T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  EEEEE

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P   P O    O R   R   T   L      A A  NN  N D   D I  A A  NN  N
PPPP  O    O RRRR    T   L     AAAAA N N N D   D I AAAAA N N N
P     O    O R   R   T   L     A   A N  NN D   D I A   A N  NN
P      OOOO  R   R   T   LLLLL A   A N   N DDDD  I A   A N   N

The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

April 22, 2008 Edition 
(C) 2008 Portland Ice Skating Society

It's time for another issue of Tonya goodies from the folks at 
Special Duties. And this time it's a biggie, because there's been 
lots of Tonya news recently. We start off by reviewing the 
Tonya/Nancy opera, and have good news on Tonya's long-awaited 
book. Meanwhile, Tonya tackles some dumb criminals, and does some 
singing. We also unearth some vintage Tonya skating footage that 
we didn't even know existed. Finally, we bring back two classic 
Portlandian features: the Jayson awards and another favorite 
pastime of ours, bashing the IOC (and boy, have they given us 
plenty of stuff to bash them with recently).


Without doubt the most important Tonya-related event since our 
last issue has been the debut of the Tonya/Nancy rock opera in 
Portland in February. The rock opera opened at the World Trade 
Center Auditorium on February 21 to a nearly-full house, 
including the ultimate critic, Tonya herself. The event received 
extensive and generally positive coverage in the Pacific 
Northwest and national media. Several of the reports include 
video of Tonya, whose reaction to it all seems to have been one 
of amusement rather than discomfort.

When asked by a reporter upon entering the lobby as to why she 
had turned up, her reply was that she was "helping the local 
talent get some publicity and that way they can get more work on 
themselves." After the 100-minute show ended, Tonya joined the 
15-strong cast on stage, hugged the lead actresses and described 
it as "really awesome". Talking to reporters later, she said 
"There was a lot of it that I already knew, but there was a lot 
of it where I was going 'wow, did my life really look that bad?'" 
and "It was kind of funny watching your own life on stage", 
adding that the actors did a "really great job."

"I lived in a trailer home," the show's artistic director Don 
Horn told local papers. "I'm from a white-trash family. She 
understands that I'm not trying to hurt her". "As I've gotten to 
know her," Horn said, "I really like her... She's a pepper pot."

The script also succeeded in changing some of the cast's own
opinions about Tonya. Beth Willis, who plays her in the 
production, grew up in Beaverton as a Kerrigan fan. "Nancy was so 
pretty," she says. "And what happened to her was so bad. Then I 
read the script. I was practically in tears for Tonya. It gives 
such a different side". "We all make mistakes. Not all of us have 
to do it in the public eye. I think it's amazing she was able to 
go as far as she did." Other cast members include Lilla D'Mone 
(Nancy), Dale Johannes (Jeff Gillooly), Todd Pozycki (Shawn 
Eckardt) Sue Ellen Christensen (LaVona Harding) and Jason Coffey 
(Shane Stant), backed by a five-piece rock band.

Attendances have also been good. Indeed, it received such a 
positive reaction from audiences that two extra performances were 
arranged on the 14th and 15th of March. 

For those unable to make it to the performances in person, the 
show's web site also features two songs from the opera, "When You 
Wake Up Sleeping In Your Car In Estacada" and "It's Our Whole 
Life". The files are in mp3 format, and should be playable on any 
just about any computer. You can download them by right-clicking, 
which may be the best way to listen to them if you are on a slow 


Naturally those connected with the project were busy promoting it
in local media, including several interviews about the event on 
KPAM, a local radio station:

The first two are with Don Horn, the show's artistic director, 
and the third is with Tonya herself, and goes for about 11 

Interesting trivia question at the end from Tonya, about when she 
first landed the 3 axel in competition but was not credited for 
it. As a long-time Tonyaologist my guess is that this page would 
hold the answer:

Tonya also appeared on Bob Miller's show a second time on 
February 21st, where she no doubt gave the answer, but 
unfortunately this interview does not appear to have been 

Meanwhile, the Oregonian ran this story, complete with the wrong 
photograph (it's of the original classical opera, not the rock 

The Tribune also had this behind the scenes preview of the show: 


First up we have the Portland Mercury. Interestingly, the writer 
initially was expecting to dislike the production but was won 
over, describing it as "brilliant and touching".

