I'm actually surprised by Harper's decision. He never struck me as someone who actually cared about human rights (over and above the usual political lip service). Guess I'm trying to see his angle here.
However, I'm not surprised at all that Dubya and Brown are attending...
With all due respect, I don't believe he was speaking on your behalf. I believe he was speaking on behalf of "the rest of us who view the Olympics as a colossal waste of time and money" - that is, people like me.
Where it is written that a head of state or a Prime Minister must attend opening ceremonies? And who cares a fig leaf if the Chinese Premier attends or not? The games are for athletes, not politicians (even the IOC ones). Personally, if Mr. Harper doesn't want to attend, for any reason, its o.k. with me. Now Canada's Olympic Games is another matter. Attending the Grey Cup (has to beat Trudeau's opening kick-off) or Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final (assuming a Canadian team is playing) might also prompt a visit.