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Former Australian Olympian condemns attempts to politicize Olympics
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Former Australian Olympian Lisa Curry-Kenny on Friday condemned the attempts by pro-Tibet demonstrators and other groups to hijack the Beijing Olympics for their own gain.

Curry-Kenny, who swam at three Olympics and won seven Commonwealth Games gold medals, said revelations of foiled plots to carry out suicide bomb attacks and kidnap athletes during the Olympics in Beijing were frightening, but she rejected calls for a boycott of the games.

Athletes should not be used as "pawns" for political gain, and sports and politics should not mix together, she added.

"It's a shame and I really feel for the Tibetans and I hope it sorts itself out," said Curry-Kenny, referring to the demonstrators' attempts to disrupt the torch relay and the planned attacks on athletes.

These athletes "are just doing their jobs like everybody else," the Australian Associated Press quoted her as saying.

Curry-Kenny noted there had been similar concerns over terrorist attacks during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. "Back in 2000, for the Sydney Olympics, there was always a chance of terrorism (impacting the event) but it was fine," she said.

"The Olympic Games is not a place to do that sort of thing - sport is there for everybody, it's (something) that can bring peace to the world and I hope it stays like that," she added.

(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2008)

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