No Medals Awarded for Political Stands
The International Olympic Committee portrays the Olympic Games as a competition between the world’s greatest athletes in an effort to promote unity, competition, and pride.They believe the games should transcend political and other issues. As with many things in life, what ought to be is not what actually exists. The reality is that many participants and countries have used the games to make political statements. Some of the more extreme statements have resulted in tragedies such as the bombings in Atlanta in 1996 or the hostage situation in the Munich games in 1972.
In this edition of That’s History, Jonathan Zimmerman looks at the relationship between politics and the games, including the IOC’s refusal to hold a moment of silence in commemoration of the tragedy at Munich.
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That's History was a biweekly radio segment co-produced by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and WHYY featuring historian Jonathan Zimmerman that aired from 2011 to 2012. That’s History took an event, issue or person in the news, and looked back into history for echoes, parallels, roots and lessons.