A blog for conservatives and unionists throughout the Commonwealth and Anglosphere.

"Whatever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man...When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
~
Edmund Burke

2010-02-14

Cynical Olympic Politics and the Death of Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili

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A sullen Georgian Olympic teams wears black arm bands in the opening ceremonies to honour their fallen comrade.

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics began with the sudden death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili which has been viewed on video so many times has shocked the world. There has been a huge outpouring of sympathy from people around the world for Nodar, his peers, his family and the country of Georgia. Less than two years after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which was overshadowed by the stain of human rights abuses by the Chinese government, tragedy has once again struck the Georgian Olympic team. It was during the Beijing Games that the Russian Army invaded Georgia over two disputed regions. Then, like now, the Georgian Olympic team was faced with tragedy but decided to stay in the games rather than go home.

The truth was that Russia had cynically decided to time its invasion of Georgia with the Beijing Olympics, having calculated that much of the world would be too preoccupied watching the games to take much notice. Ever since the sports competitions in the Colosseum in Rome, athletic games have been cynically used by political leaders to distract their citizens from foreign or domestic political problems. The video of such a promising young athlete being brutally hurled to his death entirely due to human errors makes anyone watching feel queasy. So how much more queasy should we feel knowing that the entire spectacle of the Olympics are often used to distract citizens from human rights abuses entirely due to human deliberations?

Could Prime Minister Harper be the latest political leader to play this cynical game
with the Afghan detainee abuse inquiry?

SOURCES:

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

Olympics: Georgia stays at Winter Games to honour luger killed in crash


Political gamesmanship at Winter Olympics a perilous undertaking

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