Stephen Lendman, Contributor
Olympism is more about profiteering, exploitation, and cynicism than sport.
Helen Jefferson Lenskyj knows it well. More on her writings below.
For over a century, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hypocritically advanced notions of peace, unity, friendship, and sport the way it’s meant to be.
The Olympic Movement’s Charter states that IOC’s mission “is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement … to encourage and support the organisation, development and coordination of sport and sports competitions … to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes.
Overall, the Charter features a high-minded laundry list concealing Olympism reality. Truth and full disclosure belie deceptive hyperbole.
Lenskyj is a University of Toronto Professor of Sociology. She’s studied Olympism for years. Her book Inside the Olympic Industry: Power, Politics and Activism exposes its dark side, exploitive culture, disturbing corruption, hidden costs, and complicity of major media scoundrels.
Far from promoting good will, open competition, and fair play, Olympism’s more about profiteering, marginalizing the poor, other disenfranchised groups, affected communities, sticking taxpayers with the bill, and providing nothing in return but hype and the illusion of amateur international sport at its best.
Resistance challenges the narrative. Activists expose its dark side. So does Lenskyj. “Olympic construction and preparations,” she says, take “a heavy toll on already disadvantaged populations.”
Thousands are evicted and displaced “to make way for Olympic accommodation.” Disadvantaged residents are left high and dry. Cozy relationships among government officials, corporate sponsors, universities, and IOC bosses facilitate exploiting communities, people, and athletes for power and profit. Most of all “the bottom of the food chain” loses out.
Behind public friendliness and high-minded hyperbole lie profiteers, political intrigue, corruption, disregard for public needs and rights, exploitative practices, and scandalous wheeling, dealing, collusion, and bribery that turns sport into a commercial grab bag free-for-all.
Lenskyj’s Olympic Industry Resistance: Challenging Olympic Power and Propaganda tells more. She explains uncritical scoundrel media coverage, especially the unprincipled bidding process, host city preparations, and promotional materials concealing Olympism reality.
Fundamental rights and freedoms are denied to ready venues for scheduled events. Protests are criminalized. Repressive tactics are used. Abuse is commonplace and extreme. So is out-of-control corruption, exploitation, and profiteering.
Corporate propaganda is exposed. So are educational materials designed to indoctrinate kids into the “Olympic family.” It’s to secure ready future audiences. Children are even used in promotional materials as good will bidding and hosting ambassadors. Power brokers spare nothing for self-aggradizement and big bucks.
Olympism is big business. The London summer games is billed as perhaps the city’s biggest ever spectacle. It’s expected to gross about 10 billion pounds (about $16 billion dollars). Tourists are expected to spend another $3 billion or more.
Security will cost over $2 billion. Total costs will top $30 billion. Brits, of course, will pay the tab. They get the bill, not the profits. This in a city with nearly one-fourth of the population impoverished. In some areas, child poverty approaches 50%. Conditions are getting worse, not better.
Homelessness is increasing. Kids are starving on streets. They’ll be swept out of sight before the games begin. Elitism, luxury, and over-indulgence will be featured.
Protests will be dealt with harshly. Suppressing them is prioritized. Encampment-type ones close to venues are banned. Forcible removals are planned. Power brokers and profiteers demand it. So do media scoundrels wanting viewers to see illusions, not reality.
Billions have been spent constructing venues, an 80,000 seat stadium, infrastructure, luxury hotels, other accommodations, Olympic Park, acquiring land, and more. Nothing’s spared except people needs neglected to create London’s biggest ever extravaganza.
Ordinary Londoners won’t be celebrating. For them, bad news got worse. Public safety will be jeopardized. Olympic Park will be militarized. High Velocity Missiles will be installed.
Doing so is part of a massive security force mobilization for Olympic profiteers. Over 13,000 military troops will be deployed. Another 12,000 police will join them. Capital gets special privileges. Ordinary people pay the price and suffer.
Before and during the games, police state authority will run things. “Total Policing” will be enforced. Nothing is spared for rich folks at the expense of ordinary Londoners.
English investigative journalist Andrew Jennings also knows Olympism truths. He reports on what power brokers want concealed. He says he’s “been chasing bad men around the world for more than three decades.”
He exposed former IOC president (1980 – 2001) Juan Antonio Samaranch as “an unrepentant jack-booting, right-arm waving Franco fascist.” His International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) corruption exposes got him banished from president Sepp Blatter press conferences.
Sports Illustrated called his book The Lords of the Rings: Power, Money, and Drugs in the modern Olympics (published in America as Dishonest Games) one of the top sports books ever written. His sequel titled, New Lords of the Rings discusses “Olympic Corruption & How to Buy Gold Medals.”
His others include The Great Olympic Swindle. It exposes the Olympic/organized crime connection, and how IOC bosses scammed people into believing corrupt practices were reformed.
It also revealed secret documents showing the organization spent $2 million on PR propaganda and hype to portray a favorable image. Lipstick on this pig doesn’t wash.
He’s written about how IOC officials demand bidding cities provide everything from first-class plane tickets to luxury accommodations and prostitutes. His accounts are lurid and real. He’s called IOC’s most vocal critic. Approaching age 70, he’ll be missed when gone.
Read More: Olympism Profiteering