- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 14, 2001

That cheer you heard around Washington and Baltimore yesterday morning was the sound of civic pride roaring its ugly head at the news that the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Summer Olympics.

That means that Washington's bid for the 2012 Summer Games is alive and well. (Sorry, Baltimore, you're not officially part of the bid anymore, at least not formally. The 2012 Coalition voted to use just Washington's name, hoping not to offend the sensibilities of the selectors who are turned off by bids with two names attached.)

Yeah! Go team!

It was a muted cheer, of course, out of respect to the 1,781 people executed in China in the past three months.

That's got to be some kind of Olympic record.

If Toronto, considered to be Beijing's biggest rival, had gotten the bid, it would have effectively ended any hopes of Washington or any other American city getting the 2012 Games because it was extremely unlikely that the IOC would award two straight Games to one continent.

So the soulless suits who came up with this scam to try to bring the 2012 Olympics to Washington were pulling for Beijing to win, although they had modified that support somewhat lately. Earlier this year, they were proclaiming their hope that Beijing would win. In an attack of conscience, apparently, in the days leading up to the IOC vote, Washington 2012 Coalition officials were proclaiming their hope that a "non-North American city" would be selected, as if Paris, one of the other contending cities, really had a chance.

Well, a non-North American city won, and now the effort to bring the Olympics here shifts from the embarrassment of backing a corrupt, oppressive government to the embarrassment of spending the next four years telling people how great it would be to play host to the Olympic Games and what a wonderful boon it would be for you, me and everyone in the Washington area.

If there was no shame in waving the flag for Beijing, there will certainly be no shame in selling a phony bill of goods about the honor, glory and riches of playing host to the Olympics that is, if it even makes it to 2012. My guess is that the Games will implode before then, crushed under the weight of drugs, corruption and terrorism.

The Games may not even make it to Beijing, for that matter. Athens, where the Olympics began, may be where it ends. Athens has been on the brink of having the Games taken away from it by the IOC for the past two years now, and as 2004 gets closer, it won't be easier for the city to be ready to play host to this orgy. More importantly, though, are the terrorism concerns. Nothing happened in Sydney, which was an armed camp, but let's face it, Australia isn't exactly easy to get to for terrorists or anybody else for that matter. Athens is within distance of a lot of places where fire bombing is considered an Olympic event.

If the Olympics survives Athens, though, and moves on to Beijing, it's not likely that terrorism will be a problem there. In Beijing, the terrorists run the government.

Beijing is going to build eight new sports stadiums to play host to Olympic events because the old ones have been getting a lot of use lately playing host to mass sentencing rallies to condemn prisoners to death. China has handed down 2,960 death sentences since April, according to Amnesty International, but that number is considered low, and some of those sentences were for nonviolent crimes, which ought to create an interesting dilemma for the media.

There may be no more rowdy group at the Olympics than the media that cover the Games. We're not talking about the most patient group of people, and the combination of long hours and transportation problems often leads to anarchy. I've seen photographers kick windows out of buses that refused to open their doors and let people out while they waited in traffic. Do that in Beijing and you could wind up an organ donor.

Yes, apparently you don't have to check the donor card on your driver's license to be an organ donor in China. A Chinese doctor testified recently before a U.S. congressional panel that he had seen organs removed from dead prisoners.

What's the mascot going to be for the 2008 Games, a dancing kidney?

Of course, the Beijing supporters say that the Olympics could be just what China needs to clean up its act and change its oppressive ways, that it could promote reform.

Imagine that. The only thing between a government that has ruled by fear and oppression for nearly 60 years and freedom is a track meet.

Somebody should have thought of that before.

Actually, they did Berlin, for the 1936 Olympics. That certainly worked well.

Let the Games begin.

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