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German Champion to Skip Olympic Opening Ceremony in Anti-China Protest


A German Olympic gold medalist says she plans to boycott the Olympic opening ceremonies in Beijing to protest Chinese human rights violations in Tibet.

Reigning judo champion Yvonne Boenisch said Tuesday she will skip the opening day festivities to "send a signal," although she plans to defend her title.

Boenisch, 27, ruled out a general boycott of the Beijing Olympics, saying it would ruin the dreams of thousands of athletes. But the German athlete says she plans to wear a wrist band to protest China's recent crackdown on demonstrators in Tibet.

Boenisch made her comments today on German television ZDF.

The India-based Tibetan government in exile says about 150 people have died since Chinese security forces took action against protesters in Tibet last month. Chinese authorities say about 20 innocent people have died. The officials blame the casualties on Tibetan rioters.

Yvonne Boenisch became the first German woman to win an Olympic judo gold medal at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

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