Global Athlete
Global Athlete

Episode · 4 months ago

Overview and History of International Sport Governance with Prof. Jules Boykoff

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Olympics are no doubt an iconic sports staple and whether watching gymnasts tumble across an arena or skiers flying down the slopes, chances are you’ve watched—and probably cheered for—an Olympic event. Professor Jules Boykoff joins Noah Hoffman to break down the history of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and share the impact of some remarkable highs and lows of the modern Olympic games.

In this episode, we talk about…

  • Pierre Coubertin’s vision and who he wanted to participate in the Olympics
  • How athletes fit into the Olympic story throughout history
  • Peter O’Connor’s activism at the 1906 Olympics
  • Alice Milliat’s alternative Olympics for women
  • The lasting influence of John Carlos, Tommie Smith and the Olympic Project for Human Rights in 1968
  • How the IOC leverages sanctions against athletes in present day
  • IOC’s governance structure and accountability
  • 4 Trends of Olympic host cities: high spending, militarization, displacement and eviction, greenwashing
  • How the United Nations addresses the democracy deficit of the IOC
  • The state of exception the IOC thrives on vs. state of emergency in Japan for upcoming summer games

Memorable Quotes:

  • “All to often, those stories of fighting back on the part of principled athletes who weren’t happy with the way the Olympics were being organized, get shuffled under the historical rug….Athletes have been standing up to those in power...and standing up for their freedoms and their political beliefs.”
  • “Athletes have a tremendous amount of leverage if they act in unison, if they act in concert, and if they have a good plan going in.”

Guest Bio: 

Jules Boykoff writes on a range of subjects, including political activism, the Olympic Games, and climate change. Boykoff holds a Ph.D. in political science from American University. He currently teaches political science at Pacific University in Oregon.

He is the author of four books on the Olympics—NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beyond (Fernwood, 2020), Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (Verso, 2016), Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver and London (Rutgers University Press, 2014), and Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games (Routledge, 2013).

Links to resources:

Jules Boykoff

“A Bid for a Better Olympics” New York Times (13 August 2014) Join the movement for athlete driven change across the world of sport at globalathlete.org.

Welcome to the Global Athlete podcastconversations about power, accountability and Athlete Rights ininternational sport. My name is Noah Hoffman and I'm yourhost. I want to start by briefly introducing myself. I grew up in themountains in Colorado and cross country skeed on the US national team from twothousand and eight to two thousand and seventeen. I competed at the twothousand and fourteen Olympics in so to Russia and the thousand and EighteenOlympics in Poncha South Korea. After the thousand and eighteen games, Iretired from cross country scheme and involved as an undergraduate student atGround University in Rhode, Island, I'm studying economics- and I just finishedmy junior year at Brown, so I have one year left: I'm passionate about issuesof opportunity, inequality and entrenched power. That's what broughtme to global athlete Global Athlete is an international athlete lead movementworking to lead positive change in world sport. This podcast will featureconversations about the topics that we are focused on. A global athlete eachweek will discuss a specific topic with expert athletes and activists. Thisweek will focus on giving a broad overview of international sportgovernance and a bit about the history of the International Olympic Committee.Our guest is professor jewels, Boyko of Pacific University. Before we get tothe interview we'll start each episode with a short conversation with Greeceshop about current events and international sport. Bre Is the GlobalAthlete Program Manager and the chair of the US Olympic imperilment ofcommittee athletes, Advisory Council. Three welcome to the Global Astlepodcast thanks. No, this has been a really exciting project for us. As youknow, and I think something that's always been on our minds. Is We havethese conversations when we go to various events and people say Gosh, youknow I wish. I knew that, like on the club house, APP after an AthleteCouncil Meeting for the US one time we all got on club house and otherathletes were able to jump in and the information that was coming across. Youknow with the athlete reps was really interesting in something that we'veheard for a long time is how do we get these conversations public, which is agreat thing about the new global athlete podcast yeah, and I'm soexcited about the guest list that we have lined up? We got jewels boycot forthis episode and then the list is just there's so many experts are so manypeople working in this space to change sport to to research. You know how this is goingto bring things into the light and I'm excited to kind of learn alongside ofour listeners yeah, and on that note you know one ofthe big events that has happened recently, of course, is Namioka at theFrench Open there and pulling out of the competition which it wasfascinating to watch that wave of media. You had an immediate backlash from alot of media and then you also had a counter wave coming in of media andsupport of Naomi. So you know obviously there's some big issues in an importantdiscussion that needs to happen on just the evolution of sport and the purposeof those press conferences in the past were to give a voice a direct line forthe press to an athlete. But of course, now we have social media, there'salways a direct line to the athletes. So where does that lie and how muchvalue does it bring to the event and especially what it seems like justarbitrarily holding these rules over athletes? Yeah, that's how I thinkabout it is, is where do these rules come from and what say to the peoplewho are being governed? The athletes have in the creation of these rules, soNaomi was fined. Fifteen and dollars for skipping the first press conferenceand all of the Grand Slam, organizers, the US Open, and the Australian, openand wimbled in alongside the French Open, threatened her future suspensionfrom the Grand Slams. If she refuses press conferences, so you know Naomiessentially, the Grand Slams are where tennis players make their name thatthat's you know, their entire careers are focused around these events. If youcan't compete at these events, that you...

