Monthly Archives: September 2000

What is the real narcotic in sports?

By TONY SEED*

Editorial, Shunpiking Magazine

September, 2000, Volume 5, Number 5, Issue #36

In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams. – Olympic oath

THE HUE AND CRY by the sports media about drug infractions and “cheats” in the current Olympics in Sydney, Australia reminds us that there is a murkier, unsporting side to the promotion of international athletics. The intense debate about sport and the responsibilities of athletes also brings to mind an old question; who does sport serve? Is the problem in sport just one of individual athletes? Continue reading

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Why I’m skipping the Olympics (2)

By KALIYA YOUNG, San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO (September 17, 2000) – I WAS A THREE-TIME All-American at Cal in women’s water polo and left college for a year to prepare for the Olympic Games with the Canadian National team. In July, after the Pan-American Games, I had a change of heart about this decision. I walked away from the opportunity to go to the Olympics and returned to my studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Everyone who knew me asked the same question: “Why?” After all, I had played for 13 years, and been part of the national team program for six years. During my last year on the team, I looked deeper into the Olympic movement. I was deeply troubled by the corporate sellout of the event, by the hollowness of Olympic environmental claims and by the blatant lie that the competition served to ‘bring the world together.’ Like all other hopefuls, I gave up a great deal to make the Olympic team. I moved away from friends and family, lived well below the poverty line for years and put my education on hold in order to hone my athletic skills. I made these sacrifices because I loved playing water polo and because I wanted to compete with the best. My perspective on the Games gradually shifted. Continue reading

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Why I’m skipping the Olympics (1)

By KALIYA YOUNG, San Francisco Chronicle

(September 17, 2000) – THE Opening Ceremonies were amazingly colourful, full of music and dance while the athletes of the world paraded in behind their flags. This marked the beginning of my 15-year obsession with becoming an Olympic athlete. I was eight when I saw my first games in 1984, just as my dreams were forming and I was beginning to appreciate the wider world. My country, Canada, was among those represented in the Los Angles Stadium and I watched our athletes intently as they competed over the next two weeks. I remember telling my mother about my new dream of becoming an Olympian. Continue reading

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Australia is the only developed country whose government has been condemned as racist by the United Nations

Olympic hype will not give Australia glorious self-confidence. Justice for its indigenous people might.

By JOHN PILGER, New Statesman

SYDNEY (October 13, 2000) – According to the folksy writer Matthew Engel, the glories of the Olympic Games have a cathartic effect on nations. The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles ‘helped the US regain the confidence it lost in Vietnam.’

He omitted to explain the benefits of this renewed confidence for the millions of bereaved, maimed and poisoned Vietnamese. As for the Sydney Olympics, he described a ‘glorious self-confidence’ that will ‘sustain Australia for years.’ Continue reading

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