PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — A Tarnished Olympics

As anyone who knows me is aware, I’m a huge fan of the Olympics. But I am struggling deeply with these Games because China is an abusive nation that is committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslims. And the IOC is a corrupt tool working with them to silence any athlete who wishes to speak out about their human rights abuses.

This is intended as a PR event for China, akin to Adolf Hitler and the Berlin Games of 1936. I do not fault the athletes. They are doing what they love and are being used by powerful and unprincipled leaders in the IOC who were wrong to let China host these games. Sponsors like NBC that look the other way are also at fault. My hope is NBC will highlight how awful China is during the Games — and I mean the party leaders not the people — but I doubt it will happen.

In solidarity with the Uyghur and other victims, I plan to post facts about Chinese leaders abuses each day of the Olympics and what they are doing to silence athletes at the Games, so that they and the IOC can use them as pawns. This will be my own counter programming to raise awareness of what is tolerated or ignored because of greed.

I am still going to follow the athletes in some fashion because I admire their dedication and skill but I will not ignore the price paid for them to be there. China is anathema to the Olympic spirit.

Here is the first offering:


While the Olympic Opening Ceremonies were on television, celebrating China, which is full of amazing people and a rich and astounding culture, I refused to watch. Instead, I contemplated some counter-programming regarding the Chinese government and its leaders, who are architects of a genocide of Uyghur Muslims and authors of crimes against humanity.

According to the United Nations, in  2018, at least 1 million Uyghur had been detained in “counter-extremism centers” in China’s Xinjiang province, and an additional  2 million Uyghur had been “forced into so-called re-education camps for political and cultural indoctrination,” beginning in the middle of 2017.

A recent independent report detailed that the Chinese government’s actions have violated “each and every act” prohibited by the U.N. Genocide Convention, namely:

  • Killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm.
  • Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the group’s physical destruction.
  • Forcibly transferring children to another group.
  • And imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

As the Games continue to unfold, I will highlight some of these abuses. As the Chinese leaders basked in the glow provided by the IOC, I feel it is important to make comparisons to the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympics. Adolf Hitler was in the early stages of his “final solution” and the world looked the other way and let him be center stage.

This is not the fault of any of the athletes, including the Chinese athletes who are victims of their own in so many ways. The IOC has created an untenable situation by awarding the games to China. During a time when there is so much anti-Asian sentiment, the IOS has turned a blind eye to the additional damage these Games can provide by celebrating an evil regime that oppresses its people.

I plan to still watch the athletes compete, but there should be no aggrandizement of the Chinese Party and what it represents — the very worst of corruption, greed and inhumanity. And that is what happened with these Opening Ceremonies.

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