Olympic Games: Chinese Government Made List Of U.S. Athletes It Was Concerned About

Team Darfur

USA Today’s Christine Brennan reports today that China’s government “was so concerned about the possibility of athlete demonstrations in the Beijing Olympics that it created a list of nine U.S. athletes and one assistant coach it thought might cause trouble at the Games, according to an internal U.S. Olympic Committee e-mail.”

The e-mail stated that that Shu Xiao, minister counselor for cultural affairs at the Chinese embassy in Washington, said “many of them” were “apparently associated with Team Darfur.” Brennan notes that Team Darfur is “an international coalition of athletes committed to raising awareness about the crisis in Darfur, Sudan.”

Brennan also writes that “there were no incidents involving the athletes in China, and after months of conversation about possible athlete protests over Darfur, Tibet or China’s treatment of dissidents, none materialized at the Games.”

Team Darfur member and soccer player Amy Wambuch said about the list, “This may be the biggest compliment of my life. If they’re worried about us, maybe we do have more strength as athletes and as people to speak out. This just gives me more empowerment” (USA Today, 10/30).

Read the entire article at USAToday.com