Beijing Olypics: Entertaining and Guilt-Ridden

By ERIC BARTON

I’ve been one of those people fairly hooked on the Beijing Olympics. Take last night’s heartbreaking final in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, when American LoLo Jones blew an early lead by tripping on one of the last hurdles. Or how about Nastia Liukin scoring high enough to get the gold but then ending up with a silver medal because of some obscure tiebreaker rule? You couldn’t script better sports drama.

But the more I hear about the regime in China and the more the news comes out about crackdowns on protesters, watching the Olympics is starting to feel like shopping at Wal-Mart. Or drinking from disposable water bottles. Or putting Huggies on your baby. There’s something dirty, something guilt-inducing about watching the Beijing games.

This struck home last week when local members of the Falun Gong movement held a press conference in Overland Park to protest the reported 8,000 members of their group to be rounded up by Chinese cops.

At the press conference was Jin Pang, a student at Missouri State University. Pang says her parents were kidnapped by Chinese authorities on July 9. The only reason she can figure is that they’re Falun Gong practitioners.

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