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Global Athlete
Global Athlete

Episode · 1 year 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 podcast, conversations about power, accountability and Athlete Rights in international sport. My name is Noah Hoffmann and I'm your host. I want to start by briefly introducing myself. I grew up in the mountains in Colorado and cross country skied on the US national team from two thousand and eight to two thousand and seventeen. I competed at the two thousand fourteen Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the twenty Eightheen Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. After the twenty eighteen games, I retired from cross country skiing and enrolled as an undergraduate student at Brown University in Rhode Island. I'm studying economics and I just finished my junior year at Brown, so I have one year left. I'm passionate about issues of opportunity, inequality and entrenched power. That's what brought me to global athlete. Global Athlete is an international athlete led movement working to lead positive change in world sport. This podcast will feature conversations about the topics that we are focused on. A global athlete each week will discuss a specific topic with expert athletes and activists. This week will focus on giving a broad overview of international sport governance and a bit about the history of the International Olympic Committee. Our guest is Professor Jules boycoff of Pacific University. Before we get to the interview, will start each episode with a short conversation with Brie shoff about current events in international sport. Brie as the Global Athlete Program Manager and the chair of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee Athletes Advisory Council. Bree, welcome to the Global Athlete podcast. Thanks. No, this has been a really exciting project for us, as you know, and I think something that's always been on our minds is we have these conversations when we go to various events and people say, Gosh, you know, I wish I knew that, like on the clubhouse APP after an Athlete Council Meeting for the US. One time we all got on clubhouse and other athletes were able to jump in and the information that was coming across, you know, with the athlete Reps, was really interesting and something that we've heard for a long time is how do we get these conversations public, which is a great thing about the new global athlete podcast. Yeah, and I'm so excited about the guest list that we have lined up. We got Jules Boykoff for this episode and then the list is just there's so many experts, are so many people working in this space to change sport, to to research. You know how this is going to bring things into the light and I'm excited to kind of learn alongside of our listeners. Yeah, and on that note, you know, one of the big events that has happened recently, of course, is Naomi Osaka at the French Open there and pulling out of the competition, which it was fascinating to watch that wave of media. You had an immediate backlash from a lot of media and then you also had a counter wave coming in of media and support of Naomi. So you know, obviously there's some big issues and an important discussion that needs to happen on just the evolution of sport in the purpose of those press conferences in the past, where to give a voice, a direct line for the press to an athlete, but of course, now we have social media, there's always a direct line to the athletes. So where does that lie and how much value does it bring to the event and especially what it seems like just arbitrarily holding these rules over athletes. Yeah, that's how I think about it. Is Is, where do these rules come from and what say to the people who are being governed? The athletes, have in the creation of these rules. So Naomi was find fifteen thousand dollars for skipping the first press conference, and all of the Grand Slam organizers, the US Open and the Australian Open and Wimbledon, alongside the French Open, threatened her future suspension from the Grand Slams if she refuses press conferences. So you know, Naomi, essentially the Grand Slams are where tennis players make their name. That that's, you know, their entire careers are focused around these events. If she can't compete at these events, that you can't compete. And...

...so essentially the choice for Naomi at that point is either continue her career and abide by the 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, and that's kind of the heart of what we do a global athlete and I think this is a perfect it is yet no one is there, you know, able to come as a representative 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, you sign up for this. You know, not unlike where you know what will get to later with the covid pandemic and athletes going to the Olympics and Paralympics this summer. Is You sign this or you don't participate. So now here Naomi is in a position to you know, her livelihood is on the line. And then another aspect of that is taking a look at this structure. Is it archaic? How can we all evolve? You know, positively, but we all know it has been proven that collective bargaining improves things for everyone. So I think there's a lot of 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 you know that's largely a white country club, you know, dominated sport. As women are put in these positions now after a really stressful event, they've competed and oftentimes you have situations like a young and a Corner Cova, I think, was asked at seventeen how she felt about being a pin up right. So this is the feeding frenzy that supposedly is critical to the money making machine of the host of that event. Tennis, you know, with with Anacorna Cobra and Naomi, is a really interesting example because the WTA and the ATP are ostensibly partnerships between players and the tours, the tournaments that are that are put on around the world at this international level. But interestingly, the Grand Slam events like the French Open, operate outside of that partnership. They are, in the case of the French Open, the Australian Open and the US Open, their nonprofit organizations and their missions include not only to put on these big events but also to support tennis in their respective countries. Wimbledon is different because the Wimbledon Tennis Club is a private club that puts on that event. But they are there is no accountability at the Green Slams between administration and athletes because they off operate outside of that framework of the WTA, in the ATP and of course, the grand slams are where the bulk of the money is. There has been some movement on the men's side towards unionizing, unionizing athletes. Two Thousand and twenty Novak Djokovic, the best best men's player in the world, along with some other athletes, made some moves towards trying to unionize the men's side. Interestingly, they didn't include the women. That was not an inclusive group, but what they were trying to do was gain leverage for the players over the Grand Slam tournaments, because there is no leverage right now, and so I would love to see a movement like that that includes, of course, the women's players as well, since the Grand Slam events are putting on events, you know, putting on these these tournaments for both men and women, and to see a group that can rival the power, through the threat of boycotts or whatever it takes, of the organizers. And then these the types of rules like Naomi is running up against here when she's got to decide between her mental health and playing in this tournament. Those types of rules can actually be negotiated and then then they can be made in the interest 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 mandate the players, you know, show up at the post match news conferences right and it was a bit of a PR nightmare. There is, I understand there was a tweet that was quickly deleted that was quite snarky, you know, when Naomi first pulled herself from the competition, and then you saw after that that continue to proceed these press conferences, officials aren't required. You know that it doesn't go...

