Don’t mix Olympics with China’s Tibet policy: Paes

April 9th, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Indian tennis star Leander Paes Wednesday came out in support of the Olympic torch relay that faced strong protests worldwide from people opposed to China’s crackdown in Tibet, including India’s football captain Bhaichung Bhutia. Paes said the Olympic torch relay and the Chinese Tibet policy were completely different issues and the two should not be mixed.

“For many reasons Olympics is important. One thing we are forgetting, that the Olympic movement and the Tibetan movement or China’s action in Tibet are totally different things,” said Paes, who is here for the Davis Cup tie against Japan, Wednesday.

“Olympics have faced problems before, once after Second World War. I remember my father wining a bronze at the 1972 Munich Summer Games that were overshadowed by Israeli-Palestinian problem. Then there was the boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980. But the Olympics is above all this,” he said.

Paes, who will be making his fifth appearance at the Olympics in Beijing in August, said the Games have always been “special and close to his heart.”

“It is going to be my fifth appearance in the Olympics, the most by an Asian. Olympics have been very special to me and has been very close to my heart,” he said.

Asked whether he will run with the torch, Paes said: “I have been invited to run and you will come to know if I decide to take part in the run.”

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