|2012 London Olympics Official Logo|
The OLYMPIC GAMES fever is here again. Next year 2012, the prestigious international Olympics which is held every Leap Year will be in London (UK). Four years ago, the Olympics were held in Beijing (in 2008), China. It was met by much opposition from human rights activists such that China's political dissenters were imprisoned or subjected to severe communal services. Also religious freedom was strictly controlled by the state that even the Catholic Church split into two. One is officially recognized by the Chinese government but undermines Vatican's authority over Church's matters and the underground Catholic Church where its bishops and priests suffered discrimination and torture at the hands of Chinese authorities.
For sure, the 2012 Olympics is not free from issues. But at this time, it's Iran doing the problem. Because of the 2012 London Olympics Logo, Iran team is threatening to boycott the game. For them, the logo seems to mean "racist"?
"Iranian officials believe the logo, which comprises primarily of the number '2012' in a distinctive font, also spells out the word 'Zion' - a term often used to describe Jerusalem and the Jewish state of Israel, of which Iran and a number of other Islamic countries in the area are sworn enemies."-ESPN UKIran's Olympics Committee chairman Mohammad Aliabadi wrote a formal complaint letter to the International Olympics Committee (OIC). Said in the letter: "Unfortunately, we all are witnessing that the upcoming Olympics... faces a serious challenge, definitely spawned out of some people's racist spirit. The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo ...in the emblem of the Olympics Games 2012 is a very revolting act... [it] affect the participation of several countries, especially like Iran which insists on following principles and values."
But Aliabadi's letter was received with equal harshness. Said the OIC's spokesperson: "The London 2012 logo represents the year 2012, nothing else. It was launched in 2007 following testing and consultation, we are surprised that this complaint has been made now".
This is not the first time Iran and its players acted so childish and racially discriminated fellow players just because they are Jews/Israelis. In 2010 Weightlifting competition Mir Rasool Raisi, Head of Delegation to Iran’s Weightlifting Team, and Hossein Khodadadi, a veteran weightlifting champion, objected standing beside the Israeli champion and refused a hand-shake from the Israeli player. Both have been banned from all sport activities for life.
Now, British Prime Minister David Cameron fires back against Iran. "It's completely paranoid. If the Iranians don't want to come, don't come - we won't miss you."
Mr. Cameron warned any athlete/country refusing to compete with Israel, "You shouldn't have that approach to sport. If you were going to come to the Olympic Games, you take part against everybody and if you're going to behave like that you're not welcome."
Government spokesperson reiterated the message, "Any country participating in the 2012 Games will be welcomed, but it is absolutely essential that they embrace the spirit of the Games."
Israel is becoming paranoid. I hope they will not come to the Olympics. It will be better for the Olympians and it will be better for Olympics Committee!