...can't compete, and so essentially thechoice for Naomi at that point is either continue her career and abide bythe rules or be done with her career, because there is no alternative option,and so it's there is no. You know there is no leverage for the athletes andthat's kind of the heart of what we do at Global Athlete, and I think this isa perfect extendit is yet no one is there. You know able to come as arepresentative for the athletes and say hey, this would work for us. Instead,it is all it is one sided and the organizations are saying. Okay here yousign up for this, you know not, unlike were you know what we'll get to later,with the ovid pandemic and athletes going to the Olympics and par Olympicsthis summer? Is You sign this or you don't participate so now, here Naomi isin a position to you know her livelihood is on the line and thenanother aspect of that is taking a look at this structure is an archaic. Howcan we all evolve? You know positively, we all know it has been proven thatcollective bargaining improves things for everyone, so I think there's a lotof fear there to evolve, but it really you need to take a look at that set up,and it's typically especially for women. In this scenario, and in a sport, youknow that's largely a white country club, you know dominated sport, aswomen are put in these positions. Now, after a really stressful event, they'vecompeted and oftentimes, you have situations like a young Anaconda thinkwas asked at seventeen, how she felt about being a pin up right. So this isthe feeding frenzy that supposedly is critical to the money making machine ofthe host of that event. Tennis, you know with with antico and Naomi, is areally interesting example, because the TA and the at P are ostensiblypartnerships between players and the tours the tournaments that are that areput on around the world at this international level. But, interestingly,the Grand Slam. Events like the French Open operate outside of thatpartnership. They are in the case of the French Open, theAustralian Open and the US opened their non profit organizations and theirmissions include not only to put on these big events, but also to supporttennis in their respective countries. Wimbledon is different because theWimbledon Tennis Club is a private club that puts on that event, but therethere is no accountability at the Grand Slams between administration andathletes because they are operate outside of that framework of the W Taand the at and, of course, the grand slams are where the bulk of the moneyis. There has been some movement on the men's side towards unionizingunionizing athletes, two thousand and twenty Novak Joko, it's the best bestmen player in the world, along with some other athletes, made some movestowards trying to unionize the men side. Interestingly, they didn't include thewomen that was not an inclusive group, but what they were trying to do wasgain leverage for the players over the Grand Slam tournament, because there isno leverage right now, and so I would love to see a movement like that. Thatincludes, of course, the women's players as well, since the GRANDS FAMevent are putting on events. You know putting on these these tournaments forboth men and women and to see a group that can rival the power through thethreat of boycotts or whatever it takes of the organizers. And then these thetypes of rules like Naomi is running up against. Here when she's got to decidebetween her mental health and playing in this tournament, those types ofrules can actually be negotiated, and then then they can be made in theinterest of everyone and not just in the interest of the organizers, who are,of course make money based on the media coverage and that's why they mandatethe players. You know show up at the post, match news conferences right, andit was a bit of a PR nightmare there. As I understand there was a tweet thatwas quickly deleted. That was quite snarky. You know when Naomi firstpulled herself from the competition, and then you saw after that thatcontinue to preceive these press conferences, officials aren't required.You know that it doesn't go both ways...

...and so officials were not takingquestions in these press conferences over this entire instance, and so youknow we have first off. We have an athlete, thankfully, bringing mentalhealth again into the public spirit. Much like Michael felps has is a reallyimportant conversation to have, and does everyone have a right to that? Youknow doesn't need to get to that point for an athlete to have to go to socialmedia and expose a deeply personal struggle in order to battle for herrights. In these scenario, let's move on we we are going long. I think thisis going to be a continual struggle for us to keep this these. These currentevents segment short. We wanted to mention quickly that on June eighth,the international swimmers alliance launched gree. I know you worked onthis launch. Can you talk a little bit about kind of what this means forswimmers yeah? This was a big deal and very cool to see all the attention itgot. Matt Beyonde famed American Olympic Champion swimmer is leading thecharge much like the Athletics Association and Independent AthleteRepresentative Group. That's looking to balance that power with Vina in theInternational Federation there and with the IOC as well to look at the sportthat brings in so much money every four years at the Olympics and like allOlympic and paralytic sports. There is no mechanism to see any profit sharing,there's no profit sharing model there, and so one of the big projects of Isais to now establish an independent organization that can go to thebargaining table and bargain for athletes, rights for pay and, for youknow much like international track and field athletes, a league like theDiamond League, where they have more earning opportunities outside that onceevery four year chance, Professor Jewel Boyko, is the chair ofPacific universities, politics and government department he's the authorof numerous books on the Olympics and the politics of sport. He's one of thefour most experts on the International Wipe Committee and Sport as a gopolitical force. Professor Boyko, I'm so excited to welcome you as the veryfirst guest on the Global Athlete podcast what an honor, no I'm so happyto join you thanks for having me. I want to start at the beginning, themodern Olympics, where the brainchild of the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, youwrite that Cooper, Tin's vision for the Games abounded with contradictions,peace and good will bound up with sexist racism and class privilege. Canyou talk about Couperin's vision and who the games were and were not forsure? Well, the Baron is pretty clear, was an Aristocrat from France and hehad this grand ambitious vision to create the Olympic Games in modern formand to base it on the old Greek Olympics, and this guy had a lot ofenergy and he wrote a lot. So it's really great your listeners can go backand read his essays that he wrote on these various topics, but he definitelyhad a lot of blind spots and one of them was sexist around the Olympics.When he re envisioned these Olympics, women really were not to play a role.In fact, he wrote as much. He said that women were there to place the laurelson the heads of the victorious men champion athletes and also to producebaby boys that might one day become Olympian, so obviously he had no placefor women in this. He also had a vision that was really put making the Olympicsfor an Aristocatic, aristocratic class, including himself. Actually, the Baronwon the prize for poetry at one thousand, nine Hen and twelve Olympicsin Stockholm using a pseudonym, so the judges weren't supposed to recognizethem. Although there's a lot of people that wrote about it, this sat, theyknew it was the baron and he got the first prize for his poem owed to Sport,which I highly recommend going back to, because you can learn a lot about hisviews on sports. What was basically everything in society and everything tohim? So it was back to the point of it being an aristocratic kind of event.Workers were not allowed to participate in the early days of the Games. It wasinscribed into the very d definition of amateurism. So if you were a bricklayer or you are a great picker or you...

...were a person who has worked at a bar,you were not allowed to participate in the early Olympics because you areconsidered a professional because you are making money from the Games. Well,obviously, I left a field wide open for barons and counts and Dukes and all hisbuddies to to enjoy the games, and you know it was also a predominantly whiteaffair. The Baron does deserve some credit for trying to make the Games open tocountries from Africa. Although when you look back at how he described it,it was like racist, tinged and colonialist in his mentality. Talkingabout how people from Africa were quote, Unquote: Lazy according to the Baronand how they would benefit from participating in the Olympics. It wouldbe a chance to fix them, so he had a lot of blind spots, but theproject itself was supposed to bring sports to the world, and it wassupposed to toughen up young people who he was kind of a crotchety old baron.In some ways, like you know, he was upset because France had just gottendrugged in the Franco Prussian war and he thought what better way to toughenup our quote: Unquote Flabby Youth, then by getting them involved in sports,so sports were supposed to be both a pathway to peace, but also to ready totoughen up the young people for war. So, like you said no a bit ofcontradictions upon which the Olympics were born in that telling and in yourwritings as well, it's clear that you know if anything, the Baron and theIOC as it became known after the Baron's founding really, you know, had an agenda both ingeopolitical and for athletes and that the games weren't really about athletes,and it's in it was in reading some of your writings. It's it was struck mehow athletes are really just a side story. How do you see? Athletes isfitting into the Olympic story, both at the Barentin and through history yeah.That's such a great question I mean. Certainly, in the early days, it wasonly a particular type of athlete, so an aristocratic man was what theOlympics were made for, of course, that opened only because of the pressurefrom society from movements in the streets that made them like the Baronand those folks changed their tune in the suits, and it opened it up topeople like women and others. But yeah is if you can read a political historyof the Olympics and get the feeling that it's just sort of this hugeideological and economic now juggernaut with an appendage of sport kind ofattached to it, where athletes are sort of almost secondary to these largerstruggles, around ideology, ideas and, and now more than ever, probably makingmoney for people who are already doing quite well in society. But you knowevery single step of the way there were athletes that weren't willing to goalong with that narrative. I think, all too often those stories of fight backon the part of principal athletes who weren't happy with the way the Olympicswere being organized, get sort of shuffled under the historial rug, and Ithink part of my work has been to try to lift up and illuminate some of thoseinteresting stories to show that actually from pretty much the verybeginning of the Olympics. Athletes have been standing up to those in power,demanding a more firm seat at the table and standing up for their freedoms aswell and their political beliefs and there's a really rich history of that.That sort of is threaded through the political history of the Olympics aswell, and one that I think is especially important in this momentthat we're living right now, because you have this incredible outburst ofthinking. Athletes who are willing to stand up for what they believe in. Evenif those who are overseeing the Olympics and I'm thinking in particular.Now the International Olympic Committee want to stop those athletes from havinga say in these important matters of our times. And so I think, perhaps it'smore important than ever to be thinking about the fact that there's a longpolitical history of athletes, despite the fact that they're not necessarilygiven the best seat at the table, that they do stand up and fight for theright. That's exactly where I want to...

