30 July 2008
Iraq can participate in the Beijing games...
After I saw first hand how the Iraqi soccer team was able to help bring together this new democratic nation last, I thought it was distressing when I learned that Iraq could not participate in the Olympic being held in CHINA… is this not ironic?
UPDATE: The International Olympic Committee ruled today that Iraq could participate in the Beijing games, reversing itself after Baghdad pledged to ensure the independence of its national Olympics panel. A compromise was worked out after mediators from Germany and China became involved in talks, and Iraq pledged to hold free elections for its national Olympic committee under international observation. The IOC had insisted the old committee be reinstated even though four members were kidnapped two years ago. Their fates remain unknown.
Iraq is expected to send two athletes to Beijing to compete in track and field events. The decision came too late for five other hopefuls in archery, judo, rowing and weightlifting. The deadline to submit names for those sports expired last week.