensive against threats that move in this direction.
1. China failed to improve its human rights and is a boycott the right response. Repression in China has only gotten worse. Only boycotting the Olympics sufficiently protests China's abuses.
2. Is it acceptable to politicize the Olympics with boycotts. Politicizing and boycotting Beijing is necessary to uphold the Olympic spirit. The Olympic Charter states that "The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity."
3. Olympic boycotts have been effective/desirable historically.
1. China's 2008 Olympics will accelerate its civil society. Even if China's civil, democratic institutions and practices are not good currently, the Olympics is likely to help advance them into the future.
2. The Olympic games should not be politicized. Boycotting China will be against the spirit of the Olympics. The Olympic Charter clearly states that one of the missions of the Olympics is to "oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes". Boycotting China will go against this, as the athletes will lose one of their very few chances to compete in the Olympics, something they have worked towards for years, and taking away this well-deserved chance because of political discrepancies will fall under the "political abuse" of sports and athletes.
3. Olympic boycotts have achieved nothing historically. U.S. Olympic Committee Chiarman spokesman Darryl Seibel said, in reference to Olympic boycotts staged in 1956, 1976, 1980 and 1984, that, "as has been demonstrated in the past, boycotts accomplish absolutely nothing other than to unfairly penalize athletes who have spent decades preparing for that moment."
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"Boycott 2008 Communist Olympics" - A blog dedicated to boycotting the 2008 Olympics
Gilad Nathan. "Boycott Beijing Olympics". Israel Opinion, YNetNews. August 11, 2007.
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Lesh Donlup, a human rights volunteer in the UK. "10 reasons to boycott the 2008 Olympic Games in communist China". AZPlace. 13 September 2006
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