Monthly Archives: August 2005

Sacre bleu! Why is the Globe and Mail assassinating the athlete?

Part I of two articles on the Tour de France and the cynicism of the sports media*

By TONY SEED

cynic a. & n. …. one who sarcastically doubts or despises human sincerity and merit; hence ~ISM

(2) n. (f. L f. Gk kunikos (kuon kunos dog, nickname for Cynic…)

ONE of the recurring adjectives sports journalists use to describe their own outlook is cynical. They seem to wear it as a hard-boiled badge of honour. They banter about it amongst themselves on the 24-hour sports talk shows. For years they joked about drugs in sports, unwillingly to take a stand. Athletes who spoke out honestly with a real concern for the direction of their sport received nothing but opprobrium for their trouble. Continue reading

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London Olympics 2012: corporate greed and privatisation

By PAUL BOND and DANIEL O’FLYNN

THE DECISION as to which city would host the 2012 Olympic Games was made amidst such accusations of foul play and naked delight at the potential profits involved that one might have been forgiven for forgetting that this was supposed to be about a celebration of sporting endeavour and spirit. Continue reading

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The ‘match of death’: When Dynamo Kiev defied the Nazis

Slowly, each player raised his arm, only to snap it back into their chests and shout ‘FitzcultHura’, which loosely translated means ‘long live sport’ … the traditional Soviet salute before a match

Monument in Kiev for the death match against the ss soccer team of fascist Germany. Photo | Erstmalklarkommen

(2005, August 1)* – THIS AUGUST marks the 63rd anniversary of one of the most extraordinary events in football history, yet it is a tale that is not widely known, the story of how Kiev footballers defeated Nazi Germany. It is a tale of courage that shows both what football can do, and mean, for people.

Today many sportsmen become iconic figures thanks to the global advertising industry. But true iconic status cannot be conferred on athletes by the sportswear manufacturers, but by actions that lift the athletes beyond the field of play. Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ black power salute at the ‘68 Olympics, and Mohammed Ali’s refusal to be drafted for Vietnam are shining examples of sportsmen who realised that they had a responsibility and profile which could be used for a goal greater than flogging sports shoes. These are well-known tales. Less well-known is the story of Start FC, the Ukrainian football team who took on, and beat, the Nazis and paid for that victory with their lives. Continue reading

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