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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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July 31, 2008 11:08 AM

Reportedly still unbanned in Beijing, we will try harder

Posted by Ron Judd

According to a post down below by a helpful reader in Beijing (welcome; enjoy it while you can) this site has yet to be blocked by Chinese censors. That's a bit of a downer, especially given all the excellent, detailed, censor-worthy material posted by many other helpful readers to help us reach our goal of lights-out in China.

And, we're still holding out hope that maybe there's a special censor banning us from the Media Center and other official Olympic facilities. But if not, well, there's always tomorrow. Or even later today.

Speaking of censoring. The International Olympic Committee, made to look like a flaccid accomplice of the Chinese government in worldwide news reports yesterday, now says there was NO deal to allow China to block certain Internet sites at Olympic facilities.

It's beautiful how China seeks to have it both ways here: They say the Beijing Games are all about presenting China, as a nation and growing power, to the world, but reporters stationed there are only supposed to report on the Games themselves, so they clearly have no need to access material of any organizations or publications critical of the Chinese government. That's a good deal if you can get it. But the IOC insists it's a deal it never made.

Here is the IOC statement in its entirety:

IOC STATEMENT

Our position is that the IOC has always encouraged the Beijing 2008 organisers to provide media with the fullest access possible to report on the Olympic Games, including access to the internet.

In light of internet access problems which were experienced this week by media in the Olympic Games Main Press Centre in Beijing, the IOC -- namely Chairman of the Beijing 2008 IOC Coordination Commission Hein Verbruggen and Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli -- held meetings and discussions today with Games organizers (BOCOG) and Chinese authorities.

The issues were put on the table and the IOC requested that the Olympic Games hosts address them. We understand that BOCOG will give details to the media very soon of how the matter has been addressed. We trust them to keep their promise.

The IOC would like to stress that no deal with the Chinese authorities to censor the internet has ever in any way been entered into.

###

We can hardly wait to see what happens next. One thing's for sure: The Chinese people will be the last to know about it.

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Blogroll and links

www.olympic.org: The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information.
www.nbcolympics.com: Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog
www.usolympicteam.com: U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site.
www.aroundtherings.com: Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription).
www.wcsn.com: News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions.
www.beijing2008.com: Beijing Organizing Committee Web site.
www.vancouver2010.com: Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site.
www.london2012.com: London 2012 Summer Games site.
www.sochi2014.com: Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site.
www.chicago2016.org: Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.