SPORTS DOCTOR- Just say no: China's behavior merits a boycott

Despite the synthesized soundtrack, Chariots of Fire is a very inspirational movie. Eric Liddell's story of faith, dedication, and sportsmanship embodies the best of both the Olympic and the human spirit.

You can bet that if he were alive today, Liddell wouldn't participate in the Beijing Olympics.

That human rights-violating China even nominated itself as an Olympic host city is galling; the IOC's serf-like acquiescence to the idea is just gravy: Yes, China. Anything you say, China. Of course you can host the Olympics, China. Now will you keep exporting those plastic laurel leaves?

Back in 1924, Liddell put the world on notice by refusing to run the 100 meters at the Paris Olympics. It's not that he didn't want to run. The 100-meter race took place on a Sunday, and Liddell couldn't run on a Sunday.

The Lord's Day, you see. (Liddell won the gold in the 400 later.)

If Liddell were here, he wouldn't be running in the 2008 Games– not on a Sunday or any other day. If he set foot in China, he'd be arrested, detained, imprisoned, and deported. 

The son of missionaries, Liddell became a missionary himself and returned to his birth country (Tianjin in North China) to work and teach. He braved mortal danger and was ultimately imprisoned, enslaved, and starved. He died in 1945 in a work camp on his native soil.

Four years later China expelled and subsequently banned Christian missionaries. The ban still holds, and  "official" Chinese churches are affiliated with and regulated by the government. Many Chinese Christians meet secretly, braving interrogation, imprisonment, and often death.

Chapter 5 of the Olympic Charter reads: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious, or racial propaganda is permitted in the Olympic areas." How convenient. China can blast water cannons all day and the IOC won't bat an eye.

Won't we ever learn?

Back in 1936 when our own Jesse Owens (bless him!) made Adolf Hitler look like a buffoon, the British Olympic committee ordered their soccer team to give a Nazi salute before a game. You can look up the picture. 

Not the Olympics' proudest moment, yet we are doomed to repeat it. 

It's not enough to prohibit demonstrations and propaganda in Beijing; such "unsportsmanlike" conduct must be preemptively curtailed. 

But how? By forcing athletes to sign statements promising not to criticize the Communist Chinese government at all. Reportedly the British Olympic Committee has forced their athletes to sign these statements already, under penalty of expulsion from the Olympic team.

Lads, don't forget to leave that Bible at home, too. It's banned, you know. Yes, Olympic organizers have put the Bible on the list of items athletes are prohibited from bringing to Beijing. (I haven't seen the whole list, but Catcher in the Rye and Common Sense must there somewhere.)

If an athlete isn't Christian, not to worry. Mosques have been purged, imams vetted, and those war-mongering Buddhists have been, ahem, contained.

No, Eric Liddell wouldn't run in the upcoming Olympics. He would do what everyone who values liberty and humanity should do: he would decry these Olympics to all who would listen. 

To date, no Eric Liddell has shown up to denounce China. No president, no prime minister, no King or Queen has done more than criticize Beijing's smog problem. No athlete has refused to compete unless the Bible or Koran is packed in a carry-on bag (only marathoner Haile Gebrselassie refused: smog). No torchbearer has refused to set foot in Tibet to protest its occupation.

The Olympic Spirit isn't about competition; it's about the best of humanity, the triumph of mankind over adversity, a sense of fair play and sportsmanship that can't otherwise exist. It's not supposed to be about most favored trade nation status.

Grease up those elbows. It looks like we've got a salute coming (and I don't mean Black Power).



Bibles are not banned in China. I'm Christian and not only lived in China for years, but also attended church services there openly with Chinese citizens.

Well Nicole, you can count your blessings, because from all the reports I've seen, the Christians can't even worship the Pope (in China) but they are ordered to worship the Communist Party cadre instead. Taking the Party as the head of the church is not religion--sounds more like a cult than anything else. It's not true Christianity but merely a facade before the Olympics--it's called propaganda.

The sad reality is that real priests and church leaders are viciously tortured and killed. Bishops languish in jail for years.

