This article, first published on February 21, 2014 during the Sochi Winter Olympics exposes both the aim and the method of how the NHL, hand in hand with the sports media, began creating the conditions to justify launching its own private “World Cup of Hockey.”
The discourse runs like this: we poor owners have been victimized and our fans short-changed and held hostage by the Olympics, because “the best league in the world has been shut down” (Prime Time Sports, Rogers Sportsnet, February 18, 2014). “Just look at our empty buildings.” It is reminiscent of the old saw about the thief crying “stop thief!” | TONY SEED*
The NHL can only drool over the figures. The Canada-U.S. men’s hockey semifinal drew a television audience of more than 15 million for CBC. (Photo) Corey Perry of Canada tries a wraparound on Jonathan Quick of the USA as he is defended by Cam Fowler during first period action in the men’s hockey semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014 | Jean Levac/Postmedia News
SEEMINGLY out of the blue, the National Hockey League (NHL) based in New York sent their fabled Stanley Cup trophy to Sochi. The media slavered when it made its appearance at Canada House on Monday, February 17th. The iconic silver trophy had seemingly fallen from the sky or appeared as if a gift from the gods of sport with a spiritual significance comparable to a burning bush.
In the media euphoria, Canadian Olympic members were organized to pose with the trophy and world champion figure skater Patrick Chan to bless it with a kiss.
Four-time Olympian skier Brian Stemmle, also a CBC analyst, denounced the maneouvre, rightly asking: “Why is the Stanley Cup at Canada House in Sochi? Other athletes don’t bring their trophies. Hate when hockey tries to overshadow other sports.” A new diversion began. Continue reading
By NICK FILLMORE*
Artist’s rendering of the stylized LED-light Olympic flame that will ’burn‘ outside the Canadian Olympic Committee offices at Olympic House in Montreal.
Dozens of athletes from Canada and thousands from developing countries have had a difficult time raising the money needed to train and take part in the Olympics Games in Brazil.
In Canada, more than two dozen world-class athletes were so hard up for support that they resorted to launching crowdfunding campaigns to supplement the money they receive from government and perhaps corporate sponsors. Continue reading
American women’s 4X100m relay team
From a Facebook post by Tony Seed on August 19, 2016.
The American womens’ 4X100m relay team that failed to qualify earlier today got a “do over.”
Allyson Felix lost her balance during a baton exchange after making contact with a Brazilian sprinter, but that it did not make her drop the baton; she threw it away like a hot potato. Perhaps she knew they could complain and get a re-run. This team had lost fair and square; the incident is what can be considered a normal hazard of competition and the U.S. team should not have been afforded a second chance. Sport can and should allow for such failures, as it is fair and healthy. Continue reading
By MARCEL WOLAND
Followers of mass media in the West may be forgiven for not noticing that the Olympic movement has been severely damaged by the recent weaponization of the Olympics.
What the average Western viewer was expected to take away from the much-reported ‘Russian doping scandal’ was that Russia is indeed a lawless, sinister entity and that the Fu Manchu-like Putin has his finger in every pie. Many believed it. Continue reading
Following the club’s 11th European Cup win, an 1985 article from the archive of History Today explains why the shadow of fascism hangs over Real’s stellar history. During the Franco years, the ostracised regime used football to initiate a gradual road towards acceptance of the the entry of Spain into NATO in 1982 and the EEC in 1985. The Catalans and the Basques, however, used football as a means of popular anti-fascist protest | DUNCAN SHAW (photos and captions added by TS)
On June 21st, 1964, an ecstatic crowd of 120,000, awash in a sea of red and yellow, cheered and applauded Generalissimo Francisco Franco as he stood up to leave the Madrid summer evening gathering. This was no mass rally of political affirmation that the dictator was leaving, but a football match. Spain had just beaten the Soviet Union in the Final of the European Nations’ Cup; so much more than just a football victory: a triumph for international co-operation over Cold War hostility, but, conversely, perhaps also a triumph over the old Red enemies of the Civil War.
An excerpt from the 1995 book “Soccer in Sun and Shadow.” EDUARDO GALEANO
FIFA, who has its throne and holds court in Zurich, the International Olympic Committee, which rules from Lausanne, and the ISL Marketing company, who conducts its business from Lucerne, manages the World Cup and the Olympics. As we can tell, these three powerful organizations maintain their head offices in Switzerland, a country made famous due to William Tell’s marksmanship, the precision of its watches, and religious devotion to bank secrecy. Coincidentally, all three hold an extraordinary degree of shame when it comes to the money that passes through their hands, and the money that remains in their hands. Continue reading