Olympics: French athletes planning badge protest in Beijing
French athletes competing in the Beijing Olympic Games are planning to wear a badge that will express their support for human rights.
PARIS, April 3, 2008 - French athletes competing in the Beijing Olympic Games are planning to wear a badge that will express their support for human rights worldwide especially in Tibet.
Top pole-vaulter Romain Mesnil, who is one of those behind the idea, said
that the badge, details of which will not be released until Friday, would have
a profound impact.
"I think it will have a big impact and that it will turn into a worldwide
movement," he told AFP by telephone.
Mesnil said that the athletes commission of the French National Olympic
Committee wanted to make their views on the matter clear and that they had the
backing of their president, former Olympic judo champion David Douillet.
Mesnil initially had proposed that competing athletes wear a green ribbon
to express their concern over China's military crackdown on protest in Tibet,
but that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had ruled that that would
run counter to the Olympic charter.
But he believed that the badge project had a far better chance of being
cleared by the IOC.