“The Olympics are political through and through. The marching, the flags, the national anthems, the alliances with corporate sponsors, the labor exploitationbehind the athletic-apparel labels, the treatment of indigenous peoples, the marginalization of the poor and working class, the selection of Olympic host cities—all political. To say the Olympics transcend politics is to conjure fantasy” — Jules Boykoff
Power Games: a no-holds barred, critical political history of the modern Olympic Games, by Jules Boykoff.
— John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics during the U.S. National Anthem; regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the Olympics.
“A great irony is that the modern Olympics, first envisioned as an alternative to war, have themselves become a form of low-intensity warfare. As Jules Boykoff chronicles in this pathbreaking history, host cities have used the Games to leverage urban renewal, neighborhood demolition, and mass population displacement. The preparations for the Rio Olympics have gone one step further and become a literal urban counterinsurgency, as elite police units occupy and ‘cleanse’ one favela after another.” — Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums
— demonstrations against the 2016 Olympics in Brazil have been commonplace, with protestors holding posters that read “I am a street vendor and my family starves”. Many Brazilians are furious at overspending on stadiums and other projects for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
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