I just did a brief bit of Olympic watchdog duty, and immediately I found this amazing piece. Apparently these days if you can get back up 6 (SIX!) times, you can buy yourself an Olympic gold medal for boxing. The page linked includes video of the insane fight. If you watch it you can see Satoshi Shimizu, the Jap who hands out the butt-kicking, look at the ref. as if to ask why he doesn’t save rag doll-Abdul, who is clearly walking very close to the edge of permanent brain damage. So ya, medals are for sale. After appeal and review the decision has been reversed, but it’s too late. Your sport is now a joke and you sully the name of the ancient Olympic Games. Well done though Mr. Shimizu, great job! You’re a classy man.
The Olympic name has far greater disgraces though than a bit of boxing match-fixing. British taxpayers who were told the games would cost 4.5bp, actually forked out 18bp or so, I believe. Of course that could never be enough, so corporate sponsors are supplying part of the funding, and that is where the real disgraces lie. Activists, who are campaigning against the involvement of certain corporate interests, stress that entities such as Dow Chemical do not uphold the Olympic ideals of healthy living and environmentalism. Indian children monsterfied by Dow have in fact held their own Special Olympics with mock sports such as the 25 meter assisted walking event as a form of protest. I am proud of the athletes who are winning medals for my country, but with “the whole world watching” now is the perfect opportunity to build public support for chastising indecent corporate behaviour. These multinational corporations answer to nobody, but they are vulnerable to tightened purse strings and informed and educated consumers.