1 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/12/2010
ASIA – CANADA
Vancouver: Asia’s hopes in the 21st Winter Olympic games
The Games will run from 12 to 28 February, coinciding with Chinese New Year. In Canada, about 2,500 athletes will represent 82 nations, 21 from Asia. Beijing is sending its largest delegation ever, but its presence is still overshadowed by its 2008 “Olympics prisoners”.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – At 6 pm local time, the 21st Winter Olympic Games will officially open today in Vancouver (Canada) until 28 February. For Canadians, who already hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, it will be an opportunity to outperform the United States and win the much-coveted gold medal in ice hockey. For many athletes from Asia, just being there is a success. Among Asian delegations, China is coming with its largest contingent ever, whilst South Korea (17 gold) and Japan (9 gold) will try to keep their edge in the medal count.

After facing a snow shortage and the economic crisis, these Games will see the participation of some 2,500 athletes from 82 nations, including 21 from Asia. China’s delegation will be 180-strong with 94 athletes who will compete in ten sporting events. So far, the mainland has won 33 medals (4 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze). Many Chinese sports aficionados are hoping that the coincidence of dates with Chinese New Year (14 February) will bring luck (and medals) for the whole games.

Yesterday in Richmond, the Chinese Olympic Committee inaugurated China House, the first such structure ever built for the Winter Games, a place where athletes, coaches and officials can relax and unwind from all the pressure caused by the competitions.

However, China is still under the shadow cast by the abuses and human rights violations that occurred during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

In the period leading up to and during the Games, activists, dissidents and independent reporters were arrested and sent to prison for demanding freedom of the press and respect for human rights.

This week Reporters without Borders sent a petition to Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), urging him to ask Chinese authorities to free the so-called “Olympic prisoners”.

In a curt response, the IOC said that it is not the authority to intercede. "We must leave these things to the relevant bodies such as the UN and its agencies,” the statement said.

Among the Asian athletes coming to Vancouver, two are from North Korea, one from Taiwan, two from Nepal, one from Pakistan and three from India.

The Indian delegation will honour a soldier who was killed in an avalanche the day after its arrival in Vancouver. “We found out by reading it on the Internet," said Shabir Wani, the Indian cross-country skiing coach.

Only about half of India's 1.1 billion citizens are even aware they have a team competing in the Winter Olympics. "If you say 'skiing,' about another 25 per cent of the people would assume you mean skating," chef de mission R.K. Gupta said.

India, which boasts 20 Olympic medals in summer sports, has not won a medal at the Winter Games since it began competing in them in 1964.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/30/2004 asia - olympic games
China leads Asia into a new Olympic era
04/06/2006 SOUTH KOREA - CHINA
Olympic committee: we want full respect for human rights before the games
02/27/2008 CHINA
IOC advisor: the Olympics are an opportunity for respect of human rights
03/12/2008 CHINA
Olympic projects built with "the blood" of migrant workers
08/08/2006 CHINA
Olympics two years away: human rights ignored as Beijing gears up

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.