...both ways, and so officials were not taking questions in these press conferences over this entire instance. And so you know we have. First off, we have an athlete, thankfully, bringing mental health again into the public spirit, much like Michael Phelps. Hass a really important conversation to have. And does everyone have a right to that? You know, doesn't need to get to that point for an athlete to have to go to social media and expose a deeply personal struggle in order to battle for her rights. In these scenario. Let's move on, we we are going along. I think this is going to be a continual struggle for us to keep this these these current events segment shure. We wanted to mention quickly that on June eight the international swimmers alliance launched but I know you worked on this launch. Can you talk a little bit about kind of what this means for swimmers? Yeah, this was a big deal and very cool to see all the attention it got. Matt Beyondi, famed American Olympic champion swimmer, is leading the charge, much like the Athletics Association and Independent Athlete Representative Group that's looking to balance that power with Fena and the International Federation there and with the IOC as well, to look at the sport that brings in so much money every four years at the Olympics and like all Olympic and Paralympic 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 Issa is to now establish an independent organization that can go to the bargaining table and bargain for athletes rights, for pay and for you know, much like international track and field athletes, a league like the Diamond League, where they have more earning opportunities outside that once every four year chance. Professor Jewels boycoff is the chair of Pacific University's Politics and government department. He's the author of numerous books on the Olympics and the politics of sport. He's one of the foremost experts on the International Olympic Committee and sport as a geopolitical force. Professor Boycoff, I'm so excited to welcome you as the very first guest on the Global Athlete podcast. What an honor. No, I'm so happy to join you. Thanks for having me. I want to start at the beginning. The Modern Olympics where the brainchild of the Baron Pierre De coubertine. You write that COUBERTINE's vision for the Games abounded with contradictions. Peace and good will bound up with sexism, racism and class privilege. Can you talk about Coubertin's vision and who the games were and were not for sure? Well, the Baron, it's pretty clear, was an Aristocrat from France and he had this grand, ambitious vision to create the Olympic Games in modern form and to base it on the old Greek Olympics. And this guy had a lot of energy and he wrote a lot. So it's really great your listeners can go back and read his essays that he wrote on these various topics. But he definitely had a lot of blind spots and one of them was sexism 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 laurels on the heads of the victorious men, champion athletes and also to produce baby boys that might one day become Olympians. So obviously he had no place for women in this. He also had a vision that was really put making the Olympics for an aristocratic, aristocratic class, including himself. Actually, the Baron won the prize for poetry at the One thousand nine hundred and twelve Olympics in Stockholm, using a pseudonym, so the judges weren't supposed to recognize him, although there's a lot of people that wrote about it this said they knew 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 his views on sports what was basically everything in society and everything to him. 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 was inscribed into the very dish 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 are considered 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 his buddies to enjoy the games. And you know, it was also a predominantly white affair. The Baron does deserve some credit for trying to make the Games open to countries from Africa, although when you look back at how he described it, it was like racist tinged and colonialist in his mentality, talking about how people from Africa were, quote unquote, Lazy, according to the Baron, and how they would benefit from participating in the Olympics would be a chance to fix them. So he had a lot of blind spots. But the project itself was supposed to bring sports to the world and it was supposed 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 gotten drubbed in the Franco Prussian war and he thought what better way to toughen up our quote unquote, flabby youth then by getting them involved in sports? So sports were supposed to be both a pathway to piece but also to ready that toughen up the young people for war. So, like you said, Noah, a bet of contradictions upon which the Olympics were born. In that telling, and in your writings as well, it's clear that you know, if anything, the Baron and the IOC, as it became no after the baron's founding, really you know hadn't agenda, both in geopolitics and in 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 would struck me, how how athletes are really just a side story. How do you see athletes is fitting into the Olympic story, both at the Baron's time and through history? Yeah, that's such a great question. I mean certainly in the early days it was only a particular type of athlete. So an aristocratic man was what the Olympics were made for. Of course, that opened only because of the pressure from society, from movements in the streets that made them, like the Baron in those folks, change their tune in the sweets and it opened it up to people like women and others. But yeah, it's if you can read a political history of the Olympics and get the feeling that it's just sort of this huge ideological and economic now juggernaut with an appendage of sport kind of attached to it, where athletes are sort of almost secondary to these larger struggles around ideology, ideas and and now more than ever, probably making money for people who are already doing quite well in society. But you know, every single step of the way there were athletes that weren't willing to go along with that narrative. I think all too often those stories of fight back on the part of principled athletes who weren't happy with the way the Olympics were being organized gets sort of shuffled under the historical rug and I think part of my work has been to try to lift up and illuminate some of those interesting stories to show that actually, from pretty much the very beginning 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 as well and their political beliefs, and there's a really rich history of that. The sort of is threaded through the political history of the Olympics as well, and one that I think is especially important in this moment that we're living right now, because you have this incredible outburst of thinking athletes who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, even if those who are overseeing the Olympics, and I'm thinking in particular now the International Olympic Committee, want to stop those athletes from having a say in these important matters of our times, and so I think perhaps it's more important than ever to be thinking about a fact that there's a long political history of athletes, despite the fact that they're not necessarily given the best seat at the table, that they do stand up and fight for the right. That's exactly where I want to go next. So I appreciate the tea up. Can you tell...

