According to an article in the Times (UK) entitled, “Olympic chief in ‘secret China deal’ “, a new book alleges that the election of International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was assisted by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in return for Beijing’s approval as host of the 2008 Summer Olympiad.
Shocking as that revelation may be, the article also indicates that the PRC spent more money on hosting the games than they spend on education – for a whole year – in the most populous nation on Earth.
A few more points brought out in the article:
The security forces evicted thousands of migrants from Beijing and arrested dissidents by the hundreds. Many events played out to half-empty stadiums because officials feared unrest.
Engineers cut off water to farmers south of Beijing to make sure the capital’s fountains never ran dry and sealed off the city with roadblocks to stop them protesting as thousands became destitute. Some committed suicide.
Facing questions in Beijing last year over China’s record on human rights and suppression of freedoms during the Olympics, Rogge conceded that perhaps the committee had been naive in accepting the promises made by Chinese leaders – like the sports minister.
“After all,” he said, “we are idealists”.