...go next. So I appreciate the T up. Canyou tell the story of Peter O Connor scaling the flag pole on Thud Nine NenO six games? Oh I'm so happy to tell this story because for starters I didn't know about this when I startedwriting this Book Power Games, a political history of the Olympics and Icame across his story- Peter O Connor in a footnote- and I ended up trackingdown his family in Ireland and when I was over in Ireland, they had me overfor tea, cakes and tea and such and we sat in the back yard and they showed meall of peter o Connor's papers, and he was this meticulous caretaker of notesand articles about what he did. So what did Peter O Connor do? Peter O Connorwas an ardent Irishman and he participated at one thousand ninehundred and o six Olympics in Athens. That was the first Olympics where, inorder to participate, you had to participate for a country that had anational Olympic Committee. Well at that time, Ireland did not have anational Olympic Committee because it was being ruled by Westminster at thetime, so Britain was in charge and so he qualified for the Olympics. He was aproud Irishman, like I mentioned, he arrives at the Olympics and Athens andreads in a program that he is actually there to participate for the Britishand he's not happy about it, and they have the first ever kind of walk inceremony like that resembles more of the opening ceremonies of today and hewalks in with his buddy conley. He also an Irishman with these unmistakablegreen jackets to denote that they're from Ireland with these cute caps thathave sham rocks on top and they kind of lag way behind the rest of the Britishteam, like they are sending a clear political message like we want nothingto do with these Brits and we're here to participate for Ireland, butofficially on the schedule. They were there to participate for for Britain,so he does well. He meddles in an event and, as is the tradition, the flags gethoisted up the flag pole when the when the award ceremony occurs and he kindof just flips and o Connor runs over to the flag pole. He shimmys up the flagpole. He Yanks down the Union. Jack Flag, holds up an Irish Aaron GabraIreland for ever flag and is waving it overhead, while as buddies stand belowat the base of the flagpole guarding. So when the Greek police come, theycan't stop Il Connor from this act. I mean what a bold act to do, what apolitical act to do at that moment. They did it again his Bunny Conley. Hemeddled in the got a gold medal in the high jump, and this time they did sortof a similar thing with the Irish Aran Gabra flag from the from the ground,and so what a moment a athlete, activism and that's kind of what Imeant no yeah, I mean there's the threads all the way back through andand this guy is a terrific example of athletes standing up for what theybelieve in against the power structure, because that story is so fun. I want toask you to tell one other one, and especially because you brought up kindof the sex ISM that the baron instilled in the modern Olympics. Can you tellthe story of Alice Millie and how she kind of broke that sexist yeah tounderstand what they did to fight back against this sexISM? You have to first understand the sexISM that was in grain in the Olympics. I mentioned before that the baron hadno desire to have women participate in the Olympics. He was very clear aboutthat, and you know he was clear about that all the way. Until the nineteenlate N S, he was still saying that women don't have a role in the OlympicGames. I mean this as well after women had got the right to vote, for examplein the United States, so he was way behind the Times with that and womenwere not allowed in the first Olympics in o n, eight hundred and ninety six,but around twenty or so athletes who were women participated in the nineteenhundred games in Paris, not very many, of course, just around twenty or so byone thousand nine hundred and twenty. There is a little over sixty women whoare participating, and yet the games were growing. So it really only wentfrom about two point: two percent of the athletes in nine hundred to twopoint: four percent, one thousand nine hundred and twenty, so not exactly ahuge growth and that had a lot to do with the baron s and his friends whoare running the Olympics. So out of...

...this exclusion was born creativity andso Alice Milia and her colleagues got together and started. This alternativeto the Olympics called the women's Olympics, where women were allowed toparticipate in all the sports, and they were tremendously successful, like tensof thousands of people showed up for these events and they held four of themevery four years. Throughout the S and N S, and like I say, lots of peopleshowed up. There was obviously an interest for women's sports andathletics and they capitalized off that. In the meantime, they were playing kindof an inside outside game. What I mean is their alternative Olympics were sortof outside the structure of the Olympic Games, demonstrating that obviouslywomen can participate in sports and do really well, but they are also workingthe corridors of power and they were pushing the International Olympic comedo to include more women. So I think it's really important to note that itwas like an inside outside kind of recipe pushing from the outside andalso working from the inside. But you know the context is really important.there. There was just so much sexist at the time I mean some of the so calledbest. Doctors of the era were warning women against riding bicycles, becauseit would dance supposedly damage their uterus and also they would get thisstrange disease called bicycle face. They literally the best doctors of thetime were saying if women women, if you ride a bike, you will get this diseasecalled bicycle face, which you know was obviously just a bunch of confected YipYap. It had nothing to do with anything medical, but you know I point that outto say this- that e Huand, nine hundred and twenty eight Olympics when, becauseof a millia and her friend's efforts to show that women are perfectly capableof carrying out high level sport, women were allowed to participate in eventsat the Amsterdam Olympic, one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight, and whenthe women crossed the finish line at the eight hundred meter dash a few ofthem collapsed to the ground, which will happen at like any. You know,major highly competitive race. I was in Rio de Janeiro watching track and fieldthere, and I was watching the Mens de Cathalan and when they crossed theeight hundred meter finish, men just collapsed to the ground. I thought, Oh,my gosh, that's what the women were bashed for one thousand, nine hundred,an twenty it, so the international lympic comity sees these womencollapsed to the ground and they say: Oh, this, fair gender just can't handlethis kind of race, and so they disallowed women from from running inthe eight hundred until one thousand nine hundred and sixty now, onethousand nine hundred and sixty right so like it just goes to show you thatthere is incredible sex ism and that you could create those alternativestructures as they did and they were tremendously successful. And you knowif it weren't for them pushing back in the S and S. I don't think you wouldhave seen women make this strong return to the Olympics in the S and s. Youknow they was really built on the shoulders of those courageous women whofigured out how to do things outside the box as a cross country skeer. I cancertainly relate to collapsing at the finish line, of course, when I think about anobserve when many listeners think about athlete protest today. We think aboutTommy Smith and John Carlos. I one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight,and I want to connect that to the recent IOC release, stating that kind ofreiterating that you know any sort of protest or demonstration on the podiumwhere the field of play is prohibited. Vic Rules and there will be punishmentsfor athletes who who demonstrate who protest on the podium on the field toplay like Tommy Smith and John Carlos in one thousand nine hundred and sixtyeight. Can you talk about kind of the repercussions of their actions forthose athletes specifically and tie that into the kind of the latest debateand the recent review of the ice did yeah when you're talking about John Carlosand Tommy Smith, putting their fists in the air in Mexico City in one thousandnine hundred and sixty eight you're talking about one of the most importantmoments and widely known moments in world history, not just Olympic history,but world history. You go all around...

