My latest piece for Ceasefire magazine:
More than any other sporting spectacle, the Olympic Games have a recurring tendency to mirror the political dramas and expectations of the societies in which they take place and of the wider world.
Hitler’s attempts to racialise the 1936 Olympics and their subsequent incorporation into Leni Reifenstahl’s combination of fascist aesthetics and propaganda; the massacre of students that preceded the Mexico City Olympics in 1968; the kidnapping and killing of the Israeli athletics team at Munich in 1972 – in all these episodes the Games were transformed into political arenas in ways that were drastically at odds with the celebration of sporting innocence and fraternal competition that the Olympic ideal supposedly embodies.
The 2012 London Olympiad is no exception. But perhaps no other Games have so completely mirrored the most morbid political tendencies of their era, before they have even begun….
You can read the rest here.