Subscribe Menu

Olympics are more than sport – always have been

The most dramatic and powerful amplification any message can get is via the event – ostensibly meant for top athletes – the Olympic Games. This world competition has readily been available as a stage for international confrontations. Seldom has it been a pristine clean, politically unsullied contest matching body and spirit between athlete and athlete.

Among many other occasions, Hitler used it as a showcase in 1936; the 1956 Melbourne Games were boycotted by a number of states for a variety of different reasons; the 1972 Munich Games were used by Muslim terrorists to kill Israeli athletes; the 1980 Moscow games were boycotted by 65 countries; as retaliation by the Soviets, 14 states, all with Communist regimes, boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Games, etc.

Olympic purists refuse to acknowledge this. They deny reality. They insist that the Games transcend politics, are separate from regimes. ‘Apolitical’ observers say that political issues come and go, but the Olympics and its spirit are endurable.

Six months before the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) added a rule to the Olympic Charter: “No kind of demon...

Become a subscriber to continue reading!

Every week we bring you news from the community and exclusive columns. We're relying on your support to keep going and invite you to subscribe.

Try the first 8 weeks for $1.

Go to Subscription Plans

Read more