Monthly Archives: February 2014

Sochi 2014: Respect for one’s opponent in sport (1)

Sochi thumbnailWhat is the real match, the real contest here? Is the Olympic spirit manifested in Sochi or is it something relegated to the distant past? The whole pragmatic, unprincipled “winning is everything” approach embodied by the “Own the Podium” program of the Harper government and the corporate monopoly sponsors of the Canadian Olympic Committee is incompatible with the high ideals of sport and the modern spirit of friendship and mutual respect between peoples and their athletes. These ideals are manifested in some of the most indelible Olympic memories that have nothing to do with medals and victories. One of those moments happened a few days ago when a Swiss gold medalist waited at the finish line of a cross-country ski race for 28 minutes to shake hands with the skier from Peru who came in last, as pictured below. 

Respect for one’s opponent in competition is a well-known norm and one of the high ideals of sportsmanship. This human-cntred ethos has been assaulted from all sides by commercialized, professional sport, with its basis in the fetish of capitalist competition. The big sports monopolies, such as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), stage the arena to promote blind, mind-numbing support for the “home team” as “our team.”

LA Galaxy David Beckham is covered in streamers handed out by management as he prepares to take a corner kick against Toronto FC during the first half of their quarter-final CONCACAF Champions League soccer match at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on March 7, 2012

LA Galaxy David Beckham is covered in streamers handed out by management as he prepares to take a corner kick against Toronto FC during the first half of their quarter-final CONCACAF Champions League soccer match at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on March 7, 2012

Fans at the Air Canada Centre are organized to disrupt opposing players when they take foul shots, or incited to boo basketball or hockey players who have been either traded away by MLSE or signed with another franchise. The sports media sets the table with a “debate” as to why the athlete should be vilified. This hooligan behaviour is astounding. Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: Friendship first

SOME of the most indelible Olympic memories have nothing to do with medals and medal counts, podiums or world records. One of those moments happened Tuesday when Russian competitor Anton Gafarov took a spill during a tricky turn in his cross-country sprint semifinal. What followed is a defeat for the self-serving “winning is everything, the only thing” spirit proclaimed by the rich countries at the Games, which have become an unscrupulous commercialized bazaar, where everything is promoted, bought and sold. It gives hope that humanity will someday remedy the disappearance of the amateur spirit and the highest sporting ideals in world sport. Here’s how it went down.

Anton Gafarov crashed hard halfway through the race:

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 2.51.47 PM Continue reading

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Sochi 2014 costs more than the first 90 years of Winter Games

Ðóáëåâûå êóïþðû ðàçíîãî äîñòîèíñòâàThe controversial budget of the Olympic Games in Sochi is higher than all the Winter Games from 1924 until 2010 put together. Sochi 2014 is estimated to costs around 40 billion euro, where the 21 previous Winter Games cost approximately 35 billion euro altogether, a large scale archival research project reveals.

(Feb. 7): – THE first Olympic Winter Games took place in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The 22nd edition opened in Sochi on February 7th. In those 90 years, the Winter Games have grown explosively and more money than ever is involved in the organisation of the Games, both with regards to income and expenses. Continue reading

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Canadian journalist sues former Vancouver Games CEO for defamation

Laura Robinson (photo) has filed a defamation suit against John Furlong. Photo by Play the Game / Thomas Søndergaard

Laura Robinson (photo) has filed a defamation suit against John Furlong. Photo by Play the Game / Thomas Søndergaard

Play the Game (Jan. 20): – Investigative journalist Laura Robinson has launched a defamation suit against John Furlong, former CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Games as the latest step in a 14-month long legal battle initiated by Furlong.

In a press statement, the Canadian journalist Laura Robinson explains the civil action launched against John Furlong: Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: China’s view – West doesn’t miss opportunity for Russophobic orgy

West sees muck even in gold

The first attendance by a Chinese president at a major overseas sports event

China Daily (Feb. 10) – THE attempts of the West to discredit the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games were evident much before the opening ceremony on Friday. The Sochi Olympics is a sports event, but the West has used it as a political tool against Russia, much like it used the Beijing 2008 Summer Games to criticize China, says a Xinhua commentary.

The West’s rhetoric is old-fashioned: alleged corruption, overrunning costs and human rights infringements. Even opinion polls favourable to Russia, especially the one by Gallup that said “Russians see gold in Sochi Olympic Games”, could not change the West’s attitude. Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: Artificial snow on the slopes for the winter games

Sochi Infographic.Artificial SnowClick to enlarge

Organizers will be able to use artificial snow if there is any shortage of the real thing during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: Facts and Figures

A total of 85 countries are taking part in the Winter Olympics in Sochi. About 3,000 athletes are competing for 98 sets of medals. (Ria Novosti)

Sochi 2014.Facts and FiguresClick to enlarge

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