Students for a Free Tibet Launched an
Who will stand up for Tibet this summer? Who will inspire the entire world with their courage and character? Who will show us all that freedom of expression, religion and assembly truly matter?
You have probably seen Tibetans and many world citizens protesting the Chinese government's use of the Olympic Games to whitewash its image and legitimize its claims on Tibet. Yet as an athlete who has spent a lifetime preparing for these Games, you may be concerned that they have seen so much protest.
Please be assured: Tibetans and their supporters are not suggesting a boycott, as we respect the athletes' sacrifice and determination. Instead, we are pressing the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee to uphold the true Olympic values and ideals, so that the Beijing Olympics can become a catalyst for positive change for Tibet.
You are not the first Olympic athlete to hold the power of change in your hands. Others before you have championed social justice and human rights, emerging as world heroes. In 1936, Jesse Owens defied Hitler, and set a tidal wave of change in motion.
Now, the chance for change has come again. The 6 million people of Tibet pass their torch to you. Will you carry it for them in Beijing?
Already convinced? Share this site with your friends or fellow athletes.
Here are some of the ways you can help:
- Donating or raise money to help us place the “Athlete Wanted” advertisement in other high-profile international publications
- Placing the “Athlete Wanted” advertisement in your local newspaper or magazine
- Reaching out directly to Olympic hopefuls at your school or in your community
- Handing out postcards, fliers, and other information at Olympic trials and training venues
Suggestions to Athletes
Let your voice be the voice of Freedom!
"Freedom of expression is something that is absolute. It's a human right. Athletes have it.” - I.O.C. President Jacques Rogge
As an Olympic Athlete and non-Chinese citizen, you have the freedom to act in a way that normally for a Tibetan or Chinese could lead to arrest. These suggested actions were designed by a network of 154 Tibet organizations around the world. Doing even one when you are in Beijing will send a powerful message of support for the Tibetan people:
Raise the Tibetan Flag
After your event has ended (and hopefully you have triumphed!) why not take your victory lap waving your home country’s flag together with the Tibetan flag? You can also incorporate the colors and images of the Tibetan flag into your headband, socks, warm-ups or boxing gloves! You can order Tibetan flags directly from us by contacting us today.
Wear or Present a Khata
A khata is a traditional ceremonial silk scarf used in Tibet as a way of bestowing honor and respect on someone. It can be presented at any festive occasion such as a wedding, birth, graduation, or athletic competition. It symbolizes goodwill, auspiciousness and compassion. Ask the Tibet Support Group near you to present one to you before you leave to Beijing, purchase one to present one to a teammate, or have a family member present one to you after your event. You can order khatas directly from us or we can put you in touch with a local Tibet Support Group who can present you with one.
Shave Your Head
As a way of showing solidarity with the thousands of Tibetan monks and nuns who have been killed or jailed leading nonviolent protests in their homeland, consider shaving your head as a symbolic gesture. When giving interviews, discuss the lack of religious freedom in Tibet and demand that the Chinese Government reveals the whereabouts of monks and nuns who took part in the recent uprising in Tibet.
Wear Team Tibet Gear
Because Tibetans are not allowed to field their own team at the Olympics, Team Tibet is now a movement of people everywhere who are determined to give Tibetans a voice in Beijing. By wearing a “Free Tibet” T-shirt or Team Tibet gear, you can symbolically stand in for Tibetans who don’t have the opportunity to be there themselves. You can order Team Tibet clothing and apparel directly from us by contacting us today!
Wear a Rangzen Bracelet
‘Rangzen’ is the Tibetan word for ‘Independence,’ and these bracelets were originally woven by nuns serving prison sentences for political “crimes” such as participating in freedom marches or publicly calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. The bracelets are now worn by Tibetans around the world as a show of support for their country’s freedom. You can order rangzen bracelets directly from us by contacting us today!
Dedicate Your Medal
If you are one of the elite few who wins a medal, consider dedicating your medal to Tibet. Whether on the medal podium, speaking to the press or speaking out on your website, let the world know that you value freedom and human rights by dedicating your hard work and effort to those who are engaged in the greatest struggle of all: that of life or death. Lend your voice to those who have had theirs silenced.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics Will Be Remembered For the Suppression of the Tibetan Peoples
The 2008 Beijing Olympics will forever be remembered as the Games where freedom of expression was more unattainable than eight Gold Medals. Whether it was two elderly ladies being sentenced to one year in a labor camp for applying for an official protest permit or Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt being reprimanded by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge for celebrating too much after his world record performance or Tibetans being variously arrested, shot or deported for waving their national flag during the Games, the Beijing Olympics gave the world a brief glimpse at the true face of the Chinese government.
But even this tightly controlled environment could not suppress the wills of dozens of athletes who embody the true spirit of the Olympics, and who defied IOC warnings and Chinese government threats by making declarations in support of Tibet.