It's not exactly news that China doesn't have free speech and isn't a democratic country. Why should it be different during the olympics?
That's unfortunate but in time and without the interference of others, things should continue improving as they have in the last decade.
You can pick apart a lot of places for their supposed democracy and free speech starting with that "beacon" of freedom...the US of A! Hypocrisy isn't the fiefdom of China, it's the essence of politicians all over the world.
And, since the circus begins with the pre-selection process and continues throughout the games and hangs over a little after the events end, I went with "mostly". Room for argument there as it can't actually be measured.
Frankly most people care about the event itself, not the three years before or after. Have a look at the ratings or press cover of the city chosen vs the kind of coverage the games themselves receive...
See how much the athletes care whether the games are in Beijing, Atlanta, Athens or London... They only do to the extent of how it will affect their performance...
Agree with Gilles.
Where is the news here? People are trying hard to pinpoint that China is still a country with no free speech blablabla....
Cos you were certainly expecting something else for the olympics?
Btw what kind of nut government would like to see on their own soil some protesters while organizing one the biggest event on earth...
China is taking measure to ensure security and while it is not of the taste of everybody their are trying to make sure that everything goes without too many hipcupps
If that means some Free tibet or Falun Gung dudes cannot raise their flag and shout their slogan, fine by me.
Which would explain why the American team picked the 18 month citizen from Sudan as flag bearer/captain?
Or that "black power" salute from way back in 1968?
Although I think you are right in using the term "most people".
The police seem to have forgotten their new training also:
Journalist detained, protesters deported | FoxSports - Fox Sports
"ITN cameraman Ben England said he tried to film the protest but was physically prevented from doing so by police who manhandled him and used umbrellas to try to block his camera."
if they didn't want any protests at all why set up the areas in the first place???
Is this just another case of having to pretend to actually honor some promise made to the IOC so they could stage this event in the first place?
The IOC is discovering that once they award the games, their leverage is gone and that they will need to be more careful when hearing promises in the future. (Side note, the EU is learning the same thing.)
As people have pointed out (correctly, in my small mind), China wasn't known for free speech and demonstrations before this, so why would you (IOC awarding people) think they were actually going to do a 180 on all of it for two or three weeks?
I think China just told the IOC what they wanted to hear in order to get the games with no intention of ever following through on the more difficult parts.