...the story of Peter O'Connor scaling the flagpole at the one thousand nine hundred and six games? Oh, I'm so happy to tell this story because, for starters, I didn't know about this when I started writing this Book Power Games of political history of the Olympics and I came across his story, Peter O'Connor, and a footnote and I ended up tracking down his family in Ireland and when I was over in Ireland they had me over for tea, cakes and tea and such, and we sat in the backyard and they showed me all of Peter O'Connor's papers and he was this meticulous caretaker of notes and articles about what he did. So what did Peter O'Connor do? Peter O'Connor was an ardent Irishman and he participated at the one Thousan nineteen o six Olympics in Athens. That was the first Olympics where, in order to participate, you had to participate for a country that had a national Olympic Committee. Well, at that time Ireland did not have a national Olympic Committee because it was being ruled by Westminster at the time. So Britain was in charge and so he qualified for the Olympics. He is was a proud Irishman. Like I mentioned, he arrives at the Olympics and Athens and reads in a program that he is actually there to participate for the British and he's not happy about it. And they have the first ever kind of walk in ceremony like that resembles more of the opening ceremonies of today, and he walks in with his buddy con lay, he also an Irishman, with these unmistakable green jackets to denote that they're from Ireland, with these cute caps that have shamrocks on top, and they kind of lag way behind the rest of the British team like they are sending a clear political message, like we want nothing to do with these Brits and we're here to participate for Ireland, but officially 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 get hoisted up the flag pole when the the awards ceremony occurs and he kind of just flips and O'Connor runs over to the flag pole. He shimmy's up the flag pole, he yanks down the Union Jack Flag, holds up an Irish Aaron Go Brag Ireland forever flag and is waving it overhead while his buddies stand below at the base of the flag pole guarding so when the Greek police come they can't stop O'Connor from this act. I mean what a bold act to do, what a political act to do at that moment. They did it again his buddy con lay, he meddled in the got a gold medal in the high jump, and this time they did sort of a similar thing with the Irish Aaron go brag flag from the from the ground, and so what a moment. I'm athlete activism and that's kind of what I meant. No, yeah, I mean there's IT threads all the way back through and and this guy is a terrific example of athletes standing up for what they believe in against the power structure. Because that story is so fought I want to ask you to tell one other one, and especially because you brought up kind of the sexism that the baron instilled in the modern Olympics. Can you tell the story of Alice millier and how she kind of broke that sexism? Yeah, to understand what they did to fight back against this sexism, you have to first understand the sexism that was ingrained in the Olympics. I mentioned before that the baron had no desire to have women participate in the Olympics. He was very clear about that and you know, he was clear about that all the way until the nineteen late s he was still saying that women don't have a role in the Olympic Games. I mean this is well after women had got the right to vote, for example, in the unit it states. So he was way behind the Times with that. And women were not allowed in the first Olympics in eighteen ninety six. But around twenty or so athletes who are women participated in the nineteen hundred games in Paris. Not Very many, of course, just around twenty or so. By nineteen twenty there was a little over sixty women who are participating. And yet the games were growing. So it really only went from about two point two percent of the athletes in one thousand nineteen hundred to two point four percent in nineteen twenty. So not exactly huge growth. And that had a lot to do with the baron and his friends who are...

...running the Olympics. So out of this exclusion was born creativity, and so Alice milliac and her colleagues got together and started this alternative to the Olympics called the women's Olympics, where women were allowed to participate in all the sports, and they were tremendously successful. Like tens of thousands of people showed up for these events and they held four of them every four years throughout the nineteen s and nine s and, like I say, lots of people showed up. There was obviously an interest for women's sports and athletics and they capitalized off that. In the meantime, they were playing kind of an inside outside game. What I mean is there alternative Olympics were sort of outside the structure of the Olympic Games, demonstrating that obviously women can participate in sports and do really well, but they were also working the corridors of power and they were pushing the International Olympic Committee to include more women. So I think it's really important to note that it was like an inside outside kind of recipe, pushing from the outside and also working from the inside. But you know, the context is really important there. There was just so much sexism at the time. I mean some of the socalled best doctors of the era were warning women against riding bicycles because it would dance supposedly damage their uterus, and also they would get this strange disease called bicycle face. They literally the best doctors of the time. We're saying if women women, if you ride a bike, you will get this disease called bicycle face, which, you know, was obviously just a bunch of confected Yipiap it had nothing to do with anything medical, but you know, I point that out to say this that the nineteen twenty eight Olympics when, because of a Milliott and her friends efforts to show that women are perfectly capable of carrying out high level sport, women were allowed to participate in events at the Amsterdam Olympics of Nineteen Twenty eight and when the women crossed the finish line at the eight hundred meter Dash, a few of them 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 field there and I was watching the men's decathalon and when they crossed the eight hundred meter finish men just collapse to the ground. I thought, oh my gosh, that's what the women were bashed for in nineteen twenty eight. So the International Olympic Committee sees these women collapse to the ground and they say, Oh, this fair gender just can't handle this kind of race, and so they disallowed women from from running in the eight hundred until one thousand nine hundred and sixty. No, one thousand nine hundred sixty right. So, like it just goes to show you that there is incredible sexism and that you could create those alternative structures as they did, and they were tremendously successful. And you know, if it weren't for them pushing back in the S and S, I don't think you would have seen women make this strong return to the Olympics and the S and s. You know that was really built on the shoulders of those courageous women who figured out how to do things outside the box. As a cross country skier, I can certainly relate to collapsing at the finish line. Of course, when I think about an I'm sure when many listeners think about athlete protest today, we think about Tommy Smith and John Carlos in nineteen sixty eight, and I want to connect that to the recent IOC release stating that you kind of reiterating that you know any sort of protest or demonstration on the podium where the field of play is prohibited via IOC rules and there will be punishments for athletes who who demonstrate, who protest on the podium, on the field of play, like Tommy Smith and John Carlos did in nineteen sixty eight. Can you talk about kind of the repercussions of their actions for those athletes specifically and tie that into the kind of the latest debate and the recent review the IOC did? Yeah, when you're talking about John Carlos and Tommy Smith putting their fists in the air in Mexico City in nineteen sixty eight, you're talking about one of the most important moments 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 in apartment buildings here and there you'll see that...

