Monday, July 30, 2007

Olympic Freedom T-shirt Global Movement & Olympic Freedom Run

Olympic Freedom T-shirt Movement Launched—Part II

Freeing the spirit of the Olympic athlete

By Linda Slupsky
Epoch Times Southern California Staff Jul 20, 2007

FREEDOM FOR CHINESE ATHLETES: This is the wish of author and founder of the Olympic Freedom T-shirt Movement, Kai Chen. Kai Chen released his autobiographical book 'One in a Billion' earlier this year. (The Epoch Times)

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[ Editor's note: Former Chinese National Basketball player Kai Chen recently held a press conference in Southern California. There, he launched the Olympic Freedom T-shirt Global Movement. This is the second of a two-part series in which Chen has shared his wish to free the spirit of the athlete, not only in China and for the Olympics, but also globally. Last week, Chen discussed China's Cultural Revolution and how his book was born. ]

NBA player Yao Ming's parents belong to the same generation as Chen. Chen says they are being controlled to legitimize the regime. The communist regime is illegitimate according to Chen because they are not elected. In the grip of the Chinese government, people are used and abandoned, says Chen.

"Do they have the courage to pursue freedom?" Chen responds, "Very little."

"Do Chinese people understand the Olympic spirit?" "No," replies Chen.

Is there sports ethics in China? Absolutely not, but there should be, according to Chen. Athletes should play for the love of it.

You have no say in the career that you have chosen. Athletes are not thinking about basketball, but thinking more about not offending the authorities, says Chen.

Solutions to Chinese Sports Dilemma

He added that sports in China are perverse and becoming more perverse. You can't perform surgery on a dead person, and the sports system is already dead.

The wish for the Chinese people to play sports in a healthy system is what Chen wants. Encourage the people to be free and sports to be ethical. Chen wishes to facilitate freedom, not destroy it.

"I am free. Freedom is not easy. Freedom is not free." Chen adds, "The road is hard but worth it."

Chen told of the history of China, as one dynasty ends another begins. "The Communist Party is one dynasty."

Chen added that even when former NBA player Wang Zhi Zhi left the Communist Party's control and was free, his mindset was still enslaved. Wang could not find happiness in the United States and returned to China and the national team. Chen compared Wang to a chicken that has been kept caged and released.

In an excerpt from Chen's press statement, he says, "I, as a Chinese athlete with a conscience, call upon the voice in your conscience, call upon your courage, your action, and your prayer for freedom for the Chinese people, for freedom for all people in the world. In wearing our 'Olympic Freedom T-shirt' you are expressing your support for the freedom-loving people in China and in the world. You are indeed building a better tomorrow for yourself and those you love."

How to Help Support Olympic Freedom

The Olympic Freedom Run series will begin on August 5, 2007 in Los Angeles and will continue as long as the funding from donations. The two-hour run will start in Chinatown and end at the Los Angeles Olympic Coliseum. All participants will receive a free t-shirt. Donations to help support the Olympic Freedom T-shirt Global Movement may be sent to: OFTGM, PO Box 1341, Rohnert Park, CA 94927-1341.

The Five-Mile Run

Starting Point: Community Center Gym in Chinatown, Los Angeles

Ending point: Los Angeles Olympic Coliseum

Route: Alpine—Hill—Olympic—Figueroa—L.A. Olympic Coliseum

All proceeds from Chen's book 'One in a Billion' will also be used to fund the production of t-shirts and the series of runs. It is available at:

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