The Paralympics team were bullied by China into changing the badges on their uniforms right before the Rio de Janeiro Games after a protest said the team were wearing the emblem of the Republic of China (ROC), Chinese Taipei Paralympic Committee president Linda Chen (陳李綢) told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday.
Two weeks before the Games, China protested that the team logo was the ROC emblem, not the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) emblem — which looks similar — and that the colors did not meet Olympic regulations, Chen cited the International Paralympics Committee as saying.
The 12-point sun had points that did not reach the edge of its enclosing circle as they are supposed to in the delegation’s official Olympic badge, the international committee said, citing China’s protest.
Chen said that the delegation had been reluctant to make changes, as the committee had approved the logo in 2003, while there was not a lot of time to change the uniforms.
The committee agreed, but said the correct badge should be used in the future, Chen said.
However, one day before the Games were to begin, the team received a letter from the committee saying that the logo was not in accordance with its rules and the Taiwanese body worried that the issue could compromise the nation’s participation.
It said stickers with the KMT emblem were placed over the badges.
Chen said that prior to the issue, she did not know the national and KMT emblems were different.
There has never been a dispute over the logo in the past, Chen said, adding that she does not want to see the Games become politicized, while she is worried about political pressure from China.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify whether the Olympic emblem is the national one or the party one,” Chen said.
Chen said it is clear that some international constituents are supportive of Taiwan, which is why the international committee was so tactful with China in response to the complaint.
Chen said she came to realize the arduous situation Taiwan is in.
Taiwanese athletes might eventually lose the chance to compete internationally because of the politicization of sports, she said.
Additional Reporting by CNA
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