By JOHN PILGER*
Australia is gearing up to host the 2000 Olympics, yet its own sporting history is far removed from the spirit of the Games. Some of its greatest sportspeople were denied the chance to make their mark. Why? Because of the colour of their skin. And even today, to be aborigine, is to be a second-class citizen.
(August 21, 1999) – PHYSCICALLY, there is no place like Sydney: the deep-water harbour, the tiara of Pacific beaches, the estuaries and secret bays where white eucalyptus rise up from the water’s edge. At the city’s centre is a stage-set like a small New York, its props the great bridge, the other-worldly opera house and the sparkling art-deco Olympic pool, built in the 30s, with an honour roll of 86 world swimming records, itself a world record. Beside it is Luna Park, a fun-fair announced by a huge face with a slightly demented smile.
This is Australia’s facade – or showcase, as the promoters of the Olympic Games prefer. Opening in one year’s time, the Games, sing the video choirs, are to herald “a new golden age”, with Australians “the chosen ones to take the dream to the new millennium: a dream we all share.” Continue reading