As you may have surmised by now, this is not just a figure skating blog, but also a figure skater blog. So any time some famous skater does something, we'll likely let you know. To that end, three-time skating world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko of Canada is speaking out about this summer's Beijing Olympics. He wants the Canadian government to pressure China on its human rights record.
"Things have to change. We want to let the people know, the Chinese people know, that we support them," he said at a Queen's Park rally. Mr. Stojko, the winner of silver medals at the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics, called on Canada to "make a stand" on the issue.
China's human rights record was a pretty big issue back in 2001 when Beijing was selected for the games and that was why a lot of people were lobbying against them as the pick. I suppose everyone was waiting around to see if the awarding of the games would cause the country to change its ways, but I feel that at some point between the awarding of the games and before the year that the actual games are going to occur, people might have noticed that things weren't getting better. Oh, well, that is completely an aside and doesn't have much to do with Stojko. I guess the fact that the Olympics are in the news this year is giving people more of a platform to say something, and it probably wouldn't have been paid much attention to in the last few years when the Olympics were still awhile away (in fact, all of the same people may very well have been speaking out and protesting and I may have just missed it because it lacked the news coverage).
Looks like AHN has a more specific Stojko article - he actually calls on the athletes to make a stand:
Speaking before protesters in Ontario in the afternoon of May 17, Stojko said the athletes should "make a stand" about human rights and he said he would consider boycotting the games if he was still competing in athletics. The rally, which was joined in by 200 people, was in protest to the human rights record of China.