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Athletes Can Blog at Olympics - with Restrictions 184

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-stop-the-signal dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The IOC has given athletes the right to blog at the Beijing Games this summer, a first for the Olympics. They're allowed, as long as they follow the many rules it set to protect copyright agreements, confidential information and security. The IOC said blogs by athletes 'should take the form of a diary or journal' and should not contain any interviews with other competitors at the games. They also should not write about other athletes. Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic events. Athletes must obtain the consent of their competitors if they wish to photograph them. Also, athletes cannot use their blogs for commercial gain."
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Athletes Can Blog at Olympics - with Restrictions

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  • So basically... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nemilar (173603) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:00PM (#22447700) Homepage
    From the summary, the rules are basically, "you may blog at the Olympics, but you may not blog about the Olympics. Unless you are blogging about what you had for breakfast at the Olympics, and you do not include pictures."

    Woohoo, freedom of the press!
    • Re:So basically... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:08PM (#22447750) Journal
      Are athletes going to be allowed to blog about Chinese human rights issues?
      IIRC, "Free Tibet" is not a message that will be welcomed in the Olympic Village or Olympic venues.

      BTW - I get a registration link for TFA
      http://news.google.com/news?q=ioc+blogging [google.com]
      • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:11PM (#22447778)
        China can't just come in take athletes way to political prisons so what does the athletes have to lose?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by webmaster404 (1148909)
          China can't just come in take athletes way to political prisons so what does the athletes have to lose?

          No but they can sure disqualify them in a heartbeat, then how does that work?
          • no they can't, china are just the host, its the IOC that have the say on that.
            • You are right, of course, and the OP is ignorant (and the mods that modded that post up, even more so), but he/she is, by chance, also correct: how do you think China got the games in the first place? Or how do you think China gets away with what they indirectly do in Darfur?

              Simple, just imagine a (phone?) conversation between a Chinese Communist Party high official and a minister of one of the countries represented in the olympic committee: "Dear minister, you are certainly aware of the prosperous and very
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Chris Mattern (191822)
              Really? And how many guns does the IOC have? 'Cause the Chinese government has *lots*.
              • Really? And how many guns does the IOC have? 'Cause the Chinese government has *lots*.

                They would never do this. They've been fighting tooth and nail to get an Olympics session; in hopes that by having one they can prove to the world they've entered the 21st century, are not North Korea, etc. This is a PR and China-Marketing event. Were they to do what you are insinuating, be most assured it would eventually get out, and in light of China feeling not-so-hunky-dory about their investment in the Dollar, and it's weakening value, it would be eaten up by the media as a means of shutting them up:

        • Most likely banned from the Olympics and any future events..

          A spokesman said the BOA could not stop athletes talking to the media, nor questions being asked, particularly as the four-yearly event is aimed at getting "the best possible coverage of the sport".

          "Now, if an athlete answers [a] question honestly, there is not going to be an issue for us there. It's much more something where there is an overt decision to make a political point, using the games as a platform and that clearly is very different."

          htt [bbc.co.uk]

        • You're right, and they can't just drive tanks over protesters either.
      • If they aren't boycotting the games already, then there is very little chance they would have any real concerns about Chinese human rights issues.
        • Re:So basically... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @07:19PM (#22448642)
          If they aren't boycotting the games already, then there is very little chance they would have any real concerns about Chinese human rights issues.

          How much impact do you think Stephen Colbert would have had if he'd said, "the White House correspondent's dinner? But I hate the White House, I'm going to boycott it!" Instead, he took that as an opportunity to criticize the president, to his face, in front of all his staff and in front of the media. And there wasn't a damn thing the president could do.

          Not showing up to the Olympics is pointless. You're throwing away years of hard work, and for what? China isn't going to suddenly stop supporting Sudan and Burma, or stop oppressing Tibetans just because a few athletes don't show. Or, you could show up, win a medal, get a moment in the spotlight, and use it to shed light on China's abuses, in China, with the entire world watching (of course, it might be a good time to bring attention to some U.S. human rights abuses as well).

