I'm sure you've noticed a dramatic change in the tone of the coverage about the Beijing Olympics during the past two weeks.

A month ago China was under increasing international pressure over its human rights record, but the earthquake changed all that.

Now the country has the world's sympathy and support as it comes to terms with the extent of the terrible natural disaster.

It's going to be very interesting to see if that tone will change again in the weeks leading up to the Games.

A minute's silence was observed on Tuesday at an Olympic torch relay event

At the moment it seems inappropriate for anybody to protest against a Chinese government that is focusing its resources on a massive rescue operation.

Many people are not going to want to let the Olympics pass without serious questions being asked about the country's human rights record.

We saw the strength of feeling during the international legs of the torch relay. But those protestors are going to have to be very sensitive in the way that they put across their point of view.

The Beijing Olympics were always going to be very important for China in its attempts to portray a positive image to the rest of the world.

Now though, the Games will also be a vital tool to bring the nation together and to bring hope to those whose lives have been changed so dramatically by the earthquake.

It would be hard for anybody who has witnessed the despair of the Chinese people over the past few weeks to want to deny them the chance to host a good Olympic Games, which would bring so much pride to the country.

That's why any protestors planning to disrupt the Games might have to rethink their plans.

They are unlikely to receive as much support from the international media as they might have counted on a month ago.

James Pearce is sports news correspondent for the BBC News Channel. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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