Comité Olímpico Internacional

People against the July opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, gather to protest around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building during a demonstration on June 23. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

It’s always the athletes lugging the mop, rubber gloves and disinfectant into the Olympics.

It’s always the task of the young and magnificent, who seek only the chance to test and prove the wonderful things they can do, to purify the ugliness of their grasping elders.

When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cheerfully collaborated with Hitler in 1936, it fell to Jesse Owens to clean up the story. Sprinting and leaping, the brilliant Black man won four gold medals and redeemed the atrocity.

The IOC was no better in 1968, ho-humming as Mexican authorities shot students protesting their government. No better in 1972, when awful Avery Brundage, the longtime ogre at the head of the IOC, was muted in Munich as Israeli athletes were murdered.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Will the Olympic movement allow a fellow athlete to languish in jail, or worse be sent back to his country of birth to be tortured?’. Photograph: Kommersant Photo Agency/REX/Shutterstock

In the 50 days since Hakeem al-Araibi has been held in a Bangkok jail, global events for Olympic sports have continued. The Hockey World Cup and the World Swimming Championships were held and the Handball World Championships, football’s Asian Cup and tennis grand slam the Australian Open have begun. The Winter X Games and Super Bowl will also be under way soon.

Yet one of our fellow Australian athletes, Hakeem al-Araibi, a former international footballer, remains in jail, awaiting the worst fate of any asylum seeker or refugee: extradition back to the country that persecuted him, the country he fled in fear for his life.…  Seguir leyendo »

A worker helps install a set of Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Those of us who enjoy experiencing the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” of the Olympic Games could probably do without one particular emotion: the fear that the games, which begin Friday in Rio de Janeiro, will be an operational disaster. So far, the headlines do not inspire confidence. Armed robbers heisting a German TV crew’s equipment. “Uninhabitable” residential facilities for athletes. Marathon swimmers being told not to open their mouths while competing in sewage-contaminated Guanabara Bay.

The 2004 Olympics in Athens were preceded by similar worries right up until the day they began. In the end, those Games were a great success.…  Seguir leyendo »

And the yellow medal for cowardice goes to: the International Olympic Committee.

Quivering like a nervous gymnast on a beam, stumbling like a hurdler, sinking to the bottom like a diver, the IOC has squandered a golden opportunity to demonstrate its integrity to the world with its spineless decision not to ban Russia's entire team from the Rio Olympics, which are to begin with opening ceremonies on August 5.

In so doing, these Games remain as mired in muck as much of the water off Rio's coast.

Thomas Bach, a German lawyer who is president of the IOC, had described Russia's blatant chicanery in a statement as "a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport".…  Seguir leyendo »

Podría parecer que el Comité Olímpico Internacional (COI) se ha lavado las manos con Rusia. Pero no tanto. Cierto que cada Federación Internacional tiene quince agónicos días -con las evidentes limitaciones que ello supone- para establecer qué atletas rusos pueden competir en Río y eso, en román paladino, significa que el astuto Comité le ha pasado a otros la patata caliente de enemistarse con el segundo país más laureado de la historia de los Juegos: 1.529 medallas en total; 1.010 como URSS, 407 como Rusia y 112 como Equipo Unificado.

Sin embargo, por mucho que se cuide de poner el cascabel al gato, Poncio Pilato no vive en Lausana.…  Seguir leyendo »