Willamette Week has a report on the opening night, complete with 
YouTube video of Tonya's arrival and taking the stage at the end, 
along with a review:

This one is negative. Oddly, it seems that the writer's problem 
with the show is that he sees it as making fun of Tonya, which is 
quite an unusual position for a Portland journalist. Guess he 
won't be getting many job offers in that town with an attitude 
like that:

Another pleasant surprise is two very detailed reviews from Katy 
Muldoon at The Oregonian. And they're positive (e.g. 
acknowledging a "rousing ovation" from the audience at the end). 
Could it be that this paper has finally grown up and realized 
Tonyaphobia is old hat?

Another lengthy review comes from the Columbian, the paper that 
covers the area where Tonya now lives:

Local TV stations also covered the event:

The opera also made news back East, with this article from a 
Massachusetts paper about the composer, Michael Teoli:

It seems that Tonya had a successful night on the video pokies as 

This one has video:

We're glad to see that they've reinstated the Shawn Eckardt role 
that was cut from the original version. Only problem is that the 
guy who is playing him needs more padding.

A LOT more padding...


Here's more great news: Tonya's long-awaited autobiography that 
she worked on several years ago is finally to see the light of 
day. The publisher is an outfit called World Audience and its 
expected release date is in May:

Entitled "The Tonya Tapes", the book is described on the site as:

  "Based on the candid and sometimes startling conversations that
   YOU were never meant to hear, THE TONYA TAPES, written by
   award-winning author, Lynda D. Prouse, chronicles the life of
   the world's most infamous female athlete –- TONYA HARDING –-
   revealing for the first time the whole truth of her difficult
   and sometimes amazing life on and off the ice. Based on actual,
   extensive interviews with Tonya Harding, and written with her
   collaboration, this is her story!

The title isn't quite as cool as the one we suggested ("Triple 
Axels & Double Crosses") but not bad. It's got that sort of 
Watergate-type angle about it, with a dash of Mission Impossible. 
Let's just hope that there isn't an 18 minute blank section at 
the part where Tonya discusses the Whacking, or that the tape 
didn't self destruct before the author got to listen to that bit.


Tonya has also been involved in doing commentary for a new TV 
series, "The Smoking Gun Presents: The World's Dumbest...", which 
has begun airing on the truTV channel (formerly CourtTV) in the 
9pm time slot:

Tonya has already done some segments on "The World's Dumbest 
Criminals" for the show, which started screening on March 13. So 
far there have four episodes on that topic, and future episodes 
in the ten-part series are proposed to feature dumbness in all 
its forms, such as the world's dumbest drivers, dumbest 
daredevils and dumbest record breakers, amongst others.

Other commentators include Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Amy 
Fisher and Leif Garrett, all of whom were selected because of 
their own brushes with the law. Andrew Goldberg and Bill Bastone, 
founders of, also feature on the show.

A reader who viewed the fourth show says that Tonya "looked 
fantastic", has lost weight and now has a great suntan. Tonya's 
agent, Linda Lewis, tells us that Tonya has traveled to Burbank 
at least three times (the last time being just last week) to work 
on this series, so she will be on more episodes. It seems that 
the show's producers are really pleased with her work, and the 
show itself has got at least one positive review:

More information, including some video clips, can be found on the 
show's home page at:

Tonya features briefly in a segment about a guy stealing women's 
bras (he claimed he was using them as slingshots) and also 
appears in a clip of outtakes entitled "World's silliest 
celebrities" on the site.

Which brings us to this issue's Tonya Trivia question: apart from 
all being on this show and having had legal problems, what is the 
connection between Tonya and the four other celebrity panelists?


Back in early February Tonya attended an event at the Boonedocks 
bar in Meade County, Kentucky. She was supposed to box in an 
exhibition but that was canceled because of the lack of proper 
paperwork. It seems that as a professional boxer she has to have 
a referee and a doctor present. Heck, you'd thing the people 
booking her for this stuff would check that sort of thing out 
after what happened in Florida with Daisy D a few years back. 
Tonya attended anyway, signed autographs and sang "Blue" by 
LeeAnn Rimes with a live backing band, and got what appears to be 
a good reception:

The appearance was the brainchild of bar owner Duke Williams who 
figured that Tonya was just the thing to bring in customers to 
his new business, which is located on the Meade-Hardin county 
line near Vine Grove. "This was a way to get our name out, short 
of getting Willie Nelson or somebody like that in here," he said. 
"Everybody knows Tonya Harding. Even my kids that wasn't born 
when she was an ice skater knows Tonya Harding."