...the world and you pop your head inapartment buildings here and there you'll see that photo on a poster onpeople's wall around the world. I just resonated in this major way. They werepart of a movement called the Olympic Project for human rights that emergedwith a number of athletes that were involved in the Olympics in t s whowere political athletes, and I want to highlight they were part of a movement-the Olympic Project for human rights. I also want to highlight the fact thattoday we talk about human rights, as is just you know, an important thing whichit is, but in the s they were super cutting edge. I mean, if you read booksabout the history of human rights and how it's talked about the world. Theyreally weren't main streamed until he s, and so I just want to point out. Theywere also cutting edge in terms of ideas and like holding on to theseimportant ideas and levers to fight back against power, but what they did,they paid a real price, for they were immediately kicked out of the OlympicVillage. It was the United States Olympic Committe, that's what they'recalled at the time who gave them the boot at the behest of Avery Brundage,the president of the International Lipa Committee, the Chicago tycoon, who wasalso derisively known by athletes at the time as slavery, Avery Brundage forhis racist beliefs, and he was also anti Semitic in his police and I've hadthe I don't know if it was an honor, butI've gone through his archives and dug out some of the horrid gems that hethrew into his personal notes about what he thought about: Jewish peopleand African Americans, let alone communist socialist anybody with theleftest kind of idea in their head, so anyways they got the boot. Their liveswere very difficult. After that it was hard to come by work. They wereostracized in the community. Today, it's easy to celebrate them, and weabsolutely should I mean President Obama had them at the White House forgoodness sakes to celebrate them. But let's not forget that the struggleand the sacrifice that they did to stand by what they did. Then you know Iactually just had the good fortune of talking to Dr Carlos just the other dayon the phone we were catching up and he was definitely making the connectionsbetween what he did in the s and what's happened now, and I know he's in veryclose contact with the number of the Tokyo bound Olympians from the UnitedStates, and he was really highlighting to me the importance of unity and howyou know him a and Smith stuck together and for the most part it was a rockytime for sure they don't want to overstate. How t make it sound simple,but he was talking about how unity is so important right now in this moment,how we're living this black lives matter extended moment and how it couldbe incredibly powerful were athletes to stand up for black lives mattering inTokyo. Now you asked about you know what was the push back? Well, if youlook at the International Olympic Committees Olympic Charter, there wasnothing directly saying that an athlete couldn't protest inside of the arenalike it says now, and what's the current formation of rule fifty therewere I've traced, the history of the International Olympic CommitteesCharter, and there were rules that were about kind of keeping politics out ofsports, but it really wasn't until after Smith and Carlos did that iconicact of one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight Olympics that those who ranthe international lip of committee really rationed down their rule bookand made it illegal to do any kind of protest or demonstration inside of anyOlympic venue or other area pretty capacious definition, I might add, aswell. I've actually gone through their notes. They were in their meetings,their kind of meeting minutes and they were actually much in their initialdiscussions of this. What became rule fifty, they were actually very explicitabout quote, unquote, suppressing to the descent of athletes and thatlanguage didn't make it into the actual rule. But if you read the minutes, youcan see. That was definitely the goal. So where does that take us to today? Wehave this incredible moment where you have athletes who are riding this sitechist of black lives matter. Writing the Zit Gist of me too, more aware thanever of the native activism, around pipelines in North America, for example,and working in solitary with all number...

...of social justice groups, and you haveathletes that are no longer willing to be silent and it really makes rulefifty look archaic, not to mention the fact that it clashes mightily againstArticle Nineteen and the U United Nations Declaration of Human Rights,which sates that people should have the ability to speak out freely. So there'slike there's a clash inside of that rule against basic human rightsprinciples, but setting that aside, I think we're at this incredible momentfor athlete activism. I mean it's not just me. Obviously you know you look atyour race and boating and fencing you look at Glen, Berry and in track andfield and what they did at the Pan Am Games. And you, you really wonder whatcould happen at the Summer Olympic sure they transpire in Tokyo this summerwith all these jacked up, athletes who know their history are committed towider struggles outside of sports. I think it's just an exciting moment tobe alive for this. I want to hone in on a specific word that you use there. Youyou said that aft one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight the IOC made itillegal. Can you talk about like you know? Whatis the mechanism that the IC is using over athletes? What is that power youknow is is illegal. It's not, you know, there's not criminal liabilitynecessarily. So what does that power? Look like yeah, you know, that's a great pointthere. No, I'm not even sure. If really illegal would be the the exact rightword, but they ban it, they prohibit doing it and they are the people thatoversee the Olympics and you're right. There isn't any kind of criminalliability. I mean I can't envision that, but that doesn't mean there's notrepercussions within the Olympics, Pear so yeah. I mean, I think, that's thebig question that a lot of folks are asking right now, like what kind ofleverage does the International LYMPIC committee have to sanction athletesthese days. Athletes are a much more powerfulposition in some ways because they can speak out directly using social mediathere's a lot of people that are journalists right now that are morethan open to talking to athletes who are critical about their workplaces,which is to say, like I, the Olympics, fear in which they're working it's sodifferent, one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight- I mean some of yourlisteners. I imagine, will remember Brent, Muss Burger. The famouscommentator who still is around today working the TV sets around collegefootball. He was a writer at that time, one thousand nine hundred and sixtyeight for the Chicago American and he lambast on Smith and Carlos. He calledthem quote: Unquote Black Skinned Storm troopers and said that what they weredoing had no place in society. You know I just can't imagine that happeningtoday. You would surely have some crotchety old, I must say, probablywhite guys sitting around, who are a journalist. He would write that kind ofthing today, but there's so much more cover than there was at that time, andso what kind of sanctions could they do? I'm not really necessarily sure theycould box them out of the Olympics, that is for sure, and they could givehim perhaps the boot of the Olympic Village if they could get the UnitedStates Olympic and paralytic committee to go along, but their leverage isbecoming a little bit weaker. I would argue VV athletes, but also thatdepends on what Dr Carlos was intimating to me, which is what kind ofunity are we going to see in Tokyo, that's kind of what it comes down to inthe end who's going to stand up alongside of the person that does agesture, even if you're not going to do a gesture yourself. Yet you supportthat act. That's actually huge in this moment, so it'll be interesting to see.I want to hone in a little bit on in kind of the IOC Governin structure. Youknow I you quote in Your Book: You Ato talked about every Brundage, thepresent of the arc of the S and s that you quote him in the book assaying that the Olympics Olympics constitutes a high level of democracyfound in few other lines of endeavor. However, you say Brundage in the IOC,sorry Brundage and all other IOC presidents have been adamantly againstpracticing democracy within the IOC. Can you talk about the IC Governinstructure? How people come to power in the IOC and and what kind ofaccountability there is sure. So, when the Olympics startedwith our buddy the baron pier to couberton way back in the e s, hebasically got together fifteen of his...

...friends, a heavy amount of counts andDukes and other barons, and they started the international lympiccommittee. So there is a really high aristocrat quotion from the beginningand that amazingly sticks today you can look down the list online of themembers of the International Olympic men there's a whole lot of them. I meanthere's now we have princesses not just princes because of the fact that in onethousand nine hundred and eighty one, the international IPPI committeedecided to allow women into the ranks. Yes, you heard me right on one thousandnine hundred and eighty one. So this is not like a proto feminist organizationwe're talking about here, but the baron got together his buddiesand they ran the Olympics and at the time when it started, the Baron wasbasically saying the way he saw it was there was these concentric circlesaround his organizational structure. There was kind of like the insiders,like the Baron who, like really believed in this project and reallyunderstood the project, because it takes a little bit of time tounderstand the machinations of it all. Then you had the second concentriccircle of people who he thought could learn the ropes and could get involvedin maybe one day join that inner circle and then the final outer third circlehe described is kind of like basically pretty faces people that were popularpeople. That would give the Olympics kind of a Nice Outer Chin some good Pr.If you will, and even though the Baron was writing about that, you know ahundred plus years ago, when I think about the international lympic comettoday, I sort of see a kind of similar situation developing under the currentpresident. Tomas Bah he's very much tightened up the center of power aroundhimself and the executive board that that consists of fifteen people. It'sthe president, the four vice presidents and then ten others who are elected onto this executive word. They hold tremendous power in terms of how theGames transpire they keep track of the money imaginations of the Olympics andmuch much more and the other people. While they do play a role, they attendthe meetings and they get their four hundred and fifty d a Day pedum whenthey do so, I might point out, but they don't have nearly the amountof power. I would say that it's been striking as someone who's been anobserver of the International Lympic Committee for quite a while now howmuch President Tomas Boh has consolidated power under his reign, andyou know it was really interesting to me to see one of these zoom meetingsnot too long ago. Just a few weeks back and all these members of theInternational Olympic Committee just praising Tomas Bah one after the other,in this kind of really odd, like dear leader moment, that actually remindedme of a trump prince press conference that he had with some of the members ofhis cabinet about just this over the top praise for this gentleman and allhow much they really appreciate it all his work. So you know the InternationalImpi Committee has a tight Nick Group of insiders that are kind of runningthe show, and they I view them as, like a group. That's constantly changingwithout ever actually changing it all meaning they're tinking mering aroundthe edges, with things they're trying to bring in and incorporate ideas fromthe past. I yet not actually really changing that much. Let me give anexample based on something we were talking about before so Smith, andCarlos, like we discussed, were booted out of the Olympic Village ostracizedfrom the Olympic Movement. If you go on the Olympic Channel today, there'sactually a video that celebrates them and their courage so like what I'msaying is the international lympic committe can reach back in time andincorporate these folks while at the same time denying athletes in thepresent moment the ability to do what Smith and Carlos did, which they'recelebrating has courageous. So there's just a lot of kind of mind play shall we say at work there,but in terms of like the structure of the organization, I would say one otherimportant element. They have all these different commissions and one of themthey have an athletes commission and they say right on their website. TheInternational Impi Committee does how Athletes Olympic athletes can getinvolved and it seems to me that's an invitation and an opportunity forpolitically minded creative, critical thinking, athletes to get a foothold inthe organization and start pushing from...

...the inside, not unlike Alice Milliathat we were talking about before. I T S and s with the women's Olympics inthe International Lympic Committee, not unlike that pushing from the inside andalso from the outside, to get the change that athletes are trying to getright now. Do you view athletes as the the entity that can hold the IOCmore accountable? You know more than what about host cities. What aboutsponsoring? You know, go inter world wide partners, but you do thinkathletes are the primary force that can hold them condal. Does it take offeverybody or yeah? That's such a good question. I would say that, becauseathletes are what make the Olympics the Olympics, I mean nobody would watch theathletes. Were I mean sorry, nobody would watch the Olympics were it notfor the amazing athletes and with that you know, comes a certain amount ofpower. I say that with some hesitation, though, because like I don't I'm notone of those people that say all athletes should be outspoken politicalathletes. I think you need to be where you're at- and I wouldn't want anyoneto like push too hard and beyond way, beyond their comfort zone and putthemselves out there and only to get a whole hail full of abuse from people. Ithink you need to work with athletes where they are, but to your questionyeah I mean I think, athletes have a tremendous amount of leverage if theyact in unison if they act in concert and if they have a good plan going inthe other groups that you mentioned also have power. The corporate entitiesthat are the world wide Olympic sponsors, for example, but you know based on history and theresearch that I've done, they are very reticent to speak out on any of theissues that you and I have been talking about and might be concerned with. Interms of social justice, I mean these are capital is entities. These are notaltruistic entities and they're in it to make money and to sort of benefitfrom the Olympic Halo effect and that Halo is created by athletes. So it kindof always goes back to the athletes. So on one hand, athletes have the power.On the other hand, it's like athletes are are also not powerful in the sensethat we have well, I should say not. All athletes, in my mind are createdequal in terms of power, because you've got like the ones from really wellknown, sports that are making tons of money that are financially insulatedand they can feel much more free to speak out and if we think about Tokyo,who are the athletes that have wondered aloud whether they should happen. Imean it's. People like Naomi Osaka, who's, doing well, other well knowntennis, players, who've spoken out and wondered. But if you're from you know alesser known sport, where this is your one chance to like, maybe claw backsome of the money that you spent of your own money to make it to theOlympics and to get an o other sponsorship and to keep your careergoing, obviously you'd be a little bit less inclined to speak out boldlyagainst the entire Olympic project. So I don't want to make it sound, like all.Athletes like are coming from the same power base, but I do think that if they,if athletes stand up together, they are probably the most powerful energy. Butyou know the other. The other thing is like I feel like the IO ces really putathletes in the middle here and I'm looking ahead a little bit to Beijing,as as I talked about this in the Winter Olympics, because athletes are very much stuck in themiddle, I mean. Obviously you have a human rights violator in China andBeijing. I mean it's just very well documented from human rightsorganizations around the world and you have a International Olympic Committee.That says, basically there's nothing to see here and therefore athletes getthrown in the middle thinking. Aslee athletes, especially and that's a verydifficult position to be in where you're operating inside of the Olympicsfear and yet you're critical of it. And how do you act around that? It's an incredibly difficult thing andI don't want to minimize that, and you know I should also say before we go anyfurther. Like I mean myself, you know I M. I sound like you know this academicguy who's done all this research, but, like I also was an athlete myself. Youknow I professional soccer player I played for the US. U Twenty threesoccer team also no was the Olympic soccer team. I was not in an Olympics.Let me be clear about that. So I'm not an Olympian, but nor am I like acrochety academic sitting here. In my...

...little smoking jacket, smoking atobacco pipe or something and thinking of ways of destroying sports in theworld. I actually love sports. I think sports have tremendous power andsociety, but with that power comes responsibility and in my estimation theathletes are largely living up to that responsibility, but I'm not so sureabout the International Impi Committee at this moment. Well, as we talk aboutkind of athletes, pushing the IOC to to be accountable and to prioritize socialissues and social justice, it's not just because the IOC is a tool forspreading these messages. It's also because the IOC has been a perpetratorof a lot of harm and a lot of violence and you've written extensively aboutthis particular in relation to host cities, and I was hoping you talk alittle bit about you- know kind of He- The legacy of the Olympics on recenthost cities, in particular relation to kind of public, private partnershipsand the finances of the hosted the agreement sure. So. The way that Iapproach, studying the Olympics from an academic perspective is what we mightcall a bottom up approach. I don't go to the top of the Olympic Pyramid, talkto Tomas Bah and Richard Pound and those folks and like figure out and godown from there. No, I actually take a very different approach. I haveactually moved to the Olympic city I lived in London before and during thetwo thousand and twelve Olympics. I learned Portuguese moved to Rio deJiner with my family in two thousand and fifteen, and we were there in twothousand and fifteen o two thousand and sixteen and I talked to- and I wasthere for the Olympics and I talked to everyday people in the city. So myviewpoint is very much informed by that from talking to people on the ground,many of whom will never be able to afford an Olympic ticket to go to anevent when they actually roll through town and in doing so and thinkingcritically about the sort of what we might call negative externalities orsort of the inadvertent down sides of the Games. I've come to notice a numberof patterns and one of the patterns that you see is over spending I meanthe Olympics are sort of like etokah economics, where, during the bid phase,you write on your echo sketch a certain number and then, when you get theOlympics, you sort of shake it up, and then you actually write a new number onyour atra sketch. No, you know what Athor sketches. Do you do? Yeah, okay,I'm not fifty year old geezer talking about this Tory from my youth orsomething there was going to be like. What's that old man talking about sothe point is there is a long track record of Olympic cities, basically lowballing during the bid phase, when everyone's like, Oh yeah, okay, I'llget on board with that the general population and then boom the the skyrocketing price is just shocking. I mean in Tokyo is a shining example ofthat I was supposed to cost seven point three billion dollars, but instead it'slooking like more like thirty billion dollars, but it's not just Tokyo. Imean you go through every single Olympics backwards. I can. I could doit for you Pong Chang six point: five billion went to thirteen billion Rio,twelve billion went to twenty billion, so chu supposed to be twelve billion,went to fifty one billion more than all the Winder Olympics combined. You getthe point right it keep. We can go, keep going back through time. So that'sone of the trends that we see another one is the militarization of publicspace. Now we all know from thinking about the history of the Olympics thatsometimes the Games, because they've gotten so big and important politicallythey can become a terrorist target. We saw that in Atlantan thousand ninehundred and ninety six. When the bomb went off, we saw a one thousand ninehundred and seventy two in Munich when the Israeli athletes got snatched andall these people got shot dead on the tarmac there. In Germany, we saw thatin two thousand and fourteen when the Chechen rebel Docu Umar of statedpublicly that the Socie Olympics were a legit terrorist target, and so ofcourse, every single Olympic host is going to build up their arsenal to fendoff terrorism, but when the terrorists don't come- and you know God willing-we don't want them to. Obviously activist sometimes do talking about theprice of the Games talking about the militarization of the public sphere forthe Games, and they often bear the brunt of this, and the other thing isbecause host cities and security forces in these host cities and countriesbasically use the Olympics, like their own private cash machine to get all thespecial weapons they'd never be able to...

...get during normal political times. They keep those things after the Games.They don't just go okay, well, the Olympics are over boys, put him back inthe box and send them back to where we bought those. You know thousandsurveillance cameras in the case of Vancouver thousand a ten; no, they juststay and they become part of normal policing forever. More. The third trendthat I've noticed and that US me I mean these are other scholars- have beenwriting about this for a while, and that is displacement and eviction. Thegeneral rule is that in the global north places like London, you've gotGentrice, so prices go up and people get priced out and they have to movefrom places. They maybe were living for generations their family in the globalsouth. It tends to be more forced of fiction, so the police move in and bootyou out of your home. When I was living in Rio, I was working with a communitycalled Vila Tadana, which was totally uprooted to make way for an Olympicparking lot. Seventy seven thousand people were ripped from their homes inRio de Giner Beijing, one point five million people, and this is a trendthat goes way back. In one thousand, nine hundred and eighty eight soul,Olympics more than seven hundred thousand people were removed from theirhomes to make way for Olympic venue. So that's yet another trend, displacementand forced a viction to make way for these Olympic venues and the last oneis green, washing, and I know that there's a lot of winter Olympians thathave been especially concerned around the environmental policies of theInternational Lympic Committee, because few are in fewer cities, can now hostthe Winter Olympics just because of the snow issues, but green washing just totake it at the ground. Floor is having all these big green claims about yourcaring for the environmental issues, but then, unfortunately, not fillingthrough in the clutch, and so you know when I was living in Rio de Gener, anexample that really stuck in my mind, was in the real bid books when theywere going for the Olympics. They said that they would clean up eighty percentof the water that was filtrating into Guanabara Bay, which is this placewhere people recreate and but which is very dirty. I went outthere in a boat one day and I saw like goats floating by in the water. I meanit's nasty there right, so the people I met in Rio were like heck. Yeah, I meanokay, I guess, if it's the Olympics, it takes it to clean up Guanabara Barabawill so be it well, unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened and theydid not clean up the bay and instead of eighty percent of the water beingcleaned before I entered the bay by the time the Olympics came around, it waslike twenty five per cent or so, according to the best estimates ofscientists there in Rio, you look at Tokyo. You see some green washing goingon there as well. I mean a lot of folks were concerned when Tokyo first got theOlympics, because it was only a few short months after the triple Wamidisaster in Fukushima, where you have the earthquake, UNAMI and nuclear meltdown there, and so people are asking the organizers in Japan we're puttingforth this bid. Well, Hey! Well, how do you? How do you deal with this? Andthey said? Oh, no, it's everything is under control, quote unquote and we'regoing to call these Olympics. The recovery games quote unquote to helpFukushima recover through having the Olympics. Well, I traveled to FutKashima in two thousand and nineteen I with the great sports journalist,Dave's IROE, were covering this for the nation magazine and everybody we spokewith in Fukushima whether it was just a rent, random person off the street,whether it was an elected official, whether it was a journalist inFukushima. First of all said things were not under control when Shinzo Abbewas saying that in two thousand and thirteen to the International LimpidCommittee and second, all they were saying actually hosting the Olympicshas slowed down the recovery in Fukushima in that they're all thecranes and so on. Ave been in Tokyo instead of in the affected areas, andso that's really the fourth trend, and it's not just Tokyo. It's not just Rio.It's many other Olympics. Besides that and it's because of those trends, Ithink that fewer and fewer cities are keen to host the Olympic Games any moreand a lot of cities are just saying. No and that's forced the InternationalOlympic me to take a slightly different approach like instead of the old dayswhere they would give the Olympics out seven years. In advance now they'redoing it eleven years in advance as happen with Los Angeles and they'retalking about doing the same with Brisbane, basically locking in a city...

...long before the Olympics happened, andthis ties back last point here Noah. This ties back to an issue you raisedbefore which I didn't quite talk enough about. I think it which is thedemocracy deficit in the international of the committee, where, if you havethe Olympics coming some eleven years out well, then you're hardly going tobe having a population. That's really n able to take it that seriously, letalone have a referendum on something that's supposed to happen. Eleven yearsdown the road I mean it's my opinion that if you're going to have anOlympics, everybody in your Olympic town shouldbe able to weigh in and vote whether they want to say that's what I want touse my taxpayer dollars on. That should just be bare minimum requirement andthere's been some murmurs in the international impact committee, sayingOh yeah. That sounds fine, but now they're doing this with Brisben givingit. You know eleven years out with no referendum and it kind of cuts backagainst that sorry. I said that was last point. Onelast last point Noah is you know? On the Democracy Front, I was, I wrote, anessay for the New York Times. It invited essay in two thousand andfourteen where they say it was like one of those magic wand essays where theysay. If you had a magic wand, how would you fix the Olympics, and so I thoughtI took it in good faith and I wrote an essay for the New York Times in twothousand and fourteen. That was my best effort to say how they couldfix up the Olympics and right afterwards I was invited to speak by Franz Beckon Dower, the Germansoccer great in Austria, and they flew me there. Like two weeks later, myticket cost eleven thousand seven hundred dollars, which is like blew mymind. I was like wait a minute what's going on here. This is not my regularlife folks. I don't fly business class ever first of all, then, with that kindof ticket. Well, I got there and I presented my ideas and one of my ideas.You know and by the way, like Thomas Bach was there no l Motawakel the vicepresident of the IOC. was there then president of FIFA step ladder and theyall had to sit there, and you know listen to these ideas. D and One of theideas I said, was just okay. If you're going to vote on these Olympic cities,just make everybody's vote public, I mean FIFA has done this where they justsay who you're voting for that's supposed to be designed to like. Thenyou can't just vote for this outlandish bid because, even though way weakerthan the other bids- but you happen to know that person or you got a bribe forthat person has been the case in the past, and I thought that was like theleast of my radical suggestions was like just say who you voted for, but mygosh, the room was like. Oh my gosh, no, you can't possible. We couldn't do thatlike a gasp like throughout the hall, and I was like Whoa. This is justplaying weird and guess what they haven't done. That I mean even FIFA didlike I said, which is not exactly like your thought leader when it comes toethics, but here we are, so that's all really helpful. I want to get it tosome at a point that I think the IOC kind of often highlights, which is youknow that, like yes, there's there's some corruption in the Games. You know.Yes, there are cost to local communities in terms of displacement,but you know you state yourself. In the book I mean one of your books, yourtousand and sixteen book that that there are more member countries of theIOC than there are member countries, United Nations, which is a prettyremarkable thing, and you know a lot of the most powerful countries of theworld as you've talked about with China and Russia are anti democratic, they'vegot abysmal human rights records. Is there is the IOC to bringing theworld together in a way that even the United Nations can't and that? Maybesome of those you know this is a little bit of leading question, because Ithink I have. I didn't know how I feel about this, but in a way that, likeeven the United Nations, can't do like, are the tradeoff worth it well, itsounds like you and I are both searching for like who could haveleverage and an influence over the international impiccati that can imposesome measure of accountability, and I think you and I are both kind ofhedging toward the United Nations. I mean, after all, they have immenseglobal respect. They have a strong working relationship with theInternational Olympic Committee and they have the moral authority topossibly do something like hold deal...

