I’ve seen several posts today around how the Vice President has politicized the Olympic Games. One went on and on as to how it was something new.
As in it’s never been done before.
I hate to be a nag, but guess what, it’s not new.
First of all the Olympics (in my opinion) are the most political gathering on the planet outside of the United Nations. It is a time when nations pretending to come together in unity are there to compete against one another using their citizens as pawns in the process.
There were a few times in the past where politics clouded the view of the playing field.
Germany having started World War I was banned from the 1920 Olympics. I’m so glad it wasn’t political.
Then there was that time in Germany when they had the Nazi Olympics and nothing was political.
Japan having bombed Pearl Harbor and killed thousands was banned in 1948. Well, at least it wasn’t political.
South Africa – banned in 1964 over their racist policies, and their neighbor, Rhodesia was in 1972. Thank goodness politics didn’t hamper the games.
In 1956, fewer than 3,500 athletes attended the games in Melbourne, Australia when Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq boycotted the games in protest of the Israeli invasion of the Sinai.
And just a few weeks prior to the torch lighting, The USSR invaded Hungary suppressing an uprising and rolling over people with tanks. The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland boycotted in protest. But that doesn’t sound political at all to me, You?
That same year, East and West Germany competed as one team. They would do so until 1964 when things weren’t so political.
Of course the protest by American athletes at 1968’s Mexico City Olympics wasn’t at all political.
In 1972 eleven Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage and murdered along with a German police officer by the Palestinian terrorist organization called Black September. But, no one in Munich or the rest of the world thought it political.
Apartheid caused most of Africa to “non-politically” boycott the 1964 and 1976 Olympics.
Jimmy Carter, who was not political at all, kept the USA home from Moscow.
Of course the Refugee Team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio wasn’t a politically motivated move at all. Really, we’d all be foolish to think so.
Of course there’s always the change to the Marathon story. Queen Alexandra, consort of The United Kingdom’s Edward VII, changed marathoning forever when she decided the race should start on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle so “the little ones in the nursery” could watch the start, and had it end at the Royal Box in thereviewing stand, which she had had moved so the sun would not be in her eyes, extending the race from its customary but not arbitrary 25 miles to 26.2 miles.
But then, how could the Queen of England be considered political?