...photo on a poster on people's wall around the world. It just resonated in this major way. They were part of a movement called the Olympic Project for human rights that emerged with a number of athletes that were involved in the Olympics in nineteen s who are 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 that today we talked about human rights as is just, you know, an important thing, which it is, but in the s they were super cutting edge. I mean, if you read books about the history of human rights and how it's talked about in the world, they really weren't mainstreamed until the nine S, and so I just want to point out they were also cutting edge in terms of ideas and like, holding on to these important 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 Olympic Village. It was the United States Olympic Committee, that's what they're called at the time, who gave them the boot at the behest of Avery Brundage, the president of the International Olympic Committee, the Chicago tycoon, who was also derisively known by athletes at the time as slavery Avery Brundage for his racist beliefs, and he was also antisemitic in his beliefs. And I've had the I don't know if it was an honor, but I've gone through his archives and dug out some of the horrid gems that he threw into his personal notes about what he thought about Jewish people and African Americans, let alone Communist, socialist anybody with a leftist kind of idea in their head. So, anyways, they got the booth. Their lives were very difficult after that. It was hard to come by work, they were ostracized in the community. Today it's it's easy to celebrate them, and we absolutely should. I mean President Obama had them at the White House, for goodness sakes, to celebrate them, but let's not forget that the struggle and the sacrifice that they did to stand by what they did then. You know, I actually just had the good fortune of talking to Dr Carlos just the other day on the phone. We were catching up and he was definitely making the connections between what he did in the s and what's happened now, and I know he's in very close contact with the number of the Tokyo bound Olympians from the United States and he was really highlighting to me the importance of unity and how, you know, him and and Smith stuck together and for the most part it was a rocky time for sure, and then't want to overstate how 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 could be incredibly powerful we're athletes to stand up for black lives mattering in Tokyo. Now. You asked about you know what was the pushback? Well, if you look at the International Olympic committeess Olympic Charter, there was nothing directly saying that an athlete couldn't protest inside of the arena like it says now. And what's the current formation of rule? Fifty. There were I've traced the history of the International Olympic Committees Charter and there were rules that were about kind of keeping politics out of sports. But it really wasn't until after Smith and Carlos did that icon act at the nineteen sixty eight Olympics that those who ran the International Olympic Committee really ratcheted down their rule book and made it illegal to do any kind of protest or demonstration inside of any Olympic venue or other area. Pretty capacious definition, I might add as well. I've actually gone through their notes. They were in their meetings, their kind of meeting minutes, and they were actually much in their initial discussions of this what became rule fifty. They were actually very explicit about, quote unquote, suppressing the descent of athletes, and that language didn't make it into the actual rule, but if you read the minutes you can see that was definitely the goal. So where does that take us to today? We have this incredible moment where you have athletes who are riding this Zite Kist of black lives matter, riding the Zyche geist of me too, more aware than ever of the native activism around pipelines in North America, for example, and working in solidarity with all number of social justice groups.

And you have athletes that are no longer willing to be silent and it really makes rule fifty look archaic, not to mention the fact that it clashes mightily against Article Nineteen in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which states that people should have the ability to speak out freely. So there's like there's a clash inside of that rule against basic human rights principles. But setting that aside, I think we're at this incredible moment for athlete activism. I mean, it's not just me, obviously. You know, you look at your race and Boden and fencing. You look at Gwen Barry and in track and field and what they did at the Panam Games and you you really wonder what could happen at the Summer Olympics, should they transpire and Tokyo this summer, with all these jacked up athletes who know their history are committed to wider struggles outside of sports. I think it's just an exciting moment to be alive for this. I want to hone in on a specific word that you use there. You you said that after one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight the IOC made it illegal. Can you talk about like you know, what is the mechanism that the IOC is using over athletes? What is that power? You know is is illegal? It's not. You know, there's not criminal liability necessarily. So what does that power look like? Yeah, you know, that's a great point there. No, I'm not even sure if really illegal would be the exact right word, but they ban it, they prohibit doing it and they are the people that oversee the Olympics and you're right, there isn't any kind of criminal liability. I mean, I can't envision that, but that doesn't mean there's not repercussions within the Olympic sphere. So yeah, I mean I think that's the big question that a lot of folks are asking right now, like what kind of leverage does the International Olympic Committee have to sanction athletes? These days, athletes are a much more powerful position in some ways because they can speak out directly using social media. There's a lot of people that are journalist right now that are more than open to talking to athlete who are critical about their workplaces, which is to say like the Olympics fear in which they're working. It's so different than one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight. I mean some of your listeners I've imagine we'll remember Brent Musburger, the famous commentator who still is around today working the TV sets around college football. He was a writer at that time in one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight for the Chicago American and he lambasted Smith and Carlos. He called them, quote unquote, black skinned storm troopers and said that what they were doing had no place in society. You know, I just can't imagine that happening today. You would surely have some crotchety old, I must say, probably white guys sitting around who are journalists. They would write that kind of thing today, but there's so much more cover than there was at that time. And so what kind of sanctions could they do? I'm not really necessarily sure. They could box them out of the Olympics, that is for sure, and they could give him perhaps the boot of the Olympic Village if they could get the United States Olympic and Paralympic community to go along. But their leverage is becoming a little bit weaker. I would argue Visa v Athletes, but also that depends on what Dr Carlos was intimating to me, which is, what kind of unity are we going to see in Tokyo? That's kind of what it comes down to in the end. WHO's going to stand up alongside of the person that does a gesture, even if you're not going to do a gesture yourself, yet you support that act. That's actually huge in this moment. So it'll be interesting to see. I want to hone in a little bit on kind of the IOCD governed instructure. You know, I you quote in your book. You already talked about every Brundage, the present of the IOC, of the S and s that you quote him in the Book of saying that the Olympics. Olympics constitute a high level of democracy found in few other lines of endeavor. However, you say, Brundage, in the IOC. Sorry, Brundage and all other IOC presidents have been adamantly against practicing democracy within the IOC. Can you talk about the IOC govern instructure, how people come to power in the IOC and and what kind of accountability there is? Sure so, when the Olympics started with our buddy the baron Pierre to Cooperton way back in the s, he basically got together fifteen of his friends,...