And there is more,since 2001--the year that Beijing was granted the Games--adherents the respected Falun Gong faith have had their organs harvested while still breathing. The organs are sold for huge sums of money to the elite communist party officials. Since January, mass arrests have been reported - at least 2000 and awards are offered for their arrests. They have become 'prisoners of the Olympics'. This truth is about to resurface any moment now.

I don't see anywhere in the Olympic Charter saying that these monstrosities are allowed. It's time to do the maths.

This is all documented and you may not know about any of this. It's hard for anyone living in China to get the true story of what is really going on behind the scene due to no freedom of information.

First of all, let's keep the facts straight -- If Mr. Liddell died in NORTHERN CHINA in 1945, he most likely died at the hands of the invading Japanese, who controlled large parts of costal areas and northern China when they surrendered in 1945, rather than that of the Chinese government. In 1945, the political force in power in China were the Nationalists, who four years later lost the civil war in mainland China to the communists and retreated to Taiwan. Liddell's blood is definitely not on the hands of the current Chinese government.

Secondly, Makina, I don't know what kind of reports you have been reading, my first reading of the bible was in early 80's, when I was in elementary school, in China, and the bible was written in Chinese. Futhermore, "the Christians can't even worship the Pope (in China) but they are ordered to worship the Communist Party cadre instead" is simply ludicrous, I have relatives who are Christians and as early as the 1980's they've attended services on Sunday mornings in churches, they have drawn attention of some curious onlookers, but not the "secret police" that you are imagining.

Thirdly, organ harvesting of the Falun Gong practitioners is similar to a blood libel myth rising out of prejudice, ignorance and xenophobia (not on your part, Makina). Do you know how complex is the process of finding a matching organ donor, how many potential donors need to be tested before the suitable one can be found? If Falun Gong practioners' organs can be simply removed and each sold to an elite communist party official who's also a suitable recipient for that organ, we must have so many sick party officials that we won't have a communist party to rule China much longer.

Finally, I have lived in the US for the past 20+ years and have seen enough propaganda in this country (the Iraqi WMD and the North Vietnamese attach on the US in Gulf of Tonkin, for example) that I've learned to take with a grain of salt anything I see. People tend to mistakenly equate freedom of information with accuracy/completeness of information, this makes them easy believers of misinformation spread under the umbrella of freedom of information, otherwise we won't be in Iraq today, may not be in Vietnam at all.


Here's a couple of eye openers for you:

Chinese priest sentenced to three years for inaugurating a state-sanctioned church

Organ Harvesting Report by Kilgour-Matas: 'Bloody Harvest'

The only gold that Beijing should get is for tyranny!


I still haven't seen evidence that (1) the bible is banned in China, as the original article states, or (2) that the Christians in China "are ordered to worship the Communist Party cadre" in your earlier post. You at least have a source for your own statement, don't you?

Your first article makes several statements that are misleading, I'll explain for you my points of view, but you should probably consult any of your friends who work in the legal field as well.

The priest is accused of organizing an unlawful gathering. By the way, unlawful gathering is also illegal in the US, for example: Note the definition include conduct or activities that could be public nuisance, or "likely to disturb non-participating persons by excessive pedestrian or vehicular traffic and parking problems or congestion." If your gathering of 7,000 in Bloomington, MN meets such criteria, such as causing traffic problem as the police testifies, it is illegal, regardless of whether it's to celebrate a new church or high school graduation. I'm sure China has similar laws, and the priest apprently has been convicted on this charge.

Why the authors of this article bring up irrelevant facts such as the construction of the church is legal or funding was provided by church members, I don't know, they obviously do not figure into the definition of unlawful gathering. These statements distort facts and mislead those who don't read the article carefully.

As for your second article, it's full of conjectures that even the authors admit are unverifiable. Here are the figures provided by the authors:

Number of organ transplants in China in 2005 is about 20,000, according to the authors (sec. 27)

The authors have no idea how many executions produced organs

The authors have no idea how many organs come from voluntary donors, but claim they are small (how small, given the population base of >1billion?)

Despite all these missing information, the authors still claim that there is a gap that can't be filled, based on what?