          I could be wrong here, but I don't think that the Chinese have the slightest clue what they're in for. The government can't simply crush dissent under the treads of a tank, like they did during Tienanmen, there will be witnesses everywhere, all with wireless laptops, Blackberries, blogs, cell phones, cell phone cameras, digital video recorders... everything will be covered by a dozen cameras and thousands of well-connected witnesses; it's the perfect time to make a statement, and it will be almost impossible for Beijing to stop you or retaliate. In a way, they're a little like our Bubble-Boy president, George W. Bush. He and his advisors inhabit a reality-proof bubble where dissent is not heard, so he was utterly unprepared for the idea that Colbert might use the opportunity to criticize him. Likewise, the Chinese leadership lives in a bubble where open dissent is not permitted, censorship is everywhere, and people will only criticize the government in private. After all those years of living in a heavily censored society, I think the idea that someone might actually stand up and speak out, publicly and in full view of everyone, is just inconceivable to them.

      • by Airw0lf (795770) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @07:07PM (#22448564)

        Are athletes going to be allowed to blog about Chinese human rights issues?
        If you're an athlete from New Zealand, probably not. They seem to have been asked to sign an agreement that prevents them from making political comments about the Chinese regime. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/14/sports/OLY-New-Zealand-Free-Speech.php [iht.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Lost Engineer (459920)
          That's the case in the US too. I had the impression it was for every country when I read it in the Economist.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Snaller (147050)
        "Are athletes going to be allowed to blog about Chinese human rights issues?"

        Yes. They'll be shot afterwards, but they can write what they want.
    • Re:So basically... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheMeuge (645043) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:13PM (#22447788)
      Not quite... it's more like:

      You may blog at the Olympics, as long as you don't write anything that anyone wants to read.
    • No Commercial Gain (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Blue Stone (582566) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:28PM (#22447920) Homepage Journal
      I love this bit: "Also, athletes cannot use their blogs for commercial gain."

      Never mind that the modern Olympics has become rife with corporate sponsorship and bribery allegations. Just as long as the people who are supposed to count in all this - the athletes - don't make any money! Blech.

      The thing that really gets me, though, is that althletes are not allowed to make political statements in the stadium - a stadium which is a political statement in itself: 'Hey guys! China's really quite nice! Never mind us raping Tibet, killing our own people and all that - look: Shiny Olympics! We're part of the civilized world! See!'

      • by coppro (1143801) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @06:35PM (#22448362)

        I love this bit: "Also, athletes cannot use their blogs for commercial gain." Never mind that the modern Olympics has become rife with corporate sponsorship and bribery allegations. Just as long as the people who are supposed to count in all this - the athletes - don't make any money! Blech.
        The IOC does it's very best to keep the Olympics non-commercial. As an example, you will see zero corporate logos on athlete equipment - it's completely forbidden at the the Olympics, though this form of sponsorship is quite common anywhere else. Preventing the athletes from commercializing their experiences at the games is important - it's true to the founding ideals of the games, and keeps it a competition, rather then "I got to the Olympics, so now I'm going to make $2 million writing about it." Look at the entertainment industry. It's sick and disgusting how much anyone in any form of entertainment (including professional sports) gets paid. They can go say how great some random product is, and they'll get paid millions for that endorsement. Imagine what would happen if athletes could use blogs in the same way: "I got up this morning to eat my Kellog's Corn Flakes Cereal because I really enjoy it and it helps me compete" and then get a massive dumping of money. The IOC is correct in banning commercial gain. I agree to a lesser extent as to the other policies - it makes sense to say that the athletes can't say stuff about each other, because blogs tend to be much more personal than interviews, and so some sexist or racist comments or drug accusations or whatnot might slip through, and the backlash would be much worse than these restrictions are.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by RealGrouchy (943109)
          Correction: The IOC bans commercial gain for the athletes.

          It has no problem signing exclusivity deals for its own commercial gain.

          I don't see this ban on athletes' blogs as so much as having to do with pressure from China (I mean, why would China care whether athletes are blogging about the athletic side of the Olympics?), as having to do with pressure from the media corporations that spend oodles of money to have exclusive rights to broadcast Olympic events in their respective markets. The fact that it is
        • by NoMaster (142776)

          The IOC does it's very best to keep the Olympics non-commercial ... it's true to the founding ideals of the games ..."
          See, now this is what happens when you stop teaching Jonathan Swift in school - stuff like this gets modded "+5, Informative" instead of "+5, Funny".

