The Chinese government has a short fuse when it comes to tolerating activist-athletes. Chinese officials revoked the visa of Joey Cheek, a gold-medal speedskater and co-founder of Team Darfur. Cheek, who won the gold at the 2006 Olympics, helped create the organization of athletes dedicated to ending human rights violations in the Darfur region of Sudan. China has come under fire for its human rights policies and for purchasing large amounts of oil from Sudan.
And perhaps not wanting to be booted out of China themselves, the four US cyclists who wore black pollution masks over their noses and mouths in the Beijing airport have apologized. The US Olympic Committee chief said the athletes sent a written apology to the Beijing Organizing Committee because "they've now seen how their actions have been perceived. They were very eager to take the right action, which was to apologize to their hosts." Do you think an apology was in order?
The US Olympic team has chosen a Sudanese refugee to carry the American flag at the Beijing Opening Ceremonies. I wonder how China feels about that.