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Letters

July 13, 2001



An athlete speaks out on China's Olympic bid

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In 1980, 62 nations withdrew their teams from competition in Moscow to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. I was one of those athletes. We had trained to the absolute peak of our abilities. Uniforms were issued, bags were packed, we were ready. We then watched in disbelief as the boycott developed, undoing years of training.

Eight years later in Seoul, I was finally able to realize my dream of participating in the Olympics. Unfortunately, many of my teammates were not.

China has many internal factions desperate for an international platform on which to air their grievances against the government. How would the world react if there were a major uprising on the scale of Tiananmen Square, followed by a similarly brutal crackdown? The last thing the IOC needs is to select a host site with the potential to explode.

Moreover, turning a blind eye to China's egregious human rights violations will simply permit an authoritarian regime to gain an important symbol of international acceptance and to continue its practice of political and social oppression. The IOC should reject China's bid for the Games to safeguard the Olympic ideals and the dreams of future Olympians.

Charles Banks-Altekruse Berkeley, Calif.

(The letter writer was a member of the 1980 and 1988 US Olympic rowing teams.)

Just compensation for property

With considerable consternation, I read your June 29 article "Court hands victory to property owners." It is one thing to expect just compensation when the government desires to acquire private property for the public good. It is quite another to expect the government to reimburse a landowner who purchases property in full knowledge of the restrictions on its development, in this case wetlands.

Lisa D. Hoover Arcata, Calif.

Go forth, toil, and do not return

According to your article "More graduates opt to live with mom and dad," in the July 9 issue of the Monitor, about 16 million single young adults are living at home - 25 percent of the total young adult population.

What a pathetic statement aboutthe young people in our society. They see graduation coming, they assess the situation at home, and then run for cover.

Parents are enabling this behavior. Only in America do we let children stay children. These returnees should be ashamed of themselves and should learn what it is like to do without, to work more than one job. Maybe more than two jobs. It can be done, but as long as you have a crutch, you'll never understand sacrifice. Home should be a place to remember, not remain.

Kenneth Bonacci Salem, Mass.

I want my shortwave BBC

I fully understand the position of BBC World Service that the intended audience in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific should listen to the service over the Internet ("BBC makes changes to World Service," June 14).

Frankly, they've gotten wrapped up in the technology and lost sight of reality.

People listen to the radio in bed, at the breakfast table, in the car. Radio is intimate and portable and inexpensive. It's easy to turn it on and listen. Imagine having to turn on a computer and run programs in order to listen to radio. I've worked with computers for years. I usually listen to radio programs with a radio. BBC World Service lost far more than it saved by cutting shortwave broadcasts.

Geoff White Atlanta

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor