Politicizing Olympics

The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

George Orwell said those words in his 1946 essay "Why I write."

Pro-Chinese governments, including Burma, and the Chinese government have been saying that olympics should not be politicized.

[Chinese] Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says the Beijing Olympics is a grand event both for China and for the whole world, and that the Games should not be politicized.

The statement by Qin Gang is in itself a political one, describing a "grand event"
showcasing the "rich and powerful" China. Olympics have long been used by various governments to promote their ideology. Hitler used the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany as a tool to promote Nazi ideology by allowing only members of the "Aryan race" to compete for Germany.

Looking as far back as ancient Olympics events, winning athletes were heroes who put their home towns on the map. Winning medals at the Olympics signify the wealth and power of a town. A young Athenian nobleman used the number of his entries in chariot-race in the Olympics to defend his political reputation.
[From Tufts]

Therefore, as far as I am concerned, olympics is a sporting as well as political
event. As much as the Chinese government has the right to make the "grand" event successful, activists around the world should also have the right to express their anger towards the Chinese government and its policy.


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