Tonya received a "great" reception from the 200 or so people who 
attended, co-owner Sherry Boggs told a local paper. "Everybody's 
loving her," Boggs said. "She's really a nice lady, very 

Tonya also spent Friday at the Ali Museum in Louisville.


April saw Tonya returning to the Kansas City area, where she was 
last seen for December's "Season's Beatings" event, for two 
appearances. The first was a pool tournament in Blue Springs, 
Missouri on the 10th, with the winner of an eBay auction getting 
dinner and a game of pool with her. The event raised funds for a 
local health clinic. Tonya also later sang karaoke at the venue.

Tonya was also present at "April Armageddon", a wrestling event
the next day in Kansas City, though only as a guest, not actually 
taking part:

Unfortunately Tonya's enjoyment of her visit to Kansas City was 
marred by a sinus infection, but we are told that she is now well 
on the road to recovery.


This clip, of Tonya performing in something called the U.S. 
National Sports Festival in Baton Rouge in 1985, appears to be 
the oldest motion picture film or video footage of Tonya to 
emerge so far:

This is the Short Program. Unfortunately, Tonya's weakness in 
figures at this point in her career meant she went into the Short 
Program in 13th place. But as the uploader says, it is impressive 
for her, at age 14, to land the most difficult combination of all 
the ladies - a triple flip/double loop.


No, we don't mean a new "Friday the 13th" movie. We're talking 
about the Jayson awards, an old Portlandian favorite. Named in 
(dis)honor of Jayson Blair, the New York Times reporter who made 
up alot of his stories, the "Jaysons" are dished out to any media 
that we think have engaged in biased and inaccurate reporting 
about Tonya. And we've got plenty of them this time around:

The first nominee is: "The Columbian". Late in March, they 
published the following story relating to alleged gunshots being 
heard near Tonya's house:

It seems that the gist of it was that "somebody heard something 
that they thought sounded like gunfire, and despite this 
occurring in an area where shooting is not restricted, called the 
cops, who investigated and found..... well, nothing at all, 

This article is a perfect example of trying fabricate a story out 
of nothing just because Tonya might be involved and there's an 
opportunity to make her look bad. Let's look at the facts: 
"gunshots reported..." - excuse us, but did somebody repeal the 
Second Amendment during Easter while the NRA wasn't looking? What 
part of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not 
be infringed" don't these clowns understand? Nobody was killed, 
nobody was injured, nobody was arrested - indeed there wasn't 
even a police report written up. Secondly, there's no evidence 
that Tonya was doing the shooting, or anyone else on her 
property. Thirdly, even if she was, it seems it's completely 
legal anyway. In fact, it doesn't even seem clear from the 
article that it was ever firmly established that the sounds were 
actually gunfire.

Indeed, it seems that the only reason this non-event made it into 
the paper was because of some vague suggestion that Tonya may 
have been connected in some way. In fact, Tonya's agent, Linda 
Lewis, has told us that the police didn't even interview Tonya. 
In other words, Tonya was NOT CONNECTED in any way with this. 
Unfortunately, it seems that the reporter couldn't wait for Ms. 
Lewis to reply to his inquiry before rushing into print. Of 
course, had he done so, the sole reason for the article - a 
chance to tarnish Tonya with vague suggestions and innuendo - 
would have evaporated.

The outcome of all this reminds us of the title to Tonya's Short 
Program from the 1993/94 season - "Much Ado About Nothing". We 
have to wonder what the Columbian's next big news story about 
Tonya will be - perhaps "Tonya ticketed for parking violation", 
or maybe "Harding caught with overdue library book"? A big fat 
"Jayson" to The Columbian for this drek.

The second nominee is... They're the bunch of parasites 
who normally spend their time reporting who Paris, Britney & 
Lindsay are shagging this week. First they posted video of Tonya 
wiping her nose while eating in a cafe in Burbank in February 
(apparently they think that this is important news - "My God, 
look at the way she blows her schnozz! She must have been in on 
it!"). Then a few days ago they followed this up with some 
virtually unrecognizable footage of Tonya singing karaoke at 
the Side Pockets pool hall in Blue Springs:

The article makes derogatory comments about Tonya's singing, 
which, we have to admit, isn't that great. But in any case, so 
what? People who can sing are a dime a dozen. How many women can 
do a triple axel?

