Olympic imperialism

Ye Shiwen, 16, Gold Medal 400m Medley Swim.

FLASHBACK – The Western press lashed out as one against China’s medal-winning athletes at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Without the slightest shred of evidence, it systematically raised suspicions of doping, pointing the finger in particular at the young swimmer Ye Shiwen. MANLIO DINUCCI* reminds us that such anti-Chinese racism has a bitter taste of déjà vu.

ROME (ITALY) | 10 AUGUST 2012 – Among the teams represent at the London Olympics, one stands out. It is multinational, made up journalists and trained by political coaches to excel in all disciplines of falsification.

The gold medal goes to the British team, the best at disparaging the Chinese athletes, described as “cheats, freaks, robots.” No sooner had swimmer Ye Shiwen won the competition than the BBC insinuated she had taken performance-enhancing drugs. The Mirror slammed the “robot-churning factories” which produce “genetically modified athletes who are submitted to techniques “bordering on torture.”

The silver medal goes to Il Sole 24 Ore of Italy, which relayed its correspondent in London’s description of the Chinese athletes: “The same square head, the same military line-up, a photocopy of each other, unsmiling machines, automats without heroism,” who came out of an assembly line that “manufactures kids like bolts” faced with the dilemma of “rather than hunger and poverty, better choose discipline and sport.

There is a nostalgia in London for the heyday of yesteryear, when in the 19th century the Chinese were “scientifically” characterized as “patient, but lazy and scoundrels”; when the British imperialists flooded China with their opium, bleeding it dry and putting the country under their thumb; when, after the Chinese authorities had banned its use, China was forced by war to yield to foreign powers (including Italy) parts of its own territory, defined as “concessions”; when at the entrance of Huangpu park, the British “concession” in Shanghai, there was a sign which read “No dogs and Chinese allowed”.

When it liberated itself in 1949, the New China was not recognized by the U.S. and its allies and was de facto prevented from participating in the Olympic Games until 1984. Since then her Olympic success has steadily climbed. It is not that which worries Western powers, but the fact that China is emerging as a power capable of challenging Western dominance across the board.

It is emblematic that even the uniforms of the U.S. Olympic team are made ​​in China. From 2014 only those made in the USA will be used, a pledge made by the U.S. Olympic Committee – a “non-profit” organization sponsored by multinationals. With the crumbs left over from their exploitation of human and material resources in Asia, Africa and Latin America, they fund the recruitment of athletes for those regions to compete under the Stars and Stripes.

China, on the contrary, considers “sport as war without weapons,” growled the Mirror, ignoring that the Olympic flag was hoisted by British troops, who used their weapons in wars of aggression. China is the last country to have “state athletes,” bemoaned Il Sole 24 Ore. Ignoring that of the 290 members of the Italian Olympic team, 183 are government employees dressed as members of the armed forces, the only ones which (by political choice) allow them to devote themselves full time to sport. The militarization of sport, which Defense Minister Di Paola describes as “a sports-military life tandem, based on a shared ethics, characteristic of belonging to a military body or to a sports group.”

So it’s not a war that took place against Libya, but training for the Olympics.

* Geographer and geopolitical scientist. His latest books are Laboratorio di geografia, Zanichelli 2014 ; Diario di viaggio, Zanichelli 2017 ; L’arte della guerra / Annali della strategia Usa/Nato 1990-2016, Zambon 2016.

Source: “Olympic imperialism”, by Manlio Dinucci, Il Manifesto (Italy) , Voltaire Network, 10 August 2012, www.voltairenet.org/article175350.html

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