South Africa: Olympic Games Underline That Politics Is Sport and Sport Is Politics

opinion

Politics and sport are curious bedfellows but there is no escaping the fact that they are inextricably linked. Yet the International Olympic Committee, which is ironically a hugely political entity masquerading as a sports organisation, does its best to separate politics and sport.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

In an age of social media and easy dissemination of information and messages, both real and fake, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains mired in the past.

Earlier this month the breathtakingly arrogant organisation that "owns" the Olympics amended Clause 50 of its charter to allow athletes more freedom to express their political and other views. As if they didn't have the right to do that anyway.

Previously the clause stated: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

The new guidelines allow athletes to express their views but only on certain platforms at certain times. One of the times that is definitely off limits is on the podium, during a medal ceremony. Another is during the opening and closing ceremonies. If those rules are breached the IOC has a lengthy list of sanctions it can...

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

X