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International Herald Leader: Patriotism is a Duty, not a Burden

The International Herald Leader, a state media, published a commentary rebutting criticism of the state run sports program. “In addition there were many complaints that athletes participating in the state run sports program bear a "patriotic duty" that is too heavy. When winning, one must thank the State and when losing, one must apologize to the State. People cannot see a human being; they only see a cog in the machine. Such accusations ignore the fact that the state has always funded most of the Chinese athletes and that there is nothing wrong with doing a good job for your employer. The arbitrary interpretation of the post-race reflections of the athletes shows a total disrespect for the freedom of speech of the individual athletes. Do athletes only have the right to thank their parents and coaches, and no right to express their respect for the flag they fight for? Patriotism is never a burden for anyone. It is not wrong to express your love for the motherland openly.”

Source: International Herald Leader, August 14, 2012