          If my ideas intrigue you and you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter, I have a modest proposal which may fix this problem...

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Never mind that the modern Olympics has become rife with corporate sponsorship and bribery allegations. Just as long as the people who are supposed to count in all this - the athletes - don't make any money! Blech.

        I think your mistaken in who is supposed to count in all this. It is the countries participating, not the athletes. Sure, in the individual countries, they count, they are national heroes because they are going to defend the good name of the country. But let's not forget the purpose of the Olymp

    • Ah, the Olympics, celebrating what is best about human nature: greed, censorship, and corporate profits. Can't you just feel pride swelling in your heart?
    • by SL Baur (19540)

      Woohoo, freedom of the press!
      This is a repeat of the 1936 Olympics. The less we know and care, the better. Really.
  • Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic events
    Who copyrighted the Olympics?!? Why is it that I cannot take pictures of events and share them with friends if I am there? These freaking events have existed for centuries, how can you copyright that?!?!?!

    Or is this a security issue? If it is, then they need to get over it. This is getting ridiculous.
    • Re:Copyright?!?!?! (Score:5, Informative)

      by FooAtWFU (699187) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:30PM (#22447940) Homepage

      Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic events
      Who copyrighted the Olympics?!?
      The IOC. Then they sell out the rights for a massive profit.

      It's also trademarked to Hell and back.

    • by mikesd81 (518581)
      Or maybe it's about different techniques (legal ones) athletes use or equipment they use (again legal ones)?
  • Olympic Oxymoron (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:05PM (#22447734)

    Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
    (Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles, paragraph 1)

    I guess they forgot to add the clause, "except when in China".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by v1 (525388)
      No doubt! This will last less than 24 hrs (if that) before china's censorship kicks into high gear. All it should take is oh, one picture of a picture of an entrant taken as he participated in Tiananmen Square...
    • by Lally Singh (3427) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:19PM (#22447846) Journal
      Very fair.

      However I'd like to add that to make ethical progress (as a species), we have to bring in those we disagree with (e.g. the ones who are really wrong). Bring them in and push for incremental change. It's messy and boring, but it's the best way to do it. If we require china to play by all the rules at once, they're unlikely to participate -- no progress made. If we ease them, then we can start a process which (hopefully) will get us somewhere.

      Messy, boring, and deeply unsatisfactory, yes. But it often works, and I personally can't think of a better solution that would work as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sethstorm (512897) *

      ...the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
      Just redefine ethics to fit China's unique situations and the problem disappears[/sarcasm]. Economists have no issue with doing that by saying it's "opportunity cost".
  • After all the censorship, you might get to say two words and show a picture of your socks, assuming they're generic....
    • Actually generic socks are banned, you have to wear genuine Nike(R) or Adidas(R), whichever is the official sock sponsor this year.
  • Boycot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zmooc (33175) <zmooc@NOSpaM.zmooc.net> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:09PM (#22447762) Homepage
    *boycots olympic games entirely*
  • Dear Diary (Score:4, Funny)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:14PM (#22447808) Journal
    I woke up in China this morning. The place smells funny.
    The group went to a sporting event today, kind of exciting.
    Hopefully tomorrow I'll hear some music I like
    Goodnight
    • I woke up in China this morning. The place smells funny.

      The group went to a sporting event today, kind of exciting.

      Hopefully tomorrow I'll hear some music I like

      Goodnight

      In the form of a haiku, please.
    • The funny thing is it would be great if some of the athletes played entirely by the rules like this and really laid on the sarcasm. That would make the best statement of all about how ridiculous the IOC has become.
  • What would happen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:15PM (#22447814)
    So... What exactly would happen to an athlete who violated this "rule"? Would they lose any medals? Be banned from competing? It's one thing to make such "rules", another to enforce them.
  • by mangu (126918) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:17PM (#22447834)
    Olympic athletes used to be *amateurs*! I once met Lasse Viren, a gold medallist in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. He was a police officer in Finland, was never paid to run, didn't make any commercials, was never sponsored by anyone.