TMZ must be absolutely desperate if they paid money for this 
dingy poor quality crap. It's barely viewable. Much better 
footage of Tonya in Kansas City is this clip of her arm wrestling 
a local DJ as a bet (she won):

The money raised went to charity. Of course, naturally we don't 
see THAT reported on TMZ.

But it's not just local rags or paparazzi sites that are having a 
go at Tonya. Last issue, we noted how two of the main candidates 
in the U.S. Presidential elections both made negative references 
about her.

Now it seems that the media are at it again. Which brings us to 
our third nominee: Jake Tapper, a correspondent at ABC news. 
Tapper says that a senior Democratic party official speculated 
that Hillary Clinton would have to resort to what he described as 
"the Tonya Harding option" in order to defeat Barack Obama, a 
catch-phrase that quickly swept the blogoshere. Presumably the 
analogy was that Clinton would be prepared to "kneecap" Obama 
even if it meant that John McCain would win, as this would 
thereby enable her to have another crack at the Presidency in 
2012 before she got too old.

It's a particularly inept and dim-witted analogy. For a start, 
under this scenario it would imply that McCain is analagous to 
Oksana Baiul, and we just can't envisage McCain in a frilly pink 
feathery outfit like Oksana wore in Lillehammer. More 
importantly, it's based on the false assumption that Tonya was 
responsible for the kneecapping. It should really be called the 
"Jeff Gillooly option", as he's the one who came up with the 
idea. But of course, that doesn't sound as catchy as blaming 
Tonya, does it?

We'd suggest that a better comparison to Hillary would be Shawn 
Eckardt rather than Tonya. After all, he was the one who was 
always making up elaborate stories about dodging sniper fire.

And the winner (loser?) is... all of them. Unlike the Oscars(R), 
we don't have to just pick one of the nominees for a Jayson. 
Everybody gets one. And if The Smoking Gun ever does a series 
about the world's dumbest journalists, we'll have a long list of 
names for them to use.


Over the past few days the eyes of the world have been focused on 
the Olympic torch relay in the runup to the Beijing Games. But 
this attention has been for precisely the opposite reasons than 
those the International Olympic Committee hoped for.

The relay got off to a bad start with the lighting of the flame 
in Greece. A group known as "Reporters Without Borders" managed 
to unfurl a banner depicting the five Olympic rings as handcuffs 
in the background before being escorted away by police, 
completely upstaging the flame ceremony.

In Turkey, the flame was carried by local figure skater Tugba 
Karademir. Perhaps the local authorities thought that she would 
be able to do a triple lutz around the protests, but they were 
wrong. Six Uighur Muslims were detained after getting within a 
few meters of her. Another man was detained after he tried to 
jump on the torch bearer Devrim Cenk Ulusoy in Istanbul.


Protests continued as the "Flame of Shame" reached the shores of 
dear old Blighty, this time from pro-Tibet demonstrators. Three 
protesters tried to board a bus that was to carry five-time 
Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave from Wembley Stadium to the 
next point in the relay. The torch was also sprayed with a fire 
extinguisher in an unsuccessful attempt to put it out.

It was here that the men in the blue tracksuits that had 
accompanied the torch on its journey started to get some long-
overdue attention. "Who ARE these guys?", people began to ask. 
Turns out that they are actually members of some elite, highly-
trained paramilitary unit - the same unit that's been involved in 
the suppression of the revolt in Tibet. Their military training 
came in handy when one protester tried to grab the torch from TV 
presenter Konnie Huq. The Chinese guards swung into action, 
tackling the protester to the ground and forcing the local police 
to intervene and rescue him. In interviews later Ms. Huq 
described the guards as "aggressive" and "robotic," barking 
orders at her throughout the run. Former MP and Olympic champion 
Sebastian Coe went further, labeling them as "thugs", telling an 
assistant that they tried to "push me out of the way three times. 
They are horrible". He also suggested that organizers in other 
countries should "get rid of those guys".

