Thursday, May 6, 2021

It’s time to rethink the Olympics

Now it’s time to stop the press and curb the Olympics. This may also be the time, I believe, to come to a complete effort to shut down for good.

What did you say?

First, consider the near term.

In July, yet another wildly summer games, originally slated for 2020, but postponed due to the epidemic, will begin in Tokyo.

Time is terrible.

Japan has worked hard to reduce coronovirus, but now the cases are becoming less, and the country Vaccination rate Is lagging behind. Organizers restart the planned torch relay this week to reach Osaka streets, Where A health officer said The proliferation of new variants pushed the medical system to the “brink of collapse”.

In this turbulent environment, 11,000 athletes will descend from all corners of the globe, along with coaches, officials, Olympic support staff, media personnel and more. The Tokyo Games may end as a three-week superspreader event that leads to death and illness in Japan and beyond.

The Japanese public has become wise to health risks. It is also aware of estimates that show costs for the Games have reached a record $ 15.4 billion, up from $ 3 billion in the past year. Recent surveys show about 80 percent of Japanese Games must be postponed or canceled again.

The Winter Games are scheduled to take place in and around Beijing in February 2022. The hostility mostly centers on whether they should be boycotted as China has been repeatedly accused of brutally killing its own people. China denies such claims, but the Biden administration, Canadian parliament, UN officials and more than 180 human rights organizations have said China is engaged in genocide against ethnic Muslim minorities.

This is on top of the current Chinese regime’s brutal record of breaking up over dissent Hong Kong And Tibet, whose authorities continue to deny.

What is the best way to answer?

Should the Biden administration escalate an all-out boycott that has also kept athletes at home as Chinese foreign minister last week and warned of a “strong Chinese response”?

needed Greetings to American corporate sponsorsThe Should American broadcasters refuse to show China in a favorable light?

Do Winter Athletes Go to Beijing if US Athletes are Clear? There are some pundits who believe that during opening ceremonies or competitions, athletes can send the fastest signal by increasing opposition at the medal podium.

But out of real power by the International Olympic Committee, a lot of the group is asking which Still have rule 50 On his books, a duplex that strictly prohibits the display of dissent. Going against it risks being barred from future competition.

Noah Hoffman, a two-time Olympic cross-country skier, said, “I would panic to protest in China, and I would be nervous for my American peers if anyone decides to stand up”. Now a board member for Global Athlete, a nonprofit push to improve the sport.

Hoffman recently agreed to allow the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee to hold athlete protests, but until the IOC does so, the athlete’s voices will be muted.

Recall that the 2014 Winter Olympics were hosted in Sochi, Russia. Not only the host nation Carried out large-scale doping operations During the event, but Captured Crimea Shortly thereafter, indicated widespread international condemnation. Why did the IOC honor the 2022 game for another autocracy with a human rights record?

In 2015, when the final decision was taken, there were only two options left: China – which held the summer games seven years ago – And another dictatorship, Kazakhstan. Nations that would appear to be more ideal hosts, including Norway and Sweden, dropped out of a trend of skepticism about the costs of hosting an Olympics.

The modern Olympics, which was set in the 1890s, “a life based on the pleasure found in the effort, the educational value of a good example, and respect for universal fundamental moral principles”, is now synonymous with scandals of many varieties , Including doping, bribery and physical abuse of athletes.

They have taken pains to gentrify between the poor and the working class in host cities and forcibly evacuate tens of thousands of residents from Beijing to Seoul to Rio.

I will never forget Expensive reporting, The newly constructed arena of the 2016 Rio Games and then moving to nearby fountains – the eroded Kinnar community across the port city.

There, near the open drains that flowed with rivers of urine and feces, I heard the painful stories of the residents who were taken out of their small homes to make way for the Olympics. I also saw a current feature of the games: the paramilitary-style policeman looks like a machine on every corner, machine guns in tow, taking out children on the street from corners, keeping an eye on the locals so that the city has a sterling image Could maintain.

Rio cannot afford the Olympics, similar to Athens, which was placed on a boon of a Summer Games in 2004 that cost nearly $ 11 billion – double the initial predictions – in a precursor to the Greek financial crisis, which led the nation. Made bankrupt . Those cities are hardly alone.

It is time to ask big questions about the Olympic venture.

Are the benefits worth the cost?

Should the Olympics continue if they cause such losses?

What can real improvement look like?

Here are a few ideas.

Stop honoring sports by authoritarian nations that violate human rights.

Give athletes more and more power – not only because they can resist from the medal stand, but also because they can be equal partners in shaping the entire Olympic movement.

Instead of hopscotching worldwide, consider alternatives. Perhaps park the games in a pair of permanently used venues – one for summer, one for winter. This will cut costs, environmental damage and displacement. It would also end the churning of the bidding process that invited corruption.

Or decentralize. Catch individual events in pre-built sites around the world during a three-week window. Sure, we have to leave a grand opening ceremony and the spectacle of the idea of ​​athletes from various sports in Olympic villages. But there is a grand spectacle in a magnificent world, is it all still one?

I agree, there are not many straight answers, but it is time to work towards a new future.

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