IOC accountable. What we've seen,though, is that the International Olympic Committee has shown a realdeference for authoritarian governments and allowed them to engage in whatpeople nowadays are calling sports washing, which means basically hostinga sports mega event like the Olympics, in order to inflect attention away fromyour human rights violations, and I think that what we've seen in recentyears, around Beijing kind of says it all like the fact. It reallyencompasses if we go back to that vote in two thousand and fifteen, where theinternational IMPI committee hand of the thousand and twenty two winterOlympics to be shing. It encompasses a lot of the themes that we've beentalking about in the sense that, prior to that vote, many cities that wereaspiring for the Olympics from nominal democracies, pulled out either becauseof pressure from the local population, or maybe a movement that was saying weneed to have a referendum and they knew that they would lose the referendum orit wouldn't look good and they just say: Okay Forget the bid or they had areferendum ant and they lost, and that left only two cities in the in therunning Beijing and Al Nati kasaks ton. Unfortunately, neither of them areknown as bastions of democracy in the international limpin committee wentwith the country and the city that they knew, even though they're not like awinter Olympics Center. You know of the world by any means and we might have awhole ton of fake snow and that's not exactly good for the environment and aparagon example of green washing, but but yeah so like when all these,whenever, like Democrat democracy, starts to impose itself on the IOC,they've kind of used these countries as an escape valve, if you will avoidingaccountability and so on, and so here we are with a situation where you havean obvious human rights of user in China. That'll be hosting these nextOlympics and actually think that that is one of the reasons why we haven't seen more done around humanrights beforehand. I think the international limpin commit is justwaiting. They just got to get through those Olympics in veging and thenyou'll notice, hey the very next Olympics in Paris. Has Human Riceprovisions written into the host city contract. So guess what you can writethe host city contract in a way that's more equitable or that meet the kind ofstandards of the international community and different sorts of ways.But but they just say they can't do thatuntil then, and I think it's because they're just trying to get through pastBeijing, so yeah, there's, there's both corruption and we've seen that in, likeeven Salt Lake City and the horrible bid scandal, there were like io cmembers were getting me, replacements and stuff for their family members andFancy F, five hundred and Twenty Four r violins given to them and tickets tothe Utah Jazz basketball game. And then we got like legalized corruption. Iwould call it where it's not like illegal illegal, but it's definitelyunethical all these trends that we were just talking about in the Olympic cityand so like there's, legalized corruption and illegal corruption andthe IO C's kind of been embraceng both of those to put forth this huge megaevent over time. I want to finish with Tokyo, because it's coming up in lessthan two months, even before the Basin Games and you've written extensively about it.You have recent outed, The New York Times in the Washington Post, a coved nineteen state of emergency wasrecently extended through January twentieth. The US State Department hasto do not travel adviser. He gains Japan due to high transmission rates ofthe virus, and I want to also touch on the issue of consent, which you broughtup. You know pulls have found that more than eighty percent of the Japanesepopulation opposes holding the games this summer, and yet the IO C isinsisting that the Games will go on. Can you talk about that? This powerthat the IOC wheeled over Japan and how this moment might be might be differentand what the lasting legacy of this moment will be. So I think it's verystriking what you're saying about et plus percent of the population. We'venever seen anything like this. This is unparalleled in the political historyof the Olympics, and so yes, I have stated publicly that I believe it's theright thing to do to cancel these...

Olympics as a global healthconsideration. So I stand with not only the ET plus percent in Japan who do notwant the Olympics there this summer, but I also stand with the medicalprofessionals in Japan and across the world that have not only stated thatthey think it's a bad idea to host an event like this with ninety thousand orso people coming from around the world. It's an optional sporting spectacle,but also have argued that it could actually lead to a super spreader event.Who knows I mean God willing it? It won't, but I mean she she's, quite aquite a risk to be taking for an awesome, wonderful, powerful event.That is also you know optional when it comes to other things here in life.This is an optional sporting spectacle as much as it's meaningful to Olympiansand many other people. Besides that so yeah, I guess I've taken the side ofcaution on this I'll admit. I was a little bit surprised that theInternational Lympic Committee only postponed by one year when they did-and I should point out based on a previous thing, that we were talkingabout that. The only reason they really postponed when they did was becauseathletes were standing up and saying they weren't going to go individualathletes. Then you had like team, USA, swimming and track and field speakingout critically, and then you had the the clutch move by the CanadianNational LYMPIC committee saying they weren't going to go if it was in thesummer quickly followed by Australia, Germany, Porsha and bone, the dominoeswere falling and it just shows a really good example of athlete power, becauseonly a couple days before that Tomas Bach of the International LympicCommittee was saying that the Executive Board of the of the IOC wasn't evenuttering the words postponement or cancellation. Well, they starteduttering him because of the fact that Olympian stood up and said well. Thisis dangerous and you're responsible. So I was always kind of surprised thatthey only did it one year and they didn't postpone it two years. After all,they could have just said. Oh we're tapping into that tradition that weused to have, or we had both the winter and Summer Olympics in the same year.It would have been really easy to justify, but instead they decided tomake it one year. Well, guess what we're in a situation now, one yearlater, where the cases are actually higher in Japan than they were thenmuch higher and the population is much more against toasting the Olympics thanthey were in two thousand and twenty and to foist this event on thepopulation. Just seems unethical to me, and I guess one way I organize it in myhead- is you've got this state of exception that the international lympiccommittee thrives on that the Olympics are built on that, creates thisexceptional moment in a city where the normal rules of politics don't apply,and that is in battle with the literal state of emergency, which you, as youmentioned, is going to get extent. It has been extended through Junetwentieth and might even be extended further and those two phenomena a sortof clashing and whoever wins. That battle is going to perhaps determinewhether those Olympics happen on time or not or whether they push him backanother year. The International LYMPIC committee is being very clear. They'vetaken the postponement of further postponement off the table and so thatpretty much leaves two choices, cancellation or doing an optionalOlympics during a pandemic, and I guess I stand with the people of Tokyo andJapan more generally, who want to play it safe. We've had relatives, who'vedied from corona virus. This is a real thing and are very concerned about asuper spreader event. Professor Jewels Boycot is the chair of Pacificuniversities, politics and government department he's the CO author, so theauthor of numerous books on the Olympics and the politics of sport, oneof the four most experts on the International Olympic Committee andsport as a Deo political force. Professor Boy Coupit, has been such apleasure to have you as our very first guest of the Global Athlete podcast.It's been an honor, no one. I really appreciate what you're doing. I lookforward to listen to every last episode. That's a rap for this very firstepisode of the Global Athlete podcast we'll have new episodes in your feet.Every Tuesday next week will focus on current events in Olympic and paralyticsport, including the imminent Tokyo.

Two Thousand and twenty Olympic andParalytic Games, we hope you'll, join the conversation and get in touch withcomments and questions. You can reach us at hello and Global Athlete dotardor at Global Athlete HQ on twitter and Instar a huge thank you to our guestjewels boycot. Our team includes Brichot, the Global Athlete ProgramManager, Rob Keeler the Director General of Global Athlete and JuliaBarton. Our Wonderful Research Assistant, Global Athlete is funded byfair sport. Please subscribe to this podcast and rate and review us on Applepodcast or wherever you listen. If you think these conversations are important,please tell a friend about us or share US on social media. I'm Noah Hoffmansee you next week.

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