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Human rights / 5 September 2008

I was drawn to the controversial area of the Paralympics for this weeks blog entry when I spotted a headline that was a cartoon in itself really. Apparently it concerned the Chinese and their decision to keep the Paralympics torch flame inside the borders of mainland China (apparently the protests in other countries about their treatment of Tibet didn’t go down too well). The headline? ‘China drops the Paralympic's international leg …’ ! (well it made me laugh anyway!). paralympics cartoon

Then I just got to thinking. Do the Disabled athletes attending this major sporting event really believe that sport transcends politics; that keeping all mention of China’s human rights atrocities out of the sports arena is the right way to go? After all the Olympic Charter states that the Olympics should seek to foster ‘respect for universal and fundamental ethical principles’ doesn’t it?

As Disabled people, perhaps if we don’t speak out against China’s oppression in Tibet (and even amongst its own peoples), we may compromise our moral authority to speak out on behalf of our own human rights.

And, whilst we’re on the subject, at the same time as acknowledging the undoubted talent of Olympic athletes, both Disabled and non-disabled, why do I still feel uneasy about this blatant display of physical prowess? What about an Olympiad that celebrates different areas of skills, not just physical ones?

Dolly's blog - As a fan of Dolly Sen I just have to point you at her blog this week. She just gets better and better! Just to make it easier for you, here's the link for the blog. Or alternatively, you can click on the 'blogs' link (top right) and find her that way.