Tue, Aug 21, 2012 - Page 8 News List


Taiwan cannot wait

Tiffany Hsiao (Letters, Aug. 8, page 8) seems to imply that Taiwanese should keep quiet about their government’s performance and that there is a “light at the tunnel.”

If a government operating with an approval rate of only 15 percent is not criticized over its poor performance, then it will do whatever it wishes and Taiwanese will suffer even more as a result.

The tunnel will then be shut off forever and Taiwanese cannot afford to wait for another 40 years, or even four. Hsiao should join Taiwanese in pointing out the situation as it is now and hopefully, Taiwan will be steered in the right direction.

Taiwanese want a competent government that will provide them with freedom from military threats, a realistic constitution, economic independence, dignified sovereignty, international recognition and impartial justice. These are all basic necessities for a normal democracy, not luxuries.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

The spirit of sport

I was charmed by Frank Aquino’s response to my assertion that “watching sports that you know are rigged is not fun” (Letters, Aug. 8, page 8). I loved the examples he provided and his assessment of the tennis-playing Williams sisters, given their unpredictable bouts of injury.

Aquino is correct in saying that I am not a sportsman — unfortunately commuting across Taipei by bicycle has not yet been deemed “Olympic enough” for medal category.

However, surviving the ride to my job makes me feel like I deserve a gold medal each morning as I arrive at work.

I have participated in running two mini-marathons, where they give medals away to anyone who crosses the finish line and the camaraderie this generates makes all the participants happy.

Thus, I can relate in some small way to these Olympians who worked their hardest to get to the position they are in today.

The Taipei Times is doing its job by sharing the best news. What I enjoyed the most were the stories of athletes in poor countries who had no chance whatsoever to win a medal, but who qualified somehow, got on an airplane and showed up in London.

That runner who trained amid lines of solders, yet still had no sponsors and could not afford decent running shoes? That was the good stuff.

So I am not really into sports, other than occasionally watching hockey, and Brendan Shanahan keeps the NHL in line to ensure fair play. The rules of the game are largely respected because of pride in the sport.

People busted for doping irritates me intensely, however. I love sportswomen, sportsmen and sportsmanship. Not to mention the rush anyone feels when they know their lifestyle is honest, just, helpful and productive as well as the feeling that you are truly doing your best within a gamed system.

For me, that is the true essence of Olympic pride.

I don’t like the upside-down situation we all find ourselves in today. I am a human who respects effort and I feel more in touch with that minefield highway runner than the Olympians. Sports and exercise should be promoted in every country.

The International Olympic Committee should devote more resources to nations which do not send any athletes at all — male or female — and work up from there. I hope that London’s 2012 Olympics creates an army of people around the world to carry not guns, but soccer balls and volleyballs, table tennis paddles and running shoes — even darts are pretty portable.

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