...a heavy amount of counts and Dukes and other barons, and they started the International Olympic Committee. So there is a really high aristocrat quotient from the beginning and that amazingly sticks today. You can look down the list online of the members of the International Olympic Com mean and there's a whole lot of them. I mean there's now we have princesses, not just princes, because of the fact that in one thousand nine hundred and eighty one the International Olympic Committee decided to allow women into their ranks. Yes, you heard right now, at one thousand nine hundred and eighty one. So this is not like a proto feminist organization we're talking about here. But the Baron got together his buddies and they ran the Olympics and at the time when it started, the baron was basically saying the way he saw it was there was these concentric circles around his organizational structure. There was kind of like the insiders, like the Baron, who like really believed in this project and really understood the project, because it takes a little bit of time to understand the machinations of it all. Then you had the second concentric circle of people who we thought could learn the ropes and could get involved and maybe one day join that inner circle. And then the final outer third circle, he described as kind of like basically pretty faces, people that were popular, people that would give the Olympics kind of a nice outer sheen, some good pr if you will. And even though the Baron was writing about that, you know, a hundred plus years ago, when I think about the International Olympic Committe today, I sort of see a kind of similar situation developing under the current president, Thomas Bach. He's very much tightened up the center of power around himself and the executive board that that's consists of fifteen people. It's the president, the for vice presidents and then ten others who are elected on to this executive board. They hold tremendous power in terms of how the Games transpire. They keep track of the money machinations of the Olympics and much, much more. And the other people, while they do play a role, they attend the meetings and they get their four hundred and fifty dollar a day per diem when they do so, I might point out, but they don't have nearly the amount of power. I would say that it's been striking, as someone WHO's been an observer of the International Olympic Commitee for quite a while now, how much President Thomas Bach has consolidated power under his reign. And you know, it was really interesting to me to see one of these zoom meetings a not too long ago, just a few weeks back, and all these members of the International Olympic Committee just praising Tomas B talk one after the other in this kind of really odd like deer leader moment that actually reminded me of a trump prince press conference that he had with some of the members of his cabinet about just this overthetop praise for this gentleman and all how much they really appreciate it all his work. So you know, the International Olympic Committee has a tight knit group of insiders that are kind of running the show and they have I view them as like a group that's constantly changing without ever actually changing at all, meaning their tinkingring around the edges with things. They're trying to bring in and incorporate ideas from the past. I yet not actually really changing that much. Let me give an example, based on something we were talking about before. So Smith and Carlos, like we discussed, we're booted out of the Olympic Village, ostracized from the Olympic Movement. If you go on the Olympic Channel today, there's actually a video that celebrates them and their courage. So, like, what I'm saying is the International Olympic Committee can reach back in time and incorporate these folks while at the same time denying athletes in the present moment the ability to do what'Smith and Carlos did. which they're celebrating, 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 of the important element they have all these different commissions and one of them that they have an athletes commission, and they say right on their website the International Olympic Committee does how athletes, Olympic athletes, can get involved, and it seems to me that's an invitation and an opportunity for politically minded, creative, critical thinking athletes to get a foothold in the organization and start pushing from the inside, not unlike Alice milliot that we were talking about before in the S...

...and s with the women's Olympics and the International Olympic Committee, not unlike that, pushing from the inside and also from the outside to get the change that athletes are trying to get right now. Do you view athletes as the the entity that can hold the IOC more accountable? You know, more than what about host cities? What about sponsoring, you know, inner worldwide partners? But you do think athletes are the primary force that can hold them kind of bold as to take all everybody or yeah, that's such a good question. I would say that because athletes are what make the Olympics the Olympics. I mean, nobody would watch the athletes where it I mean, sorry, nobody would watch the Olympics were it not for the amazing athletes. And with that, you know, comes a certain amount of power. I say that with some hesitation, though, because, like, I don't I'm not one of those people that say all athletes should be outspoken political athletes. I think you need to be where you're at and I wouldn't want anyone to like push too hard and beyond, way beyond their comfort zone and put themselves out there and only to get a whole hail full of abuse from people. I think you need to work with athletes where they are. But to your question, yeah, I mean I think 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. The other groups that you mentioned also have power, the corporate entities that are the worldwide Olympic sponsors, for example. But you know, based on history and the research that I've done, they are very reticent to speak out on any of the issues that you and I have been talking about and might be concerned with in terms of social justice. I mean, these are capitalist entities, these are not altruistic entities and they're in it to make money and to sort of benefit from the Olympic Halo effect, and that Halo is created by athletes. So it kind of 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 sense that we have. Well, I should say not all athletes, in my mind, are created equal in terms of power, because you've got like the ones from really wellknown sports that are making tons of money, that are financially insulated and 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? I mean it's people like Naomi Osaka, who's doing well, other wellknown tennis players who've spoken out and wondered. But if you're from, you know, a lesser known sport, where this is your one chance to like maybe clawback some of the money that you spent of your own money to make it to the Olympics and to get another sponsorship and to keep your career going, obviously you'd be a little bit less inclined to speak out boldly against the entire Olympic projects. 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 entity. But you know, the other thing is, like I feel like the IOC's really put athletes in the middle here, and I'm looking ahead a little bit to Beijing, as I as I talked about this in the Winter Olympics, because athletes are very much stuck in the middle. I mean, obviously you have a human rights violator in in China and Beijing. I mean it's just very well documented from human rights organizations around the world, and you have an international Olympic Committee that says, basically, there's nothing to see here, and therefore athletes get thrown in the middle. Thinking athlete athletes especially, and that's a very difficult position to be in, where you're operating inside of the Olympics fear and yet you're critical of it, and how do you act around that? It's an incredibly difficult thing and I don't want to minimize that. And you know, I should also say, before we go any further, like I mean myself. You know I'm I sound like, you know, this academic guy who's done all this research, but like I also was an athlete myself. You know, I professional soccer player. I played for the US you twenty three soccer team, also known as 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 a crotchety academic sitting here in my little smoking jacket,...

...smoking a tobacco pipe or something and thinking of ways of destroying sports in the world. I actually love sports. I think sports have tremendous power and society. But with that power comes responsibility and in my estimation, the athletes are largely living up to that responsibility, but I'm not so sure about the International Olympic Committee at this moment. But as we talk about kind of athletes pushing the IOC to to be accountable and to prioritize social issues and social justice, it's not just because the IOC is a tool for spreading these messages. It's also because the IOC has been a perpetrator of a lot of harm at a lot of violence, and you've written extensively about this and in particular in relation to host cities, and I was hoping you talk a little bit about, you know, kind of the the legacy of the Olympics on recent host cities, in particular relation to kind of public private partnerships in the finances of the host city agreements. Sure so. The way that I approach studying the Olympics from an academic perspective is what we might call a bottom up approach. I don't go to the top of the Olympic Pyramid, talk to Tomas Bach and Richard Pound in those folks and like figure out and go down from there. No, I actually take a very different approach. I have actually moved to the Olympic city. I lived in London before and during the two thousand and twelve Olympics. I learned Portuguese move to Rio de Janeiro with my family in two thousand and fifteen and we were there in two thousand and fifteen and two thousand and sixteen and I talked to and I was there for the Olympics and I talked to everyday people in the city. So my viewpoint 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 an event when they actually roll through town, and in doing so and thinking critically about the sort of what we might call negative externalities or sort of the inadvert downsides of the Games, I've come to notice a number of patterns, and one of the patterns that you see is overspending. I mean the Olympics are sort of like etch a sketch economics, where during the bid phase you write on your etch a sketch a certain number and then when you get the Olympics, you sort of shake it up and then you atch, you write a new number on your extra sketch. No, you know to Etchra sketches. Do you do it? Yes, okay, I'm not fifty year old geezer talking about this toy from my youth. There's something there. was going to go like, what's that old man talking about? So the 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'll get on board with that the general population, and then boom, the the skyrocketing price is just shocking. I mean Tokyo's a shining example of that. It was supposed to cost seven point three billion dollars, but instead it's looking like more like thirty billion dollars. But it's not just Tokyo. Mean you go through every single Olympics backwards. I can, I could do it for you. Peong Chang, six point five billion went to thirteen billion. Rio, twelve billion went to twenty billion. Soach you supposed to be. Twelve billion went to fifty one billion, more than all winter Olympics combined. You get the point right. It keep we can go keep going back through time. So that's one of the trends that we see. Another one is the militarization of public space. Now we all know from thinking about the history of the Olympics that sometimes the Games, because they've gotten so big and important politically, they can become a terrorist target. We saw that in Atlanta in nineteen ninety six when the bomb went off. We saw that in nineteen seventy two and Munich when they Israeli athletes got snatched and all these people got shot dead on the tarmac there. And Germany, we saw that in two thousand and fourteen when the Chechen rebel Doku Umarov stated publicly that the Social Olympics were a legit terrorist target. And so of course every single Olympic host is going to build up their arsenal to fend off terrorism. But when the terrorists don't come, and you know, God willing, we don't want them to, obviously activists sometimes do, talking about the price of the Games, talking about the militarization of the public sphere for the Games, and they often bear the brunt of this. And the other thing is because host cities and security forces in these host cities and countries basically use the Olympics like their own private cash machine to get all the special 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 them back in the box and send them back to where we bought those. Is They know thousand surveillance cameras, in the case of Vancouver, two thousand and ten know, they just stay and they become part of normal policing forevermore. The third trend that I've noticed, and not just me, I mean these are other scholars have been writing about this for a while, and that is displacement and eviction. The general rule is that in the global north, places like London, you've got gentrification, so prices go up and people get priced out and they have to move from places they maybe were living for generations their family. In the Global South it tends to be more forced eviction, so the police move inning boot you out of your home. When I was living in Rio, I was working with a community called Vilato Drumo. It was totally uprooted to make way for an Olympic parking lot. Seventy sevenzero people were ripped from their homes in Rio, de Jannarrow Beijing, one point five million people. And this is a trend that goes way back. I mean one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight soul Olympics, more than seven hundred thousand people were removed from their homes to make way for Olympic venue. So that's yet another trend, displacement and forced eviction to make way for these Olympic venues. And the last one is greenwashing, and I know that there's a lot of winter Olympians that have been especially concerned around the environmental policies of the International Olympic community, because fewer and fewer cities can now host the Winter Olympics just because of the snow issues. But greenwashing, just to take it at the ground floor, is having all these big green claims about your caring for the environmental issues but then unfortunately not following through in the clutch. And so you know, when I was living in Rio de Janeiro, an example that really stuck in my mind was in the real bid books when they were going for the Olympics, they said that they would clean up eighty percent of the water that was filtrading into Guanabada Bay, which is this place where people recreate and but which is very dirty. I went out there on a boat one day and I saw like goats floating by in the water. I mean, it's nasty. They're right. So the people I met in Rio or like heck yeah, I mean, okay, I guess if it's the Olympics that takes it to clean up Guana Barras Barra Bay, will so be it. Well, unfortunately, nothing of the sort happened and they did not clean up the bay and instead of eighty percent of the water being cleaned before entered the bay, by the time the Olympics came around, it was like twenty five percent or so, according to the best estimates of scientists there. and Rio you look get Tokyo, you see some greenwashing going on there as well. I mean a lot of folks were concerned when Tokyo first got the Olympics because it was only a few short months after the triple WAMMI disaster in Fukushima, where you had the earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear meltdown there, and so people were asking the organizers in Japan, we're putting forth this bit. Well, Hey, well, how do you? How do you deal with this? And they said, Oh, no, it's everything is under control, quote unquote, and we're going to call these Olympics the recovery games, quote unquote, to help Fukushima recover through having the Olympics. Well, I traveled the Fukushima and two thousand and nineteen with the great sports journalist Dave's Irem. You're covering this for the nation magazine, and everybody we spoke with in Fukushima, whether it was just a rent random person off the street, whether it was an elected official, whether it was a journalist in Fukushima first of all said things were not under control, when Shinzo Abe was saying that in two thousand and thirteen to the International Olympic Committee in Second All they were saying actually hosting the Olympics has slowed down the recovery and Fukushima in that they're all the cranes and so on. We've been in Tokyo instead of in the affected areas, and so that's really the fourth trend. And it's not just Tokyo, it's not just reo, it's many other Olympics besides that, and it's because of those trends, I think, that fewer and fewer cities are keen to host the Olympic Games anymore, and a lot of cities are just saying no, and that's force the International Olympic commedia to take a slightly different approach. Like, instead of the old days where they would give the Olympics out seven years in advance, now they're doing it eleven years in advance, has happened with Los Angeles, and they're talking about doing the same with Brisbane, basically locking in a city long before the Olympics happen. And this ties...