    Today, the commercial spirit is so strong they have to carefully delimit anything that's published, pictures or words, about the event. Blogs must be carefully examined, lest there's something in there that might diminish the profits of the advertisers...


    As they used to say when the Olympics were performed in the interests of sport alone, "O Tempora, O Mores!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Herkum01 (592704)

      I can just picture those blogs now

      When I got up, I had a cool refreshing *Pepsi* while I put on my Ultra-Performance *Nike* shoes and my *Fruit of the Loom* running uniform.

      Make it one paragraph to describe every little thing and then have your blog run like 10 pages a day so that you can maximize your advertising revenue.

      That sounds like the Olympics of today!

    • by Deadstick (535032) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:55PM (#22448118)
      Olympic athletes used to be *amateurs*!

      Yes they were, when Avery Brundage was running the show. He also kicked the Jews off the US team in Berlin, and fought to keep the female events "decorative"...he'd be right at home in China.

      rj

      • by mangu (126918) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @06:15PM (#22448254)

        when Avery Brundage was running the show. He also kicked the Jews off the US team in Berlin, and fought to keep the female events "decorative"

        Well, Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. Apparently he fathered one or more children by one of his slaves. This can be labelled as rape, since the slave, willing or not, wasn't in a position to say "no".


        A man can have the right idea about something, yet be a total son of a bitch about something else.

        • by sumdumass (711423)
          Umm.. No. There is no evidence that a slave couldn't say no. There is no evidence that she had been treated unkindly or anything. Calling it rape because of something you imagined is ridiculous. He had other slaves, talk would have happened, someone else would have mentioned it in their writings/diary/whatever and it wouldn't have been a complete secrete to everyone but you.

          Not all slaves were treated the same ways. Not all slaves were beaten. Not all slaves were worked in the fields. And it specifically do
  • by Ranger (1783) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:17PM (#22447836) Homepage
    The insane restrictions of the IOC has really killed my interest in the Olympics. And along with the timeshifting the broadcast of events ruins my enjoyment.

    The pre-Disney ABC coverage of the Olympics and their Wild World of Sports was the best coverage of the Olympics and no one is ever going to be that good again. Especially with the ironfisted control by the IOC. So fuck you, International Olympics Committee.
    • by cunina (986893)
      Agreed, 100% - glad to hear someone else say it. If it's not Jim McKay narrating an event, it's not the Olympics as far as I'm concerned. And the John Williams tune is no replacement for the original Olympic theme song. I wonder if Olympic promoters will ever connect the decline of interest in the Olympics to the crass commercialization of them since 1984?
    • Same here, and it's really unfortunate. I'm entirely turned off my the rampant commercialism of the Olympics. This is a case in point where the people who MAKE the games, the athletes, are told they can't make a buck off it.

      I don't mind the IOC packaging the athlete's work and making money from it, but I strongly object to the way the athletes themselves are treated like crap.
  • First having the Olympics in China, now this. My family plans to attend the winter Olympics in Canada in a few years, and I told them in no uncertain terms that I will never again in my life watch, even on TV, the Olympics.

    Even aside from the absurd profiteering, human rights violations, etc, when will people grow up and realize that we aren't monkeys anymore? Like a few weeks back when they told the guy with the prosthetic limb that he could not compete. Why is it alright for someone to dedicate their life
    • Like a few weeks back when they told the guy with the prosthetic limb that he could not compete. Why is it alright for someone to dedicate their life to trying to run faster, but not alright to use actual innovation to do so?

      Of course this has zero to do with the Olympics, but this fellow was banned from competing in certain competitions because the technical innovation of his mechanical leg gave him an unfair advantage over those who did not have such a leg. If such a thing was allowed, where would it stop

      • by schnikies79 (788746) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:33PM (#22447962)
        Olympic sport is supposed to be about human pure ability/endurance, not technical innovation. It's the same reason that steroids and such are banned.

