SAR officials snubbed brave Olympians

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2001, 12:00am

The world witnessed the great performances of the Olympians representing Hong Kong earlier this month at the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Hong Kong team won 10 gold medals, nine silvers and four bronzes. News media and government dignitaries representing the countries which participated in the Games congregated in Anchorage. Hong Kong was the only absentee.

Maybe the Government under the leadership of Tung Chee-hwa and the Hong Kong media regard people with mental retardation as second-class citizens? Can I assume that they regard the Special Olympians as second-class athletes? I hope this is not the case.

Taiwan's representatives in Washington, DC, and Seattle, Washington, came to Anchorage to meet the Chinese Taipei team and held several dinners in the team's honour. Likewise, government dignitaries from the mainland met their team and held dinners in their honour. Fortunately for the Hong Kong team, Anchorage residents who had emigrated from Hong Kong received them and hosted dinners honouring them. Those of us who watched the Games were moved by these athletes and the bravery they have shown in the face of often difficult challenges.

There should be no discrimination against people with disabilities. Such Special Olympians deserve our spiritual and financial support.


Anchorage, Alaska, US