Olympic Games history, new book


This video from the USA says about itself:

John Carlos, 1968 Olympic U.S. Medalist, on the Sports Moment That Changed The World. 1 of 2

12 October 2011

Almost half a century after his famous raised-fist salute at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, John Carlos has authored a new memoir with sports writer Dave Zirin, “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World.” Olympic medal winners in the 200 meter race, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists in the Black Power salute during the national anthem at the Olympic prize ceremony as a protest against racism in the United States.

Seen around the world, the Black Power salute on the Olympic medal stand sparked controversy and an eventual career fallout. “I wasn’t in there for the race, I was there to make a statement,” Carlos told Democracy Now! in an interview Oct. 12 with Dave Zirin. “I was ashamed of America for America’s deeds — what they were doing in history as well as what they were doing at that time.”

This video is the sequel.

By Jamie Johnson in Britain:

How Olympic ideal became corrupted

Tuesday 26th April 2016

Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics
by Jules Boykoff
(Verso, £11.99)

THE OLYMPIC Games have not always been the commercialised economic and undemocratic juggernaut of modern times which, awash with corporate sponsorship, rides roughshod over host communities.

But, historically, it has been a clandestine, elite-driven organisation with regressive policies, a huge price tag and ever-strengthening ties to capitalism.

The St Louis games of 1904 were even bedevilled by so-called “anthropology days,” with events rigged to test racist hypotheses showing that “savages” were inferior.

Women’s participation in track and field events shamefully lagged behind the introduction of female suffrage.

Fortunately, the Olympics’ chequered history has been accompanied by a catalogue of progressive radical protest.

Pre-empting Tommy Smith and Don Carlos’s black power salute at their medal ceremony in Mexico 1968, Irish athlete and staunch nationalist Peter O’Connor — selected to represent Britain— climbed the flagpole to rip down the union flag and fly his Irish alternative after winning silver in the Athens 1906 long jump. Suffragettes targeted the golf tournament at London’s 1908 games.

In developing his theory of “celebration capitalism,” which gives the mainstream media something to cheer about every four years, Boykoff firmly places the five-ringed circus as a central cog in a destructive neoliberal machine and finds much to admire in the alternative, yet short-lived, International Workers’ Olympiads.

And he demonstrates how the Olympics are an incredible but fundamentally unsustainable sporting event, an over-budget corporate franchise purchased with public money, directly transferring wealth to private hands.

British taxpayers footed 88 per cent of London 2012’s costs but received few positive long-term benefits. When even The Economist claims that hosting the Olympics is bad for a city’s health, something is clearly wrong.

Enjoyable and informative, Power Games is an even more relevant read in the build-up to this summer’s first-ever Latin American Olympics.

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3 thoughts on “Olympic Games history, new book

  1. Pingback: Brazil, Olympic games and coup | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: History of lynching in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Refugee Olympic athletes honoured with mural | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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