Michaela Schifrin, Richard, Norway discussed on The Munk Debates

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Outset that we are dealing with the political situation. Thank you jules richard. Your opportunity now for a rebuttal also more accurately th. That's your construction of it and then it hearing all of this does not move us into into something that's useful action so i'm actually wondering if we're asking ourselves the wrong question here. Awarding the games to beijing. His is not a political indication of beijing. It simply to make sure that your you've got the games in a place that has the capacity and the ability to deliver games at the the level at Expected to be but the question of where this happens is not nearly as important as they should happen. Over the past hundred twenty five years the olympic movement has has managed to carve out these little islands of peace in complicated and difficult political conditions. And i might. I must say not without some slips and falls along the way but with a vision of trying to bring the use of the world together in a peaceful coexistence through sport and sport itself is kind of an interesting phenomenon in this in the sense that it actually does away with a lot of the need for having the same language distances weights and so on are all the same matter where you are. A lot of. The governance of sport than in the in competition is done by gestures so forth. You don't actually need them so in this effort to try and create that island you every four years. We shouldn't be distracted by the location and but be inspired by the message of the example that yes it can be done. It is possible there is hope for world. That could be less stressful. And it's come about as the result of sport and the young people who participate in it. That's the real message of the olympics. Thank you richard. My opportunity now to kind of joined the debate and think through some questions that are top of mind for our listeners. Listening to both of you in this excellent debate gills to come to you. I on richard's point there that look at the end of the day what you're looking for in a host country's inability to stage games competently effectively at a truly world class standard. It's no simple feet to pull off an olympic games. China's doing this. They did it in two thousand and eight. They're doing it again now. We have to put the interests of the athletes. I am by you. Raising political issues related to the beijing government. And what they're doing or not on human rights are a variety of other issues is kind of beside the point. I think it helps for your audience to sort of step back and think about the wider context on why beijing hosting in the first place. Absolutely the games have gotten really big and they demand a lot out of the host city. You need resources. But certainly beijing is not the only place that has the capacity to pull off the olympic games in where the olympics. Very much matters. So if we rewind two thousand fifteen we could see that only beijing in almighty kazahstan were left standing after bids from other places for the twenty twenty. Two olympics were torpedoed by public pushback. So there were originally six cities interested in staging the games but live. Ukraine krakow poland stockholm in sweden. All pulled out the residents of craft. Poland saw civic bankruptcy looming so they voted a resounding seventy percents no referendum this week hosting the twenty twenty two winter games. Then so did oslo. They pulled out after. Norway's parliament refused to grant the required government financial guarantees the ioc headed a as many pages of demands including meetings with the king vip cocktail parties dedicated traffic lanes. This did not go well in norway. Once it got to the press. Other potential bids from germany in munich in switzerland in saint moritz in davos failed to materialize after losing public referenda. The people just said no. You know what's really raises the question of why they all said no and i think this leads us to wider issues. The played the olympic games. That i think we need to talk about today but since you asked rudyard about the athletes are do to just say it is crucial to note that the ioc in picking beijing has put athletes in this difficult position. The original sin in this situation if you will is that. The i handed the olympics to a clear-cut indisputable human rights abuser of the human rights. Watch has gone as far as to determine after careful. Deliberation is actually committing crimes against humanity. That's a technical legal term against turkic. Muslims in xinjiang province and athletes had no voice in the decision to hand the twenty twenty two games to beijing and now yet athletes are caught in the middle. Don't take it if you don't wanna take it for me. Take it from the two time. Olympic alpine skiing champion michaela schifrin who just said a few months ago about the beijing games that athletes should not be forced to choose between their morals and their job. You know the irc has this slogan its athletes. I but i think it's pretty clear. In selecting beijing to host the olympics they actually put the athletes among the last so richard. I'm sure you've got some views on on what you've just heard Talk to us a bit about again. How you square. Maybe these very noble olympic principles with the reality of what we face in taking the games to china. Not just the reality of rights abuses. That are going on but the reality that as joel has just mentioned athletes are put in this intense kind of moral quandary ab no choice of their own. They now have to balance the very future of their participation in a sport that they've given their life to versus some of the most fundamental beliefs that they have about the nature of human freedom of justice of our respect for our fellow man. Well i think you can take that back gills opening accommodated. It was no country on the face of the planet without sin including his including ours. And so if you're gonna make that judgment you gotta be really really careful. But what makes the olympics all of this such a juicy target and he resistible to A number of the folks that statements jones's their global importance and recognition. But if you look at all these demands to sacrifice the games and the athletes costs nothing to all the people that are proposing that somebody else as the price at their best. And if you pay really close attention to the proponents it who say we must do. Something about china are they actually mean is not we. I mean you you. The olympic athletes are going to be the the warriors in this particular conflict that we have identified as being political. Not sport not use. Somebody else should pay the price for. That doesn't work. We've seen we saw what happened in in the moscow boycott back in one thousand nine hundred government.

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