Beijing: when humanitarian issues and Olympic values collide

 

Earlier this summer I wrtoe a short piece for Sportanddev.org about the challenges the IOC and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games organizers faced when questions about human rights, approved freedom of speech and freedom of the press were raised by internaitonal media and advocacy groups.

The entire article is here.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

The Olympics in crisis
The Olympics faced a crisis, help unlike any of the ones it faced before: boycotts, here terrorist threats or environmental protection to name a few. It showed an increasing interest from non-sporting bodies into the applicability of humanitarian principles and promises. The Beijing Games brought attention to the need of transparency from the IOC and organising committees in such matters. It also showed that an active dialogue with both the critics and the supporters of the Olympic Movement is highly necessary.

Thoughts about the future
While small steps have been made since then and the IOC has renewed its pledge to its humanitarian promises while also acknowledging its limits, it can be assumed that critical discourses surrounding the Games humanitarian mission are to continue to be seen in future Games editions.

 

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