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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

The Games Nations Play

Politics has always shadowed and left its impress on the Olympics

The Games Nations Play
The Games Nations Play
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is hoist on its own petard. On the one hand, it insists that politics and sport must be kept separate. On the other, it relies entirely on cooperation with governments to stage its quadrennial show. So keeping politics out of sport ends up meaning keeping whatever is politically inconvenient (especially to the host nation) out of sport.

It's been that way since at least 1936, when the IOC persisted in holding the Olympics in Nazi Germany, in defiance of a call for a boycott. The debate was particularly intense in the United States, where long-time Olympic autocrat Avery Brundage denounced the boycott as an offence to the Olympic spirit and blamed it on "Jews and Communists". In fact, Jewish organisations were divided on the boycott (many feared a backlash). And despite Nazi racism, most African-American groups were against the boycott because they wanted to see African-Americans win medals in Berlin. When Jesse Owens proceeded to win four gold medals and crush the myth of Aryan supremacy, their...
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