...back last point here, Noah. This ties back to an issue you raised before, which I didn't quite talk enough about, I think it, which is the democracy deficit in the in the international loop, the committee, where if you have the Olympics coming some eleven years out, well then you're hardly going to be having a population that's really can able to take it that seriously, let alone have a referendum on something that's supposed to happen eleven years down the road. I mean it's my opinion that if you're going to have an Olympics, everybody in your Olympic town should be able to weigh in and vote whether they want to say that's what I want to use my taxpayer dollars on. That should just be bare minimum requirement. And there's been some murmurs in the International Olympic Committee saying Oh yeah, that sounds fine, but now they're doing this with Brisbane, giving it, you know, eleven years out with no referendum, and it kind of cuts back against that. Sorry, I said that was last point. One last last point, Noah, is, you know, on the democracy front. I was I wrote an essay for the New York Times and invited essay in two thousand and fourteen, where they say it was like one of those magic wand essays where they say, if you had a magic wand, how would you fix the Olympics? And so I thought I took it in good faith and I wrote an essay for the New York Times in two thousand and fourteen. That was my best effort to say how they should fix up the Olympics. And right afterwards I was invited to speak by Franz Beckenbauer, the German soccer great in Austria, and they they flew me there like two weeks later. My ticket cost elevenzero seven hundred dollars, which is like blew my mind. I was like, wait a minute, what's going on here? This is not my regular life, folks. I don't fly business class ever, first of all, and then with that kind of ticket, woa. I got there and I presented my ideas, and one of my ideas you know, and by the way, like Tomas Bach was there. No, I'll L MUTA Wackel, for the vice president of the IOC, was there. Then president of FIFA, Sep Ladder and they all to sit there and, you know, listen to these ideas. And one of the ideas 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 just say who you're voting for. That's supposed to be designed to like then you can't just vote for this outland is bid, because even those way weaker than the other bids. But you happen to know that person or you got a bribe for that person. Has Been the case in the past. And that thought, that was like the least of my radical suggestions, was like just say who you voted for. But my gosh, the room is like, Whoa, my Gosh, no, you can't pass. What we can do? Those like a gasp, like throughout the hall and I was like, Whoa, this is just playing weird. And guess what, they haven't done that. I mean even FIFA did, like I said, which is not exactly like your thought leader when it comes to ethics, but here we are. But that's all really helpful. Lot. I want to get it at a point that I think the IOC kind of often highlights, which is you know that, like, yes, there's there's some corrupt 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, your two thousand and sixteen book, that there are more member countries of the IOC than there are member countries the United Nations, which is a pretty remarkable thing. And you know, a lot of the most powerful countries of the world, as you've talked about with China and Russia, are anti democratic. They've got abysmal human rights records. Is there is the IOC, though, bringing the world together in a way that even the United Nations can't and that maybe some of those you know. I this is a little bit of leading question because I think I have I don't know how I feel about this, but in a way that like, even the United Nations can't do. Like, are the tradeoffs are worth it? Well, it sounds like you and I are both searching for like who could have leverage and influence over the International Olympic Committee that can impose some measure of accountability, and I think you and I are both kind of hedging toward the United Nations. I mean, after all, they have immense global respect, they have a strong working relationship with the International Olympic Committee and they have the moral authority to possibly do something like hold the IOC accountable.

