Olympic spirit doesn't preclude fair complaints

Source:Global Times Published: 2012-8-12 18:10:03

The London Olympic Games is drawing to a close, and China had won 87 medals by press time. Meanwhile, complicated feelings have been stirred up. One of the feelings is that the Western attitude toward China is not as warm as ours was toward the West four years ago.

Several Chinese athletes who won medals received unfair treatment, which has caused great discomfort to the Chinese public.

The Chinese know that international public opinion is dominated by the West. Chinese athletes are not as active as foreign athletes in lodging complaints. Most Chinese media outlets maintain a restrained attitude. Many Chinese equal self-restraint with being broad-minded.

Maybe we should not be preoccupied with the unfair treatment Chinese athletes received in London. We needn't lose our temper over trifles.

But while the British people are celebrating their gold medal victories nationwide, and presidents of some countries are congratulating on athletes' successes themselves, we're repeatedly telling ourselves that "the Olympic spirit is the most important thing."

Why is our media so shy from speaking out and always trying to find some excuses for the mistreatment we have suffered? Isn't that a bit too much?

The Chinese are still far from looking at the developed countries with an equal mindset. We still lack the confidence to express fully the feelings of joy, anger, sorrow and happiness, and our inherited cultural restraint also imposes us with certain restriction.

There are practical reasons why Chinese athletes receive more unfair treatment. China took top place on the gold medal chart at the last Olympic Games. When dealing with China, referees and public opinion tend to enforce rules and regulations more strictly.

The West often takes a critical attitude toward China. And the Olympic arena, where fairness is most stressed, is not an exception. We should have the courage to fight for our interests. Being confident doesn't mean that we should be self-restrained all the time and not care about the loss of things that shouldn't have been lost.

China advocates complying with universal global practices. But we should not fall into the trap of being forced to comply by every practice. And more importantly, we should not make ourselves spiritual dwarves in front of the developed countries.

The Olympic Games is a platform on which Chinese people can widen horizons. The Olympic spirit of competition and unity can only be realized through the process of a meeting of conflicting interests. We needn't be excessively cautious, as if we were walking on the razor's edge.

The article is an editorial published in the Chinese edition of the Global Times Thursday. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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