Olympic Eve

On the eve of the 2016 summer Olympics(The day before in fact) Public television took us back to the 1936 Olympics of Munich  and Adolf Hitler memory.It was sad to see that much of the modern pageantry(torch relay and lighting,Olympic salute of  Greco-roman origin but close enough to the Sieg Heil salute to be exploited by Hitler and the Nazis,came from that event.The systematic exclusion of Jewish athletes((eerily recalled by the murder of Jewish athletes in 1972 Munich))was also a lowlight of that 1936 event.The wretched behavior of Avery Brundage and the IOC and the weak opposition of the AAU(followed by total  capitulation) was notable.The Nazi enabled German team won the medal count(despite Jesse Owens)and Brundage and his allies were rewarded financially and honorifically by Nazi Germany.Germany was awarded the 1940 winter games,this last monstrous act was interrupted by the series of blitzkriegs and capped by the invasion of Poland resulting in the suspension of the games through the war years.The Olympics are of value because of the nationalistic feelings that are encapsulated therein.Atavistic as hell, could they replace war, they’d be entirely worthwhile.

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  1. The PBS piece on the 1936 Olympics, that I most noted, was the number of traditions that were started, by the Nazis, that were retained and are still practiced, today, by the IOC. It appears that the Olympics never had to go through a de-Nazification program.

  2. The exploitation (rounding up and removal) of undesirables (gypsies,Jews and homeless mentally ill)characterized Munich, and has been echoed in many subsequent Olympics.Rio is no exception.The rioting of the poor,the covering over of unsanitary conditions.Zika virus and mosquitoes are the least of it.Fecal contamination of rivers,streams.and beaches are the least of it.The ruthless pursuit of profit and the production of Potemkin village like facades puts Rio on the map with many other Olympic productions.Nevertheless it is an exciting prospect.

    1. daedal2207: “The Olympics are of value because of the nationalistic feelings that are encapsulated therein.Atavistic as hell, could they replace war, they’d be entirely worthwhile.”

      If by “atavistic as hell,” we imply the perpetuation of corruption under the guise of something noble … with “hell” being the operative word … a “yes” on the misguided nationalistic feelings. As to their replacing war, didn’t the medieval concept of “jousting” approach that … unsuccessfully? They also seem to embolden (Hitler, Putin). I see the modern-day Olympics as a global gladiator school: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/discovery-roman-gladiator-school-brings-famed-fighters-to-life-180959489/. Having been raised in a home that was adoring of a particular sport and actively participated, it’s particularly joyful to be rooting for physical and mental skills. The Olympics have been corrupted in so many ways … that one cannot find joy in Mudville at such heavy cost in every aspect. (FIFA’s nothing by comparison!) In light of such debauchery, Norway found the moral compass to withdraw its application before the IOC for the 2022 Winter Games. http://time.com/3462070/olympics-winter-2022/. They left the IOC essentially with China … again.

      The below is submitted as supportive material … HBO’s investigative program, REAL SPORTS with Bryant Gumbel, “The Lords of the Rings.”

      http://www.hbo.com/schedule?focusId=780223. It will be rebroadcast on Monday, August 8th.
      http://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/episodes/0/232-episode/synopsis/july-on-real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel.html. I’m enclosing the sites description, which merely summarizes the contents of the report. It truly belongs on public networks … but it would conflict with their “yuge” investments for the privilege of broadcasting the “games!”

      The Lords of the Rings

      “For the first time in its 22-year history, REAL SPORTS presents a single-topic, extended investigation, taking a comprehensive look at the powerful and largely unchecked International Olympic Committee.”

      “Commonly referred to as the IOC, the roughly hundred-member governing body of the modern Olympic movement claims devotion to peace and unity for humanity through sport. But months of interviews and research conducted around the world, spanning nine countries, reveal that some believe the IOC has strayed far from its progressive mission by transforming into an elitist organization whose massive power base and demands appear to be exacting a toll on the host cities, their citizens and the athletes they purport to serve.”

      “Host Bryant Gumbel leads the REAL SPORTS investigation from Europe, the home of the International Olympic Committee, introducing the elite fraternity that is today’s IOC. Gumbel reports on the long history of allegations of ethical and legal violations over its century-long run and examines how a thirst for wealth, power, influence and status may have fueled that agenda.”

      “Correspondent Jon Frankel reports from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where the IOC promised, as it does every two years, that the Games would help make the host city a better place. But REAL SPORTS found a city struggling with a variety of issues: toxic, garbage-strewn water at venues where 40 events will be held; a failing public health system; the Zika crisis, which has caused brain damage in more than a thousand babies; and deep resentment from communities that were destroyed to make way for the Summer Games.”

      “Correspondent Bernard Goldberg travels to Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Games, where President Vladimir Putin spent billions of dollars meeting the demands of the IOC and transformed the subtropical beach resort into a winter sports paradise, a feat unattainable for most nations. Critics contend that those Games came at the expense of human rights and that President Putin leveraged post-Games nationalistic pride to allegedly prepare for war.”

      “Correspondent David Scott visits Beijing, China to investigate the true human cost of the 2008 Summer Games and explore the charges by some that the IOC was in partnership with China’s Communist Party. REAL SPORTS uncovers a world of forced evictions, secret prisons and government censorship, revealed in gripping first-hand accounts of banned human rights activists. Now, the local organizing officials have been rewarded, as Beijing is set to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022 and will once again be on the world’s stage.”

      There are other unimagined consequences by the IOC monopoly-style, iron-fist control on the people who make their very existence possible … the athletes (who, amongst many things, are not allowed to use the words “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the context of the Olympics … a copyright infringement). The IOC is controlled and directed by the moneyed, titled, well-connected corrupt with a con slogan of “Peace Through Sports.”

      daedal2207: “Public television took us back to the 1936 Olympics of Munich and Adolf Hitler memory.”

      At the moment, the days of “The Boys in the Boat” (as retold in the PBS American Experience episode http://www.pbs.org/video/2365812690/) are sadly quaint. Oh, Professor, should viewership boycott the “ultimate reality games” … or, should we just sit back and enjoy? Simone Biles is a delight to watch. Do we deprive ourselves of her for the sake of principle? Where are you, King Solomon, when we need you?!

  3. Riddle. In the 1936 Olympics Jesse Owens was the fastest man in the world. Who was the second fastest? You knew his kid brother. Bob

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