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Round 3. BlackJackal V Jamuhn: Olympics

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posted on Oct, 11 2004 @ 02:36 PM
The topic for this debate is "The Olympic Dream is dying."

BlackJackal will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Jamuhn will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Oct, 11 2004 @ 09:00 PM
The Olympic dream, what exactly is it? The dream itself is unquantifiable but not beyond definition. The dream is pursuing all that is great and noble in mankind, striving to find the integrity in the most stained of the human fabric. The dream is personified by the Olympic flame and summed up in one simple word- Olympism.

What I have provided above is a very general overview of the Olympic Dream but to outline the fundamentals of Olympism we look to the Olympic Charter.[1]

Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of Human dignity.

The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organized, universal and permanent action, carried out under the supreme authority of the IOC, of all individuals and entities who are inspired by the values of Olympism. It covers the five continents. It reaches its peak with the bringing together of the world’s athletes at the great sports festival, the Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings.

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. The organization, administration and management of sport must be controlled by independent sports organizations.

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic

As you can see from the Olympic Charter the fundamentals of the Olympic Dream call out to the very best in mankind, government, and religion. It would serve us all well if we all strived for the Olympic dream in every facet of our lives, yet sadly even the Olympics themselves fall far short of reaching the dream.

The ancient Olympics were played from 776 BC until 393 AD. These Olympics themselves failed to live up to the Olympic dream standards. The most common modern idealistic misconception of the ancient games is of the ekecheiria, the truce that took place during the Olympics in which all wars ceased. This truce never truly took place; the Greeks continued to fight during the games, the Persians continued to invade, and heads continued to roll. The ekecheiria didn’t stop the Arcadians and Pisatans from warring within the sacred grove of Olympia during the games. The ekecheiria failed to stop the Macedonians from looting the Treasury in 312 BC, or Heruli from invading in 267 BC. The list goes on and on.[2]

Also the corruption of the ancient games rivals that of the games today. The IOC of the ancient games was the crooked Hellanodikes. The Hellanodikes had the very last say in who, what, when and where of the games and bribes were always accepted. Winners in the ancient games did not compete for sportsmanship; they competed for money, religion, and national pride. One famous example of corruption in the ancient games was when Emperor Nero fell out of his chariot during a race and the remainder of the field was forced to wait while he remounted and won in a romp. Again the list goes on and on.

The ancient games were even halted due to religious differences in 393 AD when Emperor Theodosius converted to Christianity and declared the games a pagan activity. The modern Olympics were fathered by Pierre de Coubertin in 1896 and have not faired any better than its ancient counterpart in avoiding corruption. In the very recent years we have seen the Olympics tainted by bribes, corrupt judges, and drug abuse. So what is the problem?

Recognize, human nature contradicts the very core values of the Olympic Dream. Humanity continues to look for better ways to destroy itself all the while fantasizing about mutual understanding, fair play and spirit of friendship. Humankind preaches harmony all the while disenfranchising multitudes that differ in religion, race, gender, and politics. In a society in which winning is everything the Olympic Dream is alive only in the realms of philosophy.

De Coubertin once said “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part.” How can the Olympic Dream be alive and well when this one simple requirement, set by its father, is not even followed today?


posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 10:18 PM
I’d like to once again thank Kano, the judges, members of ATS, and the BlackJackal for their participation with this debate.

The Olympics have come a long way my friends; BlackJackal was gracious enough to explore its roots somewhat. At its beginning, the Olympics belonged to one country, Greece, uniting once every four years to celebrate their Gods and Goddesses. Heracles, Zeus, Pelops, and other Gods were all worshiped during these games. One Greek legend describes how the kingdom of Sparta stopped a war against its Greek enemies to honor the Gods in the Olympic games. The Ancient Olympics were one of two central rituals in Ancient Greece, the other being the Eleusinian mysteries.

What’s in a dream?
Fantasy, desire, joy, delight, yet ultimately intangible. The Olympic dream of the Greeks was to celebrate the mental and physical feats of their Gods’ will. Grecians from all around the country would emulate these Gods in observance of them that they are all united under. The Modern Olympics have taken hold of a similar observance: the virtuousness of humanity, that which we all strive to be. To also observe the mental and physical feats that people can only dream of. The will of a determined individual to arise above all odds, to stand tall before wickedness and display unthinkable courage. This is what our modern Olympians emulate, this is what we all dream of, to revel in our joyous dream of peace and celebrate that we are alive, that anyone can overcome any odd.

International Olympic Committee
When Coubertin helped revived the Olympic games in 1896, less than 250 athletes partook, representing only 15 nations. Today, in the year 2004, the past Olympics boasted more than 10,500 competitors from 200 countries. Only 192 countries are recognized by the United Nations, yet the International Olympic Committee does not adhere to the politics of the UN. The Modern Olympics have survived through two World Wars, multiple battles, terrorism, political threats, and a lot of other controversies. The Olympic Movement remains stronger than ever, affording a chance to each and every individual to represent their country in the world celebration.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has proved a worthy organization to ensure that integrity remains intact and the most natural expression of the human body is represented.

In the early 20th century, many Olympic athletes used drugs to enhance their performance. For example, the winner of the marathon at the 1904 Games, Thomas Hicks, was given strychnine and brandy by his coach, even during the race.

It was not until the late 1960s that sports federations put a ban on doping, and the IOC followed suit in 1967. In the late 1990s, the IOC took initiative in a more organized battle against doping, leading to the formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999.

