The games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing have been covered in controversy, and the campaign of boycotting the games has been growing in light of China's human rights record. What has become apart of a world wide awareness, the movement has shown itself during most recent torch rallies through  and Paris. Many top officials in many governments have urged their boss's to not allow their respective countries to take part in the Olympic games.Though some world leaders have stated they will not attend the opening ceremonies, including Stephen Harper. There has been no official decision if the Canadian Athletes will be apart of the Human Rights Protest.
The actions of the Chinese have been closely watched, the role of the Chinese 'torch guards' have also been noticed as some have been seen roughing up and detaining American, English and French citizens. A foreign police one might say. Along with staged events, such as the one Chinese woman being roughed up while in a wheel chair by a man, who was later seen walking through a side path with friends, carrying a communist China flag. This goes back to the exact reason of the boycott movement, human rights, and the mistreatment and sometimes genocidal tactics used in Tibet and Nepal. About a month and a half ago riots broke out in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The Chinese reported that 22 people were killed, though the Tibetan exiled government official said at least one hundred more were not accounted for. As well, the international criticism of the Chinese military comes from a photo taken of soldiers being handed monk looking clothing, garments and brown robes. This information comes after the Dali Lama insists that Tibetan protestors remained peaceful and that staged riots were the cause of the violence.
The tradition of the modern Olympic relay started in 1936 when Hitler's Nazi regime, awash in their propaganda introduced their fascist government to the European citizens. The torch relay, based on a ceremony held at the ancient games in Greece, started in Athens and fallowed a very controversial route. The route was planned with immense care by the Nazi leaders. It was to project the image of the Third Reich as a modern, economically dynamic state with growing international influence.  Perfectly chimed, the idea that classical Greece was an Aryan forerunner of the modern German Reich is what the Nazi regime believed. The route consisted of traveling north through Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and ending in Germany. This allows some to make parallels between the 2008 China relay and the 1936 Nazi Relay, considering the surrounding countries of China and where the torch is being carried.
This year's route takes the torch on a journey that has also been carefully planned out with political influence, and has already been proven to be highly controversial. Beijing planed to take the torch through Taiwan's capital, Taipei, but due to political tensions between the Chinese and Taiwanese leaders, the route was changed by Olympic authorities. Though tensions are rising over the plans to run the torch through Tibet and up Everest, they have also started building a highway up the moutain.[5 It is clear that China will not change these plans and these actions are in the eyes of many seen as immoral. China's relentless actions towards the territory of Tibet and other former China enemy colonies like Taiwan and Darfur, can be compared to the journey that Hitler brought the torch on. Given what happened a few years later, this journey seems especially poignant now. Covering south-eastern and central Europe he was showcasing their reluctant disciplined faction, just as China will display their 'new role' in our world today.
Hitler seen the Olympics as a perfect display of the elite Aryan race, he wanted to show his regime's direct relation to the ancient Greeks and also once stated he was directly related to Hercules. Hiter designed the Olympic ring logo and he was quoted to say. "The sportive, knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics. It doesn't separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That's why the Olympic Flame should never die."
Though many Olympian athletes have voiced their opinions and support the Beijing boycott, the U.S has said 'it will only cancel their participation for the athlete's safety.' Some athletes are relentless to be behind the cause and are supporting the movement. As well, they are supporting American environmentalist Majora Carter who was selected as a torch bearer for the San Francisco leg for the rally. She was striped of the torch and the Tibetan flag she held up, again the Chinese torch guards show their unyielding presence at these events. "I have a lot of respect for those who use their visibility to create awareness," said U.S. Olympian Jessica Mendoza. "I have to respect his passion for trying to bring awareness to a genocide that is occurring in Africa right now." Mendoza, who is an outfielder for the U.S softball team is helping spreading awareness of the 200,000 deaths that have occurred in Dafur by Sudan who is supported by Chinese oil and military interest.
After it is all said and done, the final question is 'Should sports have anything to do with politics?' This is an age old question, since the 1936 Olympics. Nazi Germany disallowed any Jewish athlete from competing. Many U.S Olympic committee representatives were perturbed by this Nazi politically. Though the Americans attended the games and a black man by the name of Jesse Owens won a track event in front of the Nazi leader, and received his medal in the same stadium as Hitler turned his back.
As a Canadian and as a hockey fan, the only thing that keeps me from being positive about the athletic boycott of this years Olympics is the fact in 2010 we will be hosting the games and we do occupy a country that is struggling with tyranny. Though it is almost unrealistic, the movement to boycott Vancouver 2010 could be based on our immoral occupation of Afghanistan and wherever else we'll be in two years. Also, in the light of the recent NHL announcement of not attending the fallowing 2014 winter Olympics. The winter Olympics of 2010 will be the last time in awhile we will see a professional Olympic tournament. Now if we have to surrender our right to attend sporting events to threats of violence or acts of terrorism. We will be giving up our liberty and giving into whatever force is bringing these actions upon us. The question of the safety in Beijing this summer will be the 'canary in the cave' for Vancouver. Seeing as if someone would want to send a message on a global scale, what better place to do it then in a neutral country like Canada? These and other questions will be answered, if not by this summer on 8/8/08. Then by February 2010 when Vancouver will welcome the world.