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I guess people don't understand what the Olympics stand for  anymore:

-Yahoo Sports

Wednesday, Aug 6, 2008 12:13 am EDT

Olympic gold medalist and outspoken Darfur activist Joey Cheek has had his visa revoked by the Chinese embassy, hours before the speedskating champion was set to fly to China. And he wasn't even planning on wearing a mask when he got there.

Chinese officials don't need a reason to revoke anyone's visa but, in their eyes, they had plenty of reasons to ****** Cheek's. He is the founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes whose goal it is to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan. China's military, economic and diplomatic ties to Sudan have been well-publicized in the lead-up to the Games.

Said Cheek of his ban in a prepared statement:

   "I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.

Cheek was going to China to support the athletes on Team Darfur -- including soccer player Abby Wambach -- and to promote the cause, one that he has championed for years. After winning gold in the Torino Games, Cheek announced he was donating his $25,000 USOC bonus to Darfur and implored his sponsors to do the same. It seems that Joey Cheek is truly one of the good guys.

And now he's out of China before he even got there. With the Games getting closer (just two days away now), the world seemed ready to forget about all the Chinese issues in order to focus on the Games themselves. Unfortunately, China's actions make that impossible. In a time when we should be wondering who will light the Olympic cauldron, whether Michael Phelps can break an all-time record and how Liu Xiang will react to the pressure of 1.3 billion of his countrymen hanging on his every step, we're instead left to discuss the Chinese government's reluctance to allow any dissension in their country, despite repeated promises that they'd clean up their act when the Olympics came to town.

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A childhood friend of mine made the Olympic rowing team and is headed to China for the Games. I've spoken with his mother on numerous occasions and from what she's told me, even just getting a visa to go to China is a task in itself. They actually require a bank statement on professional letterhead showing your account balance. Why I don't know, but that's just one of the crazy requirements mandated by the Chinese government.

I can see how they would over-react about something like that, Hookem. It's a shame, really, as the Olympics are all about bringing together people from different backgrounds, different lifestyles and different religions. Obviously the Chinese gov't forgot that.

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I am 57 years old and every 4 years since I can remember people say the Olympics are not political, which is BS It is all about politics, people should just tell the truth.

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I'm sorry but the guy isn't even competing in the Olympics. He was going as a spectator and because China didn't want him there possibly stirring up things it was easier to revoke his visa than to deal with him when he got there.

Now because he is an "activist" (with a good cause mind you) he goes crying to the media and gets the publicity he desired a different way.

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Hey this gives me an idea; Can we revoke Risk Kid's Visa?

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I'm sorry but the guy isn't even competing in the Olympics. He was going as a spectator and because China didn't want him there possibly stirring up things. It was easier to revoke his visa than to deal with him when he got there.

Now because he is an "activist" (with a good cause mind you) he goes crying to the media and gets the publicity he desired a different way.

Wow, that part went right over my head. I was under the impression he was a competing athlete. I rescind my previous statement, I now understand why the Chinese gov't wouldn't want him there. Not that I agree with it, but like I said they've got some crazy rules over there.

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I am still shocked that they chose China to host the games.

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I'm sorry but the guy isn't even competing in the Olympics. He was going as a spectator and because China didn't want him there possibly stirring up things. It was easier to revoke his visa than to deal with him when he got there.

Now because he is an "activist" (with a good cause mind you) he goes crying to the media and gets the publicity he desired a different way.

Wow, that part went right over my head. I was under the impression he was a competing athlete. I rescind my previous statement, I now understand why the Chinese gov't wouldn't want him there. Not that I agree with it, but like I said they've got some crazy rules over there.

That's exactly what the reporter wanted you to think. They wanted our emotions to react before our brain did.

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I am still shocked that they chose China to host the games.

They chose Germany in 1936 , why would this surprise you ?

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And Iceland for the SUMMER OLYMPICS next year

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What I find interesting about having the games in China is what we will find out about their country and its government.

The pollution problem was the first problem we were informed about.

Then their is the Tibet problem.

Should be interesting to see what happens when all of the various cultures interact with the Chinese people.  ;)

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My friend that's headed to the Olympics was telling me that the two weeks prior to them leaving for Beijing were spent in New Jersey because the air quality there is as poor as it is in China. The purpose is to get them acclimated to the polluted air so that it won't effect them as much when they get there. How bad is that?! :-?

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I also read that the Chinese shut down some of their major manufacturing plants for the last  2 or 3 weeks and disallowed alot of private transportation to clear some of the smog for the upcoming games.

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I am still shocked that they chose China to host the games.

They chose Germany in 1936 , why would this surprise you ?

When Germany was chosen to host the games, Hitler was not in power.

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My friend that's headed to the Olympics was telling me that the two weeks prior to them leaving for Beijing were spent in New Jersey because the air quality there is as poor as it is in China. The purpose is to get them acclimated to the polluted air so that it won't effect them as much when they get there. How bad is that?! :-?

Couldn't they could just run through the streets of NY or CHI behind a city bus ???

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I'm sorry but the guy isn't even competing in the Olympics. He was going as a spectator and because China didn't want him there possibly stirring up things it was easier to revoke his visa than to deal with him when he got there.

Now because he is an "activist" (with a good cause mind you) he goes crying to the media and gets the publicity he desired a different way.

If not more.

I hate politics.  When it comes to the Olympic games, I've seen some things.  I've been held at borders, searched, you name it.  Things you think Olympic athletes wouldn't have to deal with or be questioned about.  I think it would have been much easier to travel as an ordinary civilian.  Mind you, this was 20 yrs ago, I can't imagine what the athletes go through nowadays.

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