The following letter was written by E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and CEO of The
Ms. Alison Reynolds
c/o Free Tibet Campaign
28 Charles Square
London N1 6HT
Dear Ms. Reynolds:
I am writing in response to the letter from the International Tibet Support Network to The
Coca-ColaCompany. We share your concern regarding the situation in Tibet, and we know that all parties involved hope for a peaceful resolution. Our Company, along with the other TOP Sponsors, has regular discussions with the International Olympic Committee to share public concerns about issues that have been raised.
While it would be an inappropriate role for sponsors to comment on the political situation of individual nations, as the longest-standing sponsor of the Olympic Movement, we firmly believe that the Olympics are a force for good. Since 1928, we have supported the Olympic Games wherever they've been held, and have witnessed first-hand the cultural, economic and social benefits they have, in almost every instance, brought to the host city and country.
The Olympic Games can be a catalyst for change if people recognize the value of an event that brings ten thousands of people together to celebrate sporting achievement at the highest level.
Our role as an Olympic Torch Relay sponsor is to help build excitement and a sense of connection with the Olympic Games as the flame travels from city to city throughout the world. The Torch Relay serves as a driver to carry Olympic values to other venues around the globe. In 2008, our effort on the Torch Relay focuses on recognizing environmental champions, those who have worked tirelessly to protect our planet, and sharing the Olympic values of unity, pride and inspiration with people all over the world.
It is important to note that the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games is responsible for selecting the routes and cities, as well as the planning and execution of the entire Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, both internationally and within China. All locations included on the 2008 route were selected by BOCOG and approved by the International Olympic Committee. The
Coca-ColaCompany plays no role in selecting the route.
All the same, we believe that dropping out of the Torch Relay or using the event to put political pressure on China would erode the ability of the Olympic Games to make a contribution to lasting change in China and its relationship with the rest of the world. We remain committed to our support for the Olympic Torch Relay.
E. Neville Isdell