        If we go by your thinking, why can't athletes use those motorized, piston-powered leg attachments that make you run faster? I feel bad for the guy, but he does have an advantage.

        I am a runner myself and running is my life, so I can see where they are coming from.
        • by dangitman (862676)

          Olympic sport is supposed to be about human pure ability/endurance, not technical innovation.

          It's all such horseshit anyway, who really cares what they do? It's such an outdated concept, watching people pointlessly competing for no other reason than to compete. And who really cares if they take steroids or have technological enhancements? Any athlete at the Olympic level is benefiting from decades of technological, biological and medical progress in training techniques, even if they don't use any steroids or other banned enhancements. So it's hypocritical to rule out certain technical innovations

          • Pointless or not, some people enjoy it. Why do people game, there is no reason to do it other than to compete and have fun.

            Just because you don't like to compete or watch others compete, doesn't mean that no one else does. It's not outdated and I hope it never is. Humans and animals are made to compete, it's just the way it is. People love sports and will always love sports. I'm a runner that also loves sports. I couldn't imagine life without competition, it's what I live for.

            Tweaking your body by nut
            • by dangitman (862676)

              Why do people game, there is no reason to do it other than to compete and have fun.

              Usually with the emphasis on "fun". Gamers who game just to compete are a pretty sad bunch.

              Just because you don't like to compete or watch others compete, doesn't mean that no one else does. It's not outdated and I hope it never is.

              Just because I enjoy it, doesn't mean that I can't have my opinion. And it is outdated. Modern humans have no need to prove how strong they are to each other - we have machines that do the physical work for us now.

              Tweaking your body by nutrition and medicine is making your body more efficient. Adding a mechanical assist is giving the body an advantage it couldn't have naturally, no matter how much you do.

              How are they any different? Using medicine and modern training gives the body advantages it would never have naturally. Exactly like the artificial limb. And if dietary supplements and medicines are

      • Sorry, my post was meant for the original poster. I hit the wrong reply, blah.
      • by hazem (472289)
        unfair advantage over those who did not have such a leg. If such a thing was allowed, where would it stop? Would a wheelchair with a V8 engine attached be allowed because it was simply a technological innovation that allowed amputees to move faster?

        Yeah, I get really confused by things like this. On one hand there is a replacement for a body part that is passive, still requiring human power to actuate, and then there's this internal combustion engine. I'm so confused by the difference that I once, on a ra
        • by Joe Tie. (567096)
          I think far more important is a particular persons genes. Some people are just lucky enough to have a particular genetic trait that's going to give them an advantage over 99.9% of the population. Isn't allowing someone with, say, a gene giving better oxygen delivery just as unfair to everyone else as a prosthetic leg?
          • by dwater (72834)
            Indeed, and some are lucky enough to be born as men and so have a distinct advantage in most sports over those who are born women. Indeed, the advantage is so much that they have separate events. The have a while separate 'games' for people with disabilities and the guy with the fake limb should compete in that, even if he does end up performing better than competitors in the regular games.

            I see a future where the para-Olympics is where all the records will be set...
    • Actual innovation? But where does that stop? Is it OK for someone to use steroids in the Olympics? I would consider steroids to be as much of an innovation as an artifical limb. It's unfortunate that this person can not participate in the Olympics but I think most people would agree that his prosthetic limb puts him at an unfair advantage.
    • by Joe Tie. (567096)
      Like a few weeks back when they told the guy with the prosthetic limb that he could not compete

      Olympics is fer humans, not no filthy cyborgs with them space germs!
    • by WNight (23683)
      Thanks. As a Vancouverite, I appreciate you staying away from this boondoggle that was forced upon us.

      The Olympics will be welcome when there's no special copyright protection. When they pay for the space they use, as any other event would, not with tax money.

      Personally, I don't think an event counts as 'Olympic' unless it's in Greece, and you perform naked. I'd like to see a challenge to the name from a Greek group trying to hold an authentic Olympic event.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:22PM (#22447870) Homepage Journal
    How I wish the Greek gods existed, so they'd blast China and any corporation involved with the Olympics to hell. The Olypmics used to be a free public event for the 'known world' at that time to compete for fame, honor, and glory. Now it's compete for sponsorship dollars, advertising dollars, and getting your picture on a Wheaties box.

