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Prime Minister Howard withdraws from Olympics …

MEDIA RELEASE - AUSTRALIA

Prime Minister Howard withdraws from Olympics …

Sydney, September 12 2000

Why has John Howard been dropped from the Verbal Gymnastics team? Why are five Chinese Olympic sailors languishing in a west coast detention centre?

That’s the latest news from Shame 2000, the official Unolympics.com website. Launched in Sydney today, Shame 2000 is a record of "Australia’s performance in events that matter."

The satirical website is a lobbying tool and resource base for Australian social justice, human rights and environmental issues. With a few clicks of the mouse visitors can email or fax their concerns directly to Commonwealth Ministers.

Unolympics.com’s Net Activist and Producer, David Gravina, explained that any resemblance between Shame 2000 and the official SOCOG’s Sydney 2000 site was "purely intentional." Gravina said "We wanted to build a site that was visually unattractive and very difficult to navigate. The Sydney 2000 site proved to be inspirational. "

"We’re not anti-Olympic," says Graham Catt, Unolympics.com Media Assassin and Content Manager. "In fact we’re a lot more Olympic in spirit than the Olympics."

The Unolympics philosophy is that "the Howard Government’s mean spirited policies contradict the ideals of the Olympic movement."

Catt says "If the world is going to be focussed on Australia for three weeks it needs more than just the hype. We’d like the world to know about the real issues, and have a laugh at some politicians while they do. As Australians we’ve got a proud tradition of taking the piss to uphold."

Visitors to Shame 2000 can enjoy playing "Being John Howard", a game which transports the player into the Prime Minister’s head. "It looks remarkably like you’re in Robert Menzies’ head," says Catt. "But unfortunately we know better."

ENDS

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