This morning, a talk-show host on the radio was going on about teaching the moral leeson of the Olympic Spirit to our children…. It made me think: what exactly are the ‘morals of the Olympics’?
Since we live in modern days (and in order to not get into actual wars fought inside the Olympic stadia while the races were on), let’s just look at the morals displayed in the modern-day Olympic Games.
The logical place to look is at the governing body, the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Just a quick ‘Google’ for ‘IOC Scandal’…and the first five searches yielded scandal stories written in 5 different years: 2004, 2000, 1999, 2002 and 1998 respectively. Either, they have a LOT of scandals, or their scandals are big enough to drag on for years…. Bribery and misconduct are among the charges. A fine example of ‘moral’ behaviour by the individual members of the IOC…
Yes, you may say, humans are not infalliable. At least their aims are good! Well, look at their stated goals on the Wikipedia page. I will list them here, translated from ‘bureaucratese’ (in which I am fluent) into ‘common-sense’ English (caution – this is my interpretation, and might differ from the way the IOC might wish you to interpret them):
1. Promote ‘ethics’ and ‘fair play’ – that is, if the Russian figure skating judge promises to the French figure skating judge that if she gives the Russian pair the highest marks, they’ll give the French ones high marks in individual skating, by gosh, that Russian judge had better keep his word!
2. Give money to our subsidiary organizations.
3. Make sure EVERYBODY celebrates (gives money to) the Olympic Games – that is, us.
4. World peace – you can pay for it through us! Send money to P.O. Box…
5. Protect the ‘Olympic Movement’ – yeah, and poo-pooh people who criticize us! They’re probably just jelaous of our cash!
6. Same as point 5, but in different words: we really don’t want to stem the flow of cash!
7. Promote women’s sports and equality of all men and women. That is why we’ve imposed sexual apartheid in all competitions – the pretty little things would stand no chance against us big strong men!
8. No doping – unless we’re paid off to change the tests first. Just today, we’re taking an American runners’ medals away – so make sure you pay us enough!
9. Protect the health of athletes: that is why we make sure that the levels at which these athletes compete will cripple them from arthritis by the time they’re 40. And, the smog-filled places we hold the games, well, the health effects of smog are exaggerated…
10. Oppose commercialization and politicization of athletes. Really, we mean it!!!! Never mind that the Olympic Games are plastered with sponsor ads. We can prove the politicization bit, though: the accomplishments of the athletes themselves are recognized – not their home country….except for all the anthems and flag-waving and keeping track of medals by country and… Just, never mind this one!
11. Home countries should pay the athletes to train, so we can make money off their performances.
12. Promote sports – through our subsidiary organizations only, so the cash can keep flowing!
13. The decision of where future games will be located will be made based on the latest political buzzwords, as well as bribes financial contributions to our movement (yeah, not the ones to us individually).
14. Leave a good feeling with the host country/city – i.e. we will be gracious in accepting the bribes culturally enriching presents from our hosts. In the name of the Olympic Spirit, of course…
15. Politicize sports, brainwash kids to it – it doesn’t count when we do it.
16. Give money to our minion subsuduary organizations. Keep the cash flowing!!!
Oh, my, these are some ‘morals’! Are we sure this is not a religious cult in its own right? All that talk about sending money, and the ‘Great Olympic Spirit’, and promoting themselves… However, I fail to understand why anyone would want to teach this – as a ‘good thing’ – to their kids! Just a bit more decay, and the IOC will be as ‘moral’ as the UN!!!
Perhaps calling for the boycott of the Beijing games is not the best course of action: perhaps we have to scrap the whole thing! Starting with the Beijing games…