All that was missing was the Sex Pistols floating down the Thames 
singing "God Save The Queen" to complete the scenes of anarchy 
and absurdity. Because if England thought that the flame was 
going to get an easy ride, they really must have been dreaming.


In Paris, things got even worse. Although protesters failed to 
get as close to the flame as in London thanks to a beefed-up 
security presence, it was extinguished several times by the 
tracksuit goons and forced onto a bus for much of its route.

Stéphane Diagana, a former hurdler who was the first torch-bearer 
in the Paris leg of the relay, said he noticed the Chinese guards 
were edgy from the start, as the protesters immediately began to 
surround the torch. "They were very cross and nervous," he said. 
"They didn't care about the torch-bearers at all."


The next stop was San Francisco. But the greeting that this 
supposed symbol of peace and harmony got was anything but the 
bunch of flower-wearing hippies immortalized in Scott McKenzie's 
famous song, instead being a large number of angry protesters. In 
desperation, the local Chinese embassy resorted to busing in a 
load of its stooges from across half the state, complete with 
neat, professionally manufactured placards and banners in an 
attempt to make it look good. This obvious "astroturfing" attempt 
was a complete waste of time, as what had now been dubbed the 
"torture torch" played a game of hide and seek and eventually 
turned up several kilometers away for a severely truncated 
journey. Despite this elaborate charade, and the continued 
presence of the stormtroopers in the blue tracksuits, several 
people still had a go at it, and at least one runner managed to 
display a small Tibetan flag. The police, using tactics more 
usually associated with that city's most famous fictional cop, 
"Dirty Harry" Callahan, brutally pushed one of them back into the 

In India, officials promised what they described as a "foolproof 
plan" to counteract anti-torch protesters. The plan, as it turned 
out, was simply to truncate the relay to a ludicrously short 2.3 
kilometers (less than one and a half miles) and to protect it 
with 16,000 cops and soldiers. At this rate, the torch relay will 
probably be shorter than the real athletics relays at the Games 
themselves by the time it gets to Canberra, Australia, later this 

The result of this mess is that the Chinese government, along 
with the IOC, have ended up with a huge amount of egg foo-yung on 
their faces. What was supposed to be a public relations coup has 
instead turned into a massive PR disaster. What were the Chinese 
thinking? Did they honestly believe that they could orchestrate 
the same sort of stage-managed political set-pieces that they do 
at home in a free country without disruption? It's obvious that 
they don't understand how the West works. China has discovered 
that when you grab a flaming object, you can sometimes get badly 
burned. Naturally they've responded angrily, chanting the 
standard line to "keep politics out of the Olympics", but the 
truth is that the Games were politicized long before the first 
protesters hit the streets. Politics and elite sport, far from 
being strange bedfellows, go together like gin & tonic, Laurel & 
Hardy and Tonya & Nancy.

For a start, the Olympics are now so big that it's impossible to 
run them without government support. The politics starts with the 
bidding process, funded by the taxpayers, frequently involving 
bribes. More taxpayer money is used to build the stadium, usually 
constructed by some crony of the government in a corrupt 
tendering process. The opening ceremony is generally a big advert 
for how wonderful the host country is, and is usually attended by 
major world leaders. The nationalistic angle continues as 
athletes compete under the flags of their country. There's the 
unseemly obsession with the medal tally - which country has the 
most? Many IOC members are just appointees of corrupt regimes. 
And it's no secret that former IOC president Juan Antonio 
Samaranch was angling for a Nobel Peace Prize.

That's because unlike other sports events the Olympics have 
always claimed to be more than just about sport: they claim to be 
a "movement", based on the grandiose idea that athletes of the 
world coming together for two weeks every two years contributes 
to world peace. It's a rather dodgy claim, but it makes the idea 
that the Olympics are non-political a nonsense.

The torch relay itself is a perfect example of the political 
aspect of the Olympics. Contrary to popular belief, the relay was 
not present in ancient Greece, but was cooked up by Hitler as a 
propaganda stunt for the 1936 Olympics. 3422 pure-blooded Aryans, 
one for every kilometer of the journey, carried the torch from 
Olympia to Berlin, often through countries that would later be 
invaded by the Nazis. The whole trek was filmed by Leni 
Riefenstahl and turned into the film "Olympia", which is widely 
recognized as one of the greatest propaganda films ever made. Far 
from being the symbol of peace and unity that the IOC would have 
you believe, the torch is actually a symbol of Nazi racial 
superiority. So it's highly appropriate that it's now seen as a 
symbol of another brutal regime and is getting the roasting 
reception it deserves.


