方恩格快評》臺灣在奧運會上的三個烏龍球

中華代表團由郭婞淳、盧彥勳掌旗,以第104順位,進入東京奧運開幕式會場,爲1984年重返奧運以來,首度大陸進場。(體育署提供)

奧運會開幕式「代表隊入場」期間,很多臺灣朋友給我發來了中華臺北隊進場的照片。有些人爲球隊無法使用中華民國國旗感到難過,有些人很高興中華臺北隊以臺灣的「T」而不是中華臺北的「C」爲排名進入體育場,並且NHK廣播公司隊伍稱爲「臺灣」。

不過,中華臺北隊以「T」爲排名出場在往屆奧運會上已有先例,這樣做是爲了避免中華臺北隊接在中國之後出場。雖然NHK電視臺稱該隊爲臺灣,可能會給一些臺灣人帶來一時的快樂,但對國際電視觀衆來說卻微不足道。

更重要的是臺灣在奧運會開幕前在國際社會面前的三個「烏龍球」。

首先,儘管當時新冠病例有增加,但5月分取消在臺中舉行的棒球錦標賽最終資格賽的決定,是一個錯誤,因爲只有少數外國人會進入臺灣參加比賽,而且其中許多人已經接種了疫苗。如果東京在新冠病例激增的情況下能夠舉辦奧運會,那麼臺灣肯定可以舉辦棒球比賽。隨後,轉戰墨西哥後,臺灣決定不參加總決賽。向國際社會傳達的信息是,臺灣在18個月內聲稱自己是防疫模範生,但對管理疫情風險或大流行期間舉辦棒球隊比賽能力缺乏信心,儘管大多數其他棒球隊認爲這些問題是可控的。

其次,臺灣選手出行安排的爭議,導致蔡英文總統公開道歉。奇怪的是,像旅行安排這樣簡單的事情需要總統親自參與,或者需要她道歉。不幸的是,這是涉及臺灣體育組織的幾起爭議中的最新一起,臺灣未能在國際體育賽事中發揮其潛力

最後,臺灣政府高官沒有陪同中華臺北隊前往東京。政府部長出席奧運已有先例,並宣佈政務委員唐鳳將出席。不過,據中央社7月18日報導內閣發言人羅秉成表示,國際奧委會於7月14日通知所有國家奧委會,受疫情影響,將允許極少數人蔘加。今年的開幕式,允許的人僅限於運動員、國家奧委會主席秘書長國家元首和政府首長

事實上,出席開幕式的外國政府官員並非都是國家奧委會主席和秘書長、國家元首和政府首長。一些國家的部長和副部長確實出席了,目前還不清楚蔡政府爲什麼沒有堅持讓唐鳳出席,她的缺席也是失去了一個國際曝光機會

作者爲前美國共和黨亞太區主席)

Taiwan’s Own Goals at the Olympics

By Ross Darrell Feingold

Former Asia Chairman Republicans Abroad

During the Olympics opening ceremony “Parade of Nations” many Taiwan friends sent me photos of the Chinese Taipei entering the stadium. Some were sad the team is unable to use the Republic of China flag. Some were happy Chinese Taipei entered the stadium based on “T” for Taiwan rather than “C” for Chinese Taipei and that the NHK broadcaster referred to the team as “Taiwan”.

However the Chinese Taipei team entering based on “T” has precedent at prior Olympics and this is done to avoid Chinese Taipei entering immediately after China. Although the NHK broadcaster referring to the team as Taiwan might provide momentary happiness for some in Taiwan it is insignificant for the international television audience.

More important are Taiwan’s three “own goals” in front of the international community prior to the start of the Olympics.

First the decision in May to cancel the Final Qualifier baseball tournament to be held in Taichung was a mistake despite the increase in COVID-19 cases at the time. Only a small number of foreigners would have entered Taiwan for the tournament many of whom would have already received vaccinations. If Tokyo amid a surge in COVID-19 cases can host the Olympics surely Taiwan could have hosted a baseball tournament. Subsequently Taiwan decided not to attend the Final Qualifier when it was moved to Mexico. The message to the international community was that Taiwan which for 18 months claimed to the model of good COVID-19 management lacked confidence in its ability to manage COVID-19 risks or the baseball team’s travel during the pandemic even though most other Olympic baseball teams decided these issues are manageable.

Second the controversy over the travel arrangements for Taiwan’s athletes resulted in a public apology by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). It is peculiar that something so simple as travel arrangements should require the president’s personal involvement or require her apology. Unfortunately this is the latest in several controversies involving Taiwan’s sports organizations and Taiwan fails to achieve its potential at international sports tournaments.

Finally a senior Taiwan government official did not accompany the Chinese Taipei team to Tokyo. There is precedent for Taiwan government ministers to attend the Olympics and it was announced that Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) would do so. However according to a Central News Agency report on July 18 Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said the International Olympic Committee informed all national Olympic Committees on July 14 that due to the pandemic very few people would be allowed to participate in the opening ceremony this year and those allowed will be limited to athletes the chairpersons and secretary-generals of national Olympic Committees heads of state and heads of government.

In fact foreign government officials who attended the opening ceremony were not all chairpersons and secretary-generals of national Olympic Committees heads of state and heads of government. Ministers and deputy ministers from some countries did attend and it is unclear why the Taiwan government failed to insist that Minister Tang attend and her absence is also a lost opportunity.

※以上言論不代表旺中媒體集團立場