Keywords: Olympics

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Luckily for Australia, winning really isn't everything

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 22 August 2016
    9 Comments

    Australia appears likely to fall well short of its pre-games medal target. This has led to criticism of the government's funding strategy, which has seen money poured into elite sports where Australia has traditionally been most successful or where medals seemed most likely. This approach inevitably leads people to calculate whether Australia has received 'value for money' for its investments. But it doesn't have much to do with what people actually get out of watching or being part of the Olympics.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mack Horton vs the People's Republic of China

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 17 August 2016
    3 Comments

    Horton desired to highlight the need for more stringent application of doping policies but in the process he enabled Chinese nationalists to bolster their inflated national pride, at his and Australia's expense. That he used his concern about drug use as a competitive tactic lessened its effectiveness, and only enabled Chinese nationalists to once more don the mantle of victim. Any chance for reform around issues like drugs in sport got caught in the wake of wounded egos and jingoistic pride.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Corruption and calamity in Rio's Games of exclusion

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 08 August 2016
    4 Comments

    The Rio 2016 Olympics has earned a well-deserved label: the jogos da excludad, the games of exclusion. It is a label that shames a ruling class that got its priorities wrong. In the name of the Games, 77,000 residents of Rio's favelas have been evicted and hundreds of these settlements have been bulldozed. Those favelas that avoided the bulldozers have been hidden behind concrete walls that epitomise what theologian Leonardo Boff has called the 'lack of shame' living deep in the Brazilian soul.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pugilist-poet Ali's race legacy still packs a punch

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 June 2016
    7 Comments

    The contest over Ali began even as news spread of his passing. His legend straddles the violence of his sport and the violence in which he refused to participate. Boxing is brutal but it has rules and finite duration. In war, there are no rules and no one wins. Ali recognised a larger violence, chose his enemies, and reimagined bravery. Attempts to sublimate this legacy - such as comments about him 'transcending' race - resemble the appropriation of Martin Luther King Jr by conservatives.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Memories of Gough

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 October 2014
    44 Comments

    What he did for me, he did for countless other Australians who dreamt of a better world and a nobler Australia. Even his political opponents are forever in his debt for having elevated the national vision and for having given us a more complete and generous image of ourselves. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    White messiah rides Rwanda's cycle of hope

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 June 2014
    1 Comment

    In 2002 US Cycling Hall of Famer Jock Boyer was convicted of lewd behaviour with a minor and served time in prison. Today he is the coach of Team Rwanda, a team for Rwandan cyclists, associated with aid organisation Project Rwanda. In Rising From Ashes, the traumatic experiences of his team members, all of whom were living witnesses to the 1994 genocide and lost family members to it, are footnotes to Boyer's redemption story.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Punk's holy fools still putting it to Putin

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 11 April 2014

    Journalist Masha Gessen describes the members of Pussy Riot as 'Putin's ideal enemies'. In recent months, their nemesis has hosted the Olympics, taken control of Crimea and clamped down on media. For a group born out of 'the repressions of a corporate political system that directs its power against basic human rights', Pussy Riot still has much to roar about, even if its signature 'punk prayer' sounds more than ever like a plea.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Social injustice in international sport

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 25 March 2014
    6 Comments

    The Olympics and World Cup were once seen as a triumph of corporate and athletic enterprise, but today we count the cost. Previous events left countries with decaying venues and huge bills. Government funds line the pockets of corporations but do little for local industry. The Olympics have caused the evictions of more than two million people over the past two decades. It's time to re-think what these events are actually trying to achieve.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Rise of the right in Japan

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 24 February 2014
    4 Comments

    Tony Abbott has described Japan as Australia's 'best friend in Asia'. When he journeys to Japan in April and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe reciprocates in July, the two leaders will move to cement a new 'normal' in the relationship between their nations, including closer defence cooperation. As a correspondent in Japan in the '80s and '90s, I believed Japan's extreme right to be noisy but irrelevant. I'm now coming around to a different view.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Turkish democracy gets the shake-up it needs

    • William Gourlay
    • 12 June 2013
    5 Comments

    Turkey's increasingly dictatorial prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid little heed to last week's violent demonstrations, dismissing protesters as looters and blaming social media for inflaming the situation. The protests are hardly on par with Egypt's government-toppling anti-Mubarak demonstrations, yet may still lead to a rejuvenation of Turkish democracy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sports fans' idolatry makes monsters of heroes

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The success of elite athletes is often accompanied by narcissistic behaviours that exploit and damage other people. This appears to be the case with Oscar Pistorius and Lance Armstrong. In seeking to curb such behaviour, we can call for greater regulation and surveillance. But we can also examine our own behaviour. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Declaring war on the r-word

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 24 January 2013
    19 Comments

    I have heard colleagues refer to decisions as 'retarded', personalities as 'on the [autism] spectrum', and behaviour as 'OCD'. I hoped my silence would express my disapproval. Far from mere 'political correctness', seeking to eliminate such terms from discourse is a natural extension of a respectful and inclusive society. 

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