Richard Vaughan is a Badminton player from the United Kingdom. He competed for his home country in the 2004 Olympics and is now training for the Beijing Olympics.
Richard in the BBC :
“Athletes are not there to get into political issues but to compete and put the Olympics in a positive light,” Vaughan told Sport Wales.
“But if they are asked questions on specific issues they have the same rights as any other member of the public to express their views, especially on human rights matters.
“I’ve seen at first hand some of the problems in Africa.
“The last thing I want is attention. I’m in the last two months of Olympic preparation and the World Championships are coming up.
“I’ve got my own problems with funding from the British authorities and I don’t need what could be – in their eyes – bad press.
“But I feel that it sets a good example for athletes to show that they have more about them than just sport.
“They need a wider outlook to see how their privileged position relates to the real world.”
Richard in the Daily Telegraph :
“My honest opinion is that staging the Olympics in Beijing is the best possible way of forcing China to confront the issues that, in much of the international community’s eyes, are unacceptable. The Games will effectively embarrass them into making changes because they won’t be able to suppress the protests that are already taking place and will inevitably get stronger.”
Richard in the Times of London :
He said that “trying to bully athletes into not saying things is not the right way”. He added: “I appreciate it’s a difficult position for the British Olympic Committee, but it’s very tough to keep a polite silence about a conflict that continues to cost so many lives.”