    I certainly won't be paying any attention to the Olympics, now. I'll be paying more attention to my cats in competition to see which one can get the little red dot that flies around every so often.
    • It's not just the Olympics, it's everything. From architects having copyrights of any picture taken of his building empire state building, copyrights over dance moves and the blood sucking music industry with its hold over the "Happy Birthday" song.

      The world has become more pro IP rights, extending them and including rights on things that shouldn't be copyrighted in the first place.
    • by dwater (72834)
      > so they'd blast China

      This isn't anything specific to China. In fact, as I read TFA, this is *less* restrictive than previous Olympics - it says, "a first for the Olympics', ie they'd previously not allowed such a thing at all (did blogs exist in any meaningful way 4 years ago?).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:32PM (#22447954)
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cs-080215-blogging-olympics-ioc,1,7510480.story [chicagotribune.com]

    Here is the link to the article without registration.
  • by Trojan35 (910785) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:37PM (#22447998)
    Anyone else notice that as the Olympics has shifted from Nationalism to Commercialism it's viewership and worldwide interest has dropped dramatically? I wonder when the people who run the Olympics will notice that. My guess: once it starts losing money.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:39PM (#22448016) Journal
    Have you heard that the UK team could only go to the olympic games in China, if they signed (individually) a paper that they will not say anything against the regime? And that said regime has, instead of improving, further cracked down on human rights and democracy activists?

    Furthermore.... did you know that the air in most venues is too polluted to hold ANY outdoors competitions, let alone marathons?

    So why was China selected, and the other candidates dropped?

    Money and power? Naaaahh... never!
    • by owlnation (858981)

      Have you heard that the UK team could only go to the olympic games in China, if they signed (individually) a paper that they will not say anything against the regime?

      Oh the irony.. one country that is famous for its human rights abuses, lack of freedom, lack of free speech, invasive surveillance of its people, aggressive unwarranted invasions of other countries is now forbidding its athletes from criticizing China -- a more liberal country.

      I'm (slightly) joking. At least today I am, ask me in a few mon

      • At least the UK doesn't have a Great Firewall around it, and it doesn't have a steely grip on the media. For example, the people living inside China still don't know the reasons Spielberg gave for his resignation from the position of cultural director of the olympic games in China. Just one small example. The people in China are not told a shitload of things.
        • by dwater (72834)
          > For example, the people living inside China still don't know the reasons Spielberg gave for his resignation from the position of cultural director of the Olympic games in China. Just one small example.

          False. I am living in China and I know about it. ...or am I not part of 'the people'?

          I doubt 'the people' even knew he was anything to do with the Olympics, if they'd even heard of him at all. He *is* fairly well known, but he's not as important as people seem to think. I've read a few people on /. are no
          • You know about "it". OK, do you know the "why" as well? I don't care if he's important or not, I just want to know if the media mentioned Darfur and the connection with China, when they mentioned Spielberg's resignation. If the media omitted that little fact, that would make him indeed a very important person - one whose views the regime finds very unpleasant and intimidating enough to cover up.
            • by dwater (72834)
              yes they did because it was the bbc. I don't know about the local media because i don't watch chinese telivision (or cctv9 which is in english), but like i suggested, maybe they wouldn't mention it because he's not important enough to mention anyway so why would they show it?
              I don't suppose they mention any of the people on /. who say they aren't coming either.
              • I don't suppose they mention any of the people on /. who say they aren't coming either.
                I find it disingenuous to compare a random Slashdot poster with the art director of the olympic games. Still, I appreciate your view, but I must consider it your personal view only, in no way relevant to the reality of China.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MLCT (1148749)

      if they signed (individually) a paper that they will not say anything against the regime?