What we've seen, though, is that the International Olympic Committee has shown a real deference for authoritarian governments and allowed them to engage and what people nowadays are calling sports washing, which means basically hosting a sports mega event like the Olympics in order to deflect attention away from your human rights violation shits, and I think that what we've seen in recent years around Beijing kind of says it all, like the fact it really encompasses, if we go back to that vote in two thousand and fifteen, or the International Olympic Committee hand of the two thousand and twenty two winter Olympics to Beijing, it encompasses a lot of the themes that we've been talking about, in the sense that, prior to that vote, many cities that were aspiring for the Olympics from nominal democracies pulled out, either because of pressure from the local population or maybe a movement that was saying we need to have a referendum, and they knew that they would lose the referendum or wouldn't look good, and they just said okay, forget the bid, or they had a referendum and and they lost. And that left only two cities in the in the running, Beijing and, I'll NTI Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, neither of them are known as bastions of democracy in the International Olympic Committee went with the country in the city that they knew, even though they're not like a Winter Olympics center, you know, of the world by any means. And we might have a whole ton of fakes, know, and that's not exactly good for the environment and Paragon example of greenwashing. 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, avoiding accountability and so on. And so here we are with a situation where you have an obvious human rights abuser in in China that'll be hosting these next Olympics, and actually think that that is one of the reasons why we haven't seen more done around human rights beforehand. I think the International Olympic Committees just waiting. They just got to get through those Olympics in Beijing and then you'll notice, hey, the very next Olympics in Paris has human rights provisions written into the host city contract. So guess what, you can write the host city contract in a way that's more equitable or that meet the kind of standards of the international community in different sorts of ways. But but they just say they can't do that until then, and I think it's because they're just trying to get through past Beijing. So yeah, there's there's both corruption, and we've seen that in like even Salt Lake City and the horrible bid scandal. There were like IOC members were getting n replacements and stuff for their family members and fancy four, five hundred twenty four dollar violins given to them and tickets to the Utah Jazz basketball game. And then we got like legalized corruption, I would call it, where it's not like illegal illegal, but it's definitely unethical. All these trends that we were just talking about in the Olympic city. And so like there's legalized corruption and illegal corruption, and the IOC's kind of been embracing b both of those to put forth this huge, mega event over time. I want to finish with Tokyo, because it's coming up in less than two months, even before the Beijing Games, and you've written extensively about it. You have recent op Eds and York Times in the Washington Post. COVID nineteen state of emergency was recently extended through January twenty. The US State Department has a DU not travel advisory against Japan due to high transmits rates of the virus. And I want to also touch on the issue of consent, which you brought up. You know, polls have found that more than eighty percent of the Japanese population of poses holding the games this summer, and yet the IOC is insisting that the Games will go on. Can you talk about that, this power that the IOC wheeled over Japan and and how this moment might be might be different in what the lasting legacy of this moment will be? So I think it's very striking what you're saying about eighty plus percent of the population. We've never seen anything like this. This is unparalleled in the political history of the Olympics and so yes, I have stated publicly that I believe it's the right thing to do to cancel these Olympics as a global health consideration. So I stand with not only...

...the eighty plus percent in Japan who do not want the Olympics there this summer, but I also stand with the medical professionals in Japan and across the world that have not only stated that they think it's a bad idea to host an event like this, with ninety thousand or so people coming from around the world that's optional sporting spectacle, but also have argued that it could actually lead to a super spreader event. Who knows? I mean, God willing, it won't, but I mean she she's quite a quite 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 Olympians and many other people booth besides that. So yeah, I guess I've taken the side of caution on this. I'll admit I was a little bit surprised that the International Olympic Committee only postponed by one year when they did, and I should point out, based on a previous thing that we were talking about that. The only reason they really postponed when they did was because athletes were standing up and saying they weren't going to go, individual athletes. Then you had like team USA swimming and track and field speaking out critically, and then you had the the clutch move by the Canadian National Olympic Committee saying they weren't going to go if it was in the summer, quickly followed by Australia, Germany, porch goal, and boom the dominoes were falling and it just shows a really good example of athlete power because only a couple days before that, Tomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee was saying that the Executive Board of the of the IOC wasn't even uttering the words postponement or cancelation. Will they started uttering him because of the fact that Olympians stood up and said, Whoa, this is dangerous and irresponsible. So I was always kind of surprised that they 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 we used to have, or we had both the winter and Summer Olympics in the same year would have been really easy to justify, but instead they decided to make it one year. Will Guess what? We're in a situation now, one year later, where the cases are actually higher in Japan than they were then, much higher, and the population is much more against hoasting the Olympics than they were in two thousand and twenty, and to voice this event on the population just seems unethical to me. And I guess one way I organize it in my head is you've got this state of exception that the International Olympic Committee thrives on, that the Olympics are built on, that it creates this exceptional 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 you mention, is going to get extent. It has been extended through June twenty and might even be extended further, and those two phenomena are sort of clashing and whoever wins that battle is going to perhaps determine whether those Olympics happen on time or not or whether they push him back another year. The International Olympic Committee is being very clear. They've taken the postponement of further postponement off the table, and so that pretty much leaves two choices cancelation or doing an optional Olympics during a pandemic, and I guess I stand with the people of Tokyo and Japan more generally, who want to play it safe, who've had relatives who've died from coronavirus. This is a real thing, and are very concerned about a superspredder event. Professor Jules boycoff is the chair of Pacific universities politics and government department. He's the CO author, so the author of numerous books on the Olympics and the politics of sport, one of the foremost experts on the International Olympic Committee and sport as a geopolitical force. Professor Boycoff, it has been such a pleasure to have you as our very first guest of the Global Athlete podcast. It's been an on or no and I really appreciate what you're doing. I look forward to listen to every last episode. That's a wrap for this very first episode of the Global Athlete podcast. Will have new episodes your feed every Tuesday. Next week will focus on current events in Olympic and Paralympic sport. Including the imminent Tokyo Two thousand and twenty Olympic and Paralympic Games. We hope you'll...

...join the conversation and get in touch with comments and questions. You can reach us at hello at Global Athlete Dot Org or at Global Athlete HQ on twitter and Instagram. A huge thank you to our guest Jules boycough. Our team includes Bresh off, the Global Athlete Program Manager, Rob Keeler, the Director General of Global Athlete, and Julia Barton, our wonderful research assistant. Global Athlete is funded by Fair Sport. Please subscribe to this podcast and rate and review us on Apple podcast 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 Hoffman. See you next week.

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