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Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Getting sport out of politics or politics out of sport?

Calls by distinguished ex-Oympians in Australia over the past twenty four hours, including an angry tirade by Kevin Gosper to keep politics out of sport profoundly misses the point. The more difficult question is how can we keep politics out of sport.

In the Olympic movement the two are profoundly intertwined - the Olympic movement could not survive without the willingness of states to through large amounts of money in the vicinity of the IOC when bidding comes around for the right to "host" the next Games.

Given that reality how can anyone claim that sport is separate from politics?

Let alone the transparent attempt by the Chinese Government to use the Olympics as huge public relations exercise ... and on a minor scale the evident disappointment of the ACT Chief Minister, a beacon of progressive politics, at the prospect that a $900,000 investment in the presence of the flame in Canberra as a photo opportunity was going to be spoiled by people protesting about human rights in Tibet...

1 comment:

Peter Hotchkin said...

Here! Here! How stupid is this whole torch relay thing about some over-rated sports carnival anyway?
The protests are about China and human rights, not about their silly sports day(s)... but the IOC is trying to take the heat off China:
"Future torch relays are in doubt because of protests..." This is just an attempt by the IOC to smokescreen the fact that they have already brought politics into sport when they 'gave' the right to host "the 2008 Games" to a country that has such a bad, obvious and unrepentant record on human rights!
China has had a long time to get this issue sorted better - but their idea of justice is at the end of a gun! The blood of youths in Tiananmen Square all those years ago still cries out to us.

I made my own comment at