Norwegian pro Thor Hushovd is the first cyclist to openly address the repression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese government. Speaking to Norwegian media, the Crédit Agricole rider wasn't afraid to take a political stance and declared himself ready to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer, should the conflict still be unsolved by August.
"As athletes, we don't have any particular responsibility to react to what is happening in China, but we can have a certain influence in skipping the opening ceremony in Beijing," Hushovd said. "That would be a form of protest, and I would be ready to do it."
The Tibetan people have claimed independence of China for more than half a century. Recently, violence escalated again between demonstrating Tibetan monks and Chinese police forces. It is not known how many people exactly died, since foreign media are not allowed in the region. Human rights issues, as well as the freedom of press during the Beijing Olympics have raised a number of concerns in Europe and North America since the attribution of the Olympic Games to Beijing.