Despite this, there is still one big difference between the 
Olympics in the West and in dictatorships: and that is that in 
the West, the Olympics aren't run by the government. The USOC 
doesn't take orders from the White House. So it's perfectly 
possible to enjoy the Olympics in Salt Lake City even if you 
despise the Bush administration. The same can't be said of China 
where the organizers and the government are one and the same.

The people who politicized the 2008 Olympics aren't the Free 
Tibet protesters or the Dalai Lama: it was the IOC itself when it 
made the brain-dead decision to award the games to a totalitarian 
dictatorship like China. Because in a totalitarian state, 
EVERYTHING is political.

What were they thinking? Did they seriously believe China's 
promise to clean up its abysmal human rights record? Or maybe 
they cynically thought the world wouldn't notice, or just 
wouldn't care, so long as the party was big enough. Perhaps they 
were pressured by their corporate sponsors, eager to sell 
container loads of fizzy drinks and sweatshop-made junk into this 
booming new market. Either way, it's a staggering lack of 
judgement and shows just how totally out of touch this bunch of 
dunderheads still are with the real world, despite the supposed 
"reforms" of the past few years. It seems that Samaranch, a man 
no stranger to oppressive regimes, was a major cheerleader for 
giving the Games to China, so even though he's no longer leader, 
his legacy is still causing them headaches.

The IOC's illogical attempts to pretend that it's a "peace 
movement" while still remaining "non-political" has resulted in 
them engaging in some bizarre mental gymnastics that would tie 
Nadia Comaneci up in knots. For instance, while acknowledging 
that "freedom of expression is absolutely a human right", IOC 
head Jacques Rogge also warned athletes against engaging in 
"propaganda" while at the Games, leaving everybody scratching 
their heads as to just what was and wasn't okay.

The IOC has been engaged in a dangerous game of delusional 
Orwellian doublethink: that you can somehow separate the actions 
of those who organize the Games from the actual Games themselves. 
And that you can somehow have all the peace, love and Kumbaya 
stuff that makes up the "Olympic Spirit" while ignoring human 
rights. Your can't have "peace" when secret police are beating up 
demonstrators and dragging them off to prison camps. You can't 
have "sportsmanship" when a country's sportspeople are just 
doped-up pawns of the state. "Harmony" must mean more than 
everybody marching to the same synchronized goose-step. If the 
IOC's claims to promote "peace" are to be anything more than a 
load of empty feel-good waffle, then they must take the human 
rights records of the bidding countries into account when 
awarding the Games.

China, under its current rulers, is about as far from the Olympic 
ideals as you can get. They aren't holding these Games because 
they're a bunch of nice guys with a desire for sportsmanship and 
international harmony. They're holding them because they want to 
con the world that they are now a "Westernized" country just 
because they've now got cars, cellphones, Ipods and all the other 
material trappings of one, even though they lack the most 
important feature, a respect for human rights. If you still think 
that these Olympics aren't about politics, well, we've got some 
bad news for you about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and that 
guy in the red suit that shows up at the local mall every 
December as well.

Want to de-politicize the current Olympics? Then cancel this 
farce in Beijing and shift the 2008 Games back to Greece, a 
country which knows far more about democracy than the Chinese 
Communist party ever will. Heck, who knows, they might even have 
the Athens stadium finished by now. Unfortunately, we all know 
that the IOC isn't going to do this, so the question now turns to 
the best way to make a protest. A total boycott of the Games 
would hurt the athletes, who thanks to the IOC are now the meat 
in the sandwich, and may backfire. At best, China would win more 
medals which the regime would spin as proof of just how superior 
their system is. At worst, if the Games totally collapse the 
Chinese may decide they now have nothing to lose and send in 
tanks to steamroller over the monks in Lhasa, just as they did to 
protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Public opinion now seems 
to be coalescing around the idea of a boycott by world leaders of 
the opening ceremony, which is just a load of propaganda anyway, 
and for the public to boycott the sponsors. This would allow the 
athletes to compete in the sports events - supposedly what the 
Games are really about - while showing Beijing that the world has 
not fallen for its baloney.


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