Boycotting the Olympics is a terrible idea

For the Olympic diary: the United States is a country could decide to retire its athletes in uniforms of the component that specifically and explicitly addresses the issue.  The IOC might object, but the IOC of what object much more strenuously to an American boycott.  Were they going to do throw all the American medalists out?

For the Olympic diary: in 1980, the United States had a fresh crop of women swimmers, the like of which had never been assembled before, ready to redress the unfair shellacking they had received at the Montréal games of 1976 at the hands of the steroid enhanced East German women.  Or: Tracy Caulkins, Mary T. Maher, Tim Lenihan, Cynthia Woodhead, Joan Pennington,-these drug-free Americans had demolished the East German women at the world championships two years previously.

And who exactly remembers the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and any quote “political statement” that might have been made by the American boycott?  Or, for that matter, who remembers the effects of the 1984 boycott of the Los Angeles games, led by the Soviet Union-or even the reason for the boycott, for that matter?

Imagine, instead, this: an entire US contingent marching in to the opening ceremonies, every member wearing an armband of orange

One of the supreme ironies of the Olympic movement is that the ideal of the games themselves on the one hand engender and showcases world unity through the colorful and delightful intermingling of thousands of athletes from all over the world, and at the same time, are intensely nationalistic: after all, that’s how the games are set up-athletes represent their countries.

Sometimes the nationalism is delightful, as when the United States hockey team upset the Soviets at the 1980 Winter games.  That was a totally unexpected win, and it is difficult for those who did not experience it in one way or another to completely understand the symbolic importance of that game, coming as it did on the heels of the Iranian hostage crisis, a time full of shame for the American people.  Coming as it did on the heels of the Iranian hostage crisis in the Cold War.  Similarly, who I will gain between Hungary and is so union and at the 1956 games in Melbourne Australia was equally symbolic if not more so.  Hungary had just been brutally invaded by the Soviet Union, and feelings were intense as; blood.; the water literally ran red with blood.  As two of the world’s strongest teams faced off in the pool.

But I can deal with a cocky victory also came after President Carter’s announcement of the Olympic boycott, so Americans knew that the only opportunity that they would have during the Olympic year to express their pride in their country on the athletic venue was at Lake Placid.

Other times, the nationalism can get ugly.  At the 1984 games in Los Angeles, for example, which the Soviets and other Eastern Bloc countries boycotted in response to the 1980 US led boycott, I was saddened to see the over-the-top chance of USA USA USA exhibited by the home crowd at many venues for the US dominated.  It was an ugly display of in your face and nationalism, the kind of nationalism that is so closely associated the United States position in the world today.

olympic charter PDF…

51 Advertising, Demonstrations, Propaganda


3. No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.

Bye-law to Rule 51

1. No form of publicity or propaganda, commercial or otherwise, may appear on persons,

on sportswear, accessories or, more generally, on any article of clothing or equipment

whatsoever worn or used by the athletes or other participants in the Olympic Games,

except for the identification – as defined in paragraph 8 below – of the manufacturer of

the article or equipment concerned, provided that such identification shall not be marked

conspicuously for advertising purposes . . .

Any violation of the provisions of the present clause may result in disqualification or

withdrawal of the accreditation of the person concerned. The decisions of the IOC

Executive Board regarding this matter shall be final.

dalai lama opposes boycott…