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U.S. Reporter Denied Visa for Darfur Connection

The Chinese Consulate in San Francisco had denied a visa to Kendra Zanotto, 2004 Olympic synchronized swimmer and Bronze medalist. The 26 year old athlete was hired by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad as a reporter to cover the synchronized swimming event.

The Chinese Consulate offered no explanation. But Ms. Zanotto believes the reason is her involvement in Team Darfur, an athletic group trying to end violence in Sudan.

In an interesting twist, some Chinese websites reported (apparently falsely) that the reason her visa was denied was because of an “immigration tendency”, a frequent reason given for U.S. visa denial to foreign visitors. As a result, the news was cheered by many Chinese as a sign for China’s standing up.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 25, 2008