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What If They Offered the Olympics and No One Said Yes?

Only One Way to Save the Games: Renounce Sports Imperialism!

There is a fascinating, if horribly left-wing in tone, article:

The Endgame of the Olympics

There are now a group of activists, global in scope, with one goal: Keep the Olympic Games out of their community:

A year ago, back when we were still allowed to gather in groups larger than a minyan, activists convened in Tokyo to talk about how they were going to end the biggest global gathering of them all — the Olympic Games.

***

They were in Tokyo exactly a year out from the scheduled start of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, attending the first-ever transnational anti-Olympic summit, which was organized by Hangorin no Kai, a group of unhoused and formerly unhoused people based in Tokyo. The activists, along with academics and members of the media, talked about common Games-related issues, like displacement and police militarization, and discussed strategies for resisting local political forces and the IOC to protect their communities. Elsewhere in Tokyo, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, and the rest of the IOC crew had arrived to mark the start of the 365-day countdown to the Opening Ceremonies.

Now I disagree with their ultimate goal: The Olympics was a great institution. The best amateur athletes around the world met in a certain place every four years and competed for gold or for honor or for country.

But there was controversy even in 1896:

Resistance to the Games is almost as old as the Games themselves. The very first modern Games in Athens, in 1896, already inspired wariness about using public funds to pay for Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s pet project. Greek prime minister Charilaos Trikoupis didn’t want the state to be responsible for financing the Olympics, and private (mostly aristocratic) donors footed the bill.

If only our local leaders had done the same before the infamous 2015 bike race!

This article is truly radical. But this activism could kill the Games. Never again would we see the wonderful opening ceremonies with the athletes and flags and national outfits. No more Miracle on Ice. No more Miracurl on Ice either. No more tiny nations winning their first medal. No more dreams of Olympic glory when little boys or girls jump in a swimming pool or get on parallel bars.

I beseech the leaders of the Games: Renounce sports imperialism. Restore some sort of amateurism to the Games. Help the smaller nations regain their dignity and respect. Be sensitive to the community and taxpayers. Let’s make the Olympics great again.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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