Look at it this way: US has population of 300 million, number of organ transplants is as high as 29,000/year (

China has population of 1.3 billion, 4 times that of the US, 20,000/year organ transplants is only ~1/6 as high as what is in the US on per capita basis. If I use the authors' logic, which country is more likely to be practicing organ harvesting?

My dear JUANITA GILES,,who has been brainwashed and blinded? If you don't know,just give me a break.

see this

Eric Liddell died in a Janpanese work camp,which set in China.He was interred in the Mausoleum of Martyrs in Shijiazhuang, China which is a great honour for a non-Chinese person.

If you hope somebody else will listen to you, you'd better to make sure you tell correct story. However, a simple truth is your Eric died in Japanese work camp, not Chinese.

So, how can you blame Chinese? I am just wondering if you think Japan is a part of China and Japanese is also a part of Chinese? If so, then that's ok. You'll have to face to Japanese complaints then.

You ARE the second making me laugh.

Yesterday, another guy on Youtube claimed George Orwell's 1984 is describing the history of China.
Now, do you mean Japanese should be regarded as Chinese? The blame on China is turning out a comedy.

As regards the conflict between Beijing and Vatican, it's the latter igniting the fuse first. Since the very beginning of establishment of PRC, Vatican called on its followers in China uprising against communist. Don't forget the role John Paul II played in crumbling soviet union. Vatican never got away from filthy politics, crusaders, NAZI, cold war......

Mr. Liddell was prisoned in the work camp of Japanese in Shangdong Provincewhen in China when Japan was invading China and killing millions of Chinese.

I am a Chinese. I truly respect Mr.Liddell. Even in the horrible work camp of Japanese, he taught his fellow prisoners baseball, and encouraged them to be optimistic about tomorrow. He is a great man. He truly loves China and Chinese highly respect him.

I am tired of this kind of propaganda in the US. You always firmly believe that China is a evil country. Please open your eyes.

let me borrow the words from Mr. Obama: you "simply and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality".

Juanita, here's a proof that bible is NOT banned in China: "Free Bible for the Poor",

All your factual errors can be easily identified by simple google searches. In the future, I sincrely hope that you will make some effort to ensure the truthfulness of what you write.

Makina, you may find this "eye opening" as well.

Ignorance make you brave to talk.

Are you saying Japan is part of China? If you really hate Chinese, do some homework first, right now you really hurt our friend, Japanese.

There are some churches in my hometown, a town very close to the exactly place where Chinese Revolution started. When I was a teenager, these churches were all closed. But since 1990, all of them have been re-opened. Several years ago, there are even two more new churches opened. Actually, these new churches are very pretty compared with the buildings surrounding them. I was told the money was from oversea organizations.

When I was a graduate student 14 years ago, one of my classmates was from Hebei. He told us everyone in his village is Christan. Later he got a scholarship from a Germany Christan organization and went to Germany for his Ph.D.

My first bible was purchased in 1994 when I visited the annual national book show in Wuhan. It cost me 50 yuans, more than half of my monthly allowance at that time. I guess this is why I am very sure Bible was not banned at least in 1994. Honestly, I did not read this expensive book. I mailed it to my good friend in Hainan who was in big trouble at that time. I was very pleased that he started to get good luck after getting my gift.

Right now my mother attended the service in Church every week. She lives in Guangdong, China.

I do suspect the original author does not have real Chinese experience. This is not good. If you want to criticize someone, use some real proof instead of fake and empty ones, please.


Just say so, you are really ignorant and biased.

Poor Juanita, you are pitifully brainwashed. Who put in your mind this extreme hate and injustice against Chinese people? So outrageous that you had to coin and spread such big lies, to hurt the Olymics, which has been a dream of >one billion Chinese, who work like a dog to realize it? Look at what you put: 'Lads, don't forget to leave that Bible at home, too. It's banned, you know. Yes, Olympic organizers have put the Bible on the list of items athletes are prohibited from bringing to Beijing.' Have you any shame? You indicate you are a black? Then you must know Martin Luther King Jr. He said, 'Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.' He also said, 'Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.' May God give you strength, help you wipe away the ignorance-backed pride and prejudice, and restore true love and justice to your heart, to all the people in this world including Chinese.