      That is not what the "paper" said. Indeed the "paper" is a contract all UK Olympic athletes have had to sign for the last 20 odd years, and all it is is a reaffirmation of some of the rules they are all bound by anyway. The purpose of it is to ensure the athletes are fully aware of the rules so they cannot plead ignorance if they break them, as they have signed a contract. In the case of the extra text that was added to the contract for the 2008 games, it was simply a reaffirmation of the rule that poli

  • I will be boycotting the Olympics this year. I refuse to support such an event in a country that has such disregard for human rights and democracy. China should not have been allowed to host such an event until they demonstrate that they can behave decently.
    • by hansonc (127888)
      That same statement can be directed at the 2010 games in Vancouver. The IOC has told women that they can't ski jump because their sport doesn't have enough competitors or countries involved, but they managed to add skier cross which has less countries and less competitors and less history but at least it will look good on tv.

      Just to add insult to injury the hill record for the Olympic ski jump in Vancouver is held by a US Woman ski jumper.

      Check out http://www.wsj2010.com/ [wsj2010.com] for more information.
  • The Rules (Score:5, Funny)

    by owlnation (858981) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @05:53PM (#22448104)
    The First Rule of the Olympics is:

    You don't talk about the Olympics.
  • Without the athletes, the Olympics is nothing.

    If the athletes actually feel strongly about issues relating to China, then they can choose not to go. Sure, you'll lose out on marketing deals and fame and ... ah, yes, I think we know how deep their feelings actually are.

    Many arguments say the best way to bring China into the modern world is to integrate them despite their flaws, to expose their peoples to alternative viewpoints. If they are correct, then the Olympics will overall be a good thing despite any c
    • by hansonc (127888)
      "Without NBC and their money, the Olympics is nothing."

      There fixed that for you
    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Many arguments say the best way to bring China into the modern world is to integrate them despite their flaws, to expose their peoples to alternative viewpoints.
      They moved all the people away [youtube.com] to make way for the Olympics.
  • I wonder if part of this isn't for protection of revenue, but for protection of the athletes. It seems perfectly possible that some smaller nations could add professional reporters with only moderate athletic abilities to their teams, giving the reporters intrusive undercover access to the other athletes.
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday February 16, 2008 @07:57PM (#22448892) Homepage
    The Olympics is about money, not sport - that died some years back. These restrictions are NOT of Chinese doing, it is the IOC that is doing it for it's own profit and that of the sponsors. It would be interesting to see how much money changes hands in brown paper bags.

    I shall not be watching - so don't count my eyes when you work out what the TV rights will cost.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Saturday February 16, 2008 @08:07PM (#22448952) Journal
    The IOC said blogs by athletes 'should take the form of a diary or journal and should not contain any interviews with other competitors at the games.

    I see their point. They don't want their athletes using the event to springboard a journalism career. This does involve interfering with their freedom of speech though. What if they want to tell everyone about the games in a more dispassionate way? Why shouldn't they?

    They also should not write about other athletes.

    Privacy? A bit heavy handed.

    Still pictures are allowed as long as they do not show Olympic events.

    Seems the IOC has become a corporate enterprise. It used to be all about promoting sports for its own sake. It's a shame that things have gone this way.

    Athletes must obtain the consent of their competitors if they wish to photograph them. Also, athletes cannot use their blogs for commercial gain."

    Both of these are laudable. The first is about the privacy of the other athletes. The second is about keeping to the amateur spirit of the games.
  • I don't know whether it will be a building collapse, a tainted product scandal, a massive protest, a large fire or what but I just know there's going to be some kind huge PRC meltdown overreaction replete with tanks in the streets, and deaths during this Olympics.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Sunday February 17, 2008 @01:08AM (#22450504)
    into irrelevance that is the Olympics and its masters, the IOC. So rife with corruption, so lousy with commercialism, so compromised by professional "amateur" athletes.

    Really, the original intention of the Olympics has been completely sand-blasted away. The IOC not allowing the very people who are making the whole pageant possible to talk/blog about what the experience is like? It's the absurd cherry on top of one giant whopping sundae of hypocrisy.

    I will probably be shouted down by those who can't wait to wave the patriotic flag of country X at the games, but I say down with the Olympics, down with the IOC, and down with commercialized professional sports, for that matter.

    Wake me up if the world ever gets back to sports that are about community and excellence and human achievement. Until then, there are many better things to do.

My idea of roughing it turning the air conditioner too low.

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