Monday, March 24, 2008

Reference: Keep politics out of Games, Bangkok Post, March 24, 2008

The Olympic games is a contest among nations and it is redolent with national flags, national anthems, and national pride. Throughout the Games, the world's attention is focussed on a nation by nation medal count. Individual athletes and their personal accomplishments are buried under national identity. It is a political event from start to finish. It is for this reason that the Games has always served as a venue to place everyone's political agenda out there for the world to see. If we really want to keep politics out of the Games let us begin by getting rid of the national identities of the athletes, let us ban national flags and national anthems from the event, and let us celebrate the athletic achievements of individuals and teams whatever their national origin. Until we do that it will continue to be a political event by definition and keeping politics out of the Games will be no easier than keeping water out of the oceans.

Cha-am Jamal

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