In addition to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee supports the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the International Committee for Fair Play, the International Paraylmpic Committee, and the World Olympian Association, to name just a few.[2] The IOC supports the Special Olympics in addition to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). In fact, the Special Olympics and the IPC are only two of a multitude of organizations that host games and provide sport for the disabled. One of the IOC’s mission statements is 'Sport for All.'[3]

The Olympic Movement
Olympic does not only pertain to the games that take place every two years, in Winter and Summer, alternatively. Olympic represents a movement, the Olympic Movement, one that extends the ideals of mind, body, will, and equality throughout the world. The IOC, in the same respect, does not only preoccupy itself with the Olympic games, but extending equality for women, funding of sport in all countries, ethics, and non-exploitation of athletes, to name a few.

The Olympic Movement does not cower to doubt over its mission. The Olympic Movement is an optimistic one, looking towards a better tomorrow for humankind. The Olympics and its associated events puts one in awe of the courage and effort that its athletes exude. Yet, these virtues should not be wasted on the dirty business of war, but displayed as a beacon of peace. Olympic represents the effort of peace and virtue. Sport, as a natural entity, represents the effort of peace and the virtues of humankind.

"All sports for all people. This is surely a phrase that people will consider foolishly utopian. That prospect troubles me not at all. I have pondered and studied it at length, and know that it is correct and possible", wrote Pierre de Coubertin in 1919. The future proved him right.

1. Olympics
2. IOC supported organizations
3. The Olympic Movement

posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 09:27 PM
As Jamuhn graciously illustrated part of the Olympic Dream is “equality throughout the world” and to “support peace and to improve the human condition.” In this respect the Olympic dream is ruined beyond repair.

The setup of the modern Olympics fosters nationalism which widens rifts between countries, cultures, and religion. The Olympic dream is one of the individual not of a lifeless country. For example if an Olympic event is held in the same place at the same time with the same athletes but called a World Championship it will garner much less attention. Why is this? Quite simple the Olympics are when Americans pull for Americans, Mexicans pull for Mexicans, etc. and the individual effort is lost in a haze of flags and anthems. The Olympic Games recurrently become an additional arena for political debates and only serve to increase hostilities. Take for example, the “1980 miracle on ice”, when the US upset the Soviets. What made this such a miracle? Certainly the Olympics have hosted other dark horse winners so what makes this underdog different? Nationalism is the answer. When this match took place the US and the Soviets were engaged in the bitter Cold War and President Carter had already announced the boycott of the summer games in Moscow. The only reason the Soviets showed up in Lake Placid was to defeat the Americans on their own soil to demonstrate Soviet dominance. The “miracle” did nothing to improve the human condition on the contrary; it did succeed in giving the US propaganda and increasing tensions between the Soviet Union and the US. Additionally, this game served to disenfranchise more athletes of the “human right of sport” because the Soviets boycotted the 1984 games to prevent a similar situation to the 1980 loss.[1]

Sadly, the “miracle” is one of the less horrendous uses of the games for political statements. The 1972 Munich disaster is probably the most deplorable; eleven Israeli athletes were taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists and murdered. Then IOC president, Avery Brudage was famous for saying “the games must go on” and they did only 34 hours after the massacre. The decision brought outrage from around the globe because the IOC made the spectacle of the games more important than those who played them.[2]

One of the major features of the Olympic Dream, playing for the sake of playing the game, has been battered beyond recognition by commercialization. There is a tremendous amount of money at stake for the Olympians, either from their own governments or from commercial sponsors, for example Michael Phelps would have received $1,000,000.if he matched the 7 gold medal record. With such a large amount of money at stake the Olympians primary goal is winning at all costs be it cheating, bribery, or performance enhancing drugs.

This sponsor-first mentality reaches much farther than the athletes themselves. Sponsors rule the day when it comes to television coverage breaking directly in the middle of competitions to get in enough commercials.

These corporate sponsors focus on the richest nations, especially the US. So what does this mean for the Olympic Dream? This means the rich nations have much more money and ability to train their athletes ensuring the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The actuality of the Olympics is in stark contrast to the Olympic dream which calls for competition on equal footing. Reality couldn’t be farther from the Dream.

As I alluded to earlier the commercialization of the games has lead to contestants looking to drugs to help them perform. The Olympians who use the drugs reduce their performances to meaningless and stain the Olympic Dream. Yet, it is the Olympics themselves that cause these Olympians to use these drugs. In the 2004 Olympics 6 athletes were stripped of medals due to doping and 24 were disqualified. Sounds good but there are several kinds of performance enhancing drugs that are either not being looked for or cannot be detected, such as EPO. Athletes now are expressing interest in having their DNA rewritten in order to maximize muscle growth, increase stamina, and even change their heights The Olympic dream consists of the “qualities of body, will and mind” and says nothing for doping or for that matter genetic engineering, so where is the dream in that? [3][4]

Jamuhn contends the IOC has proved a “worthy organization.” This statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. The IOC has been shown to be one of the earth’s most corrupt organizations. It is a known fact that judges in the 1998, 2000, and 2002 games have taken bribes to ensure one country or another wins an event. The bidding for the site of the 2000 Olympics was even rigged. For the governing body of the Olympics to be this destitute of integrity devastates the dream.


posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 09:41 PM
Thank You BlackJackal.

The Olympics, in fact, promote unity across the nations.
How often do we see countries uniting together in sports? Not very often. Isolationism in sports does not foster unity in the world. In fact, isolation promotes ignorance of the world’s citizens. It’s interesting to note that the World Cup, which is very similar to the notion of a “World Championship” garners almost as much attention as the Olympics. This also is a world sport, and doesn’t follow along the lines of isolationism sports. By incorporating all the world’s nations, the Olympics effectively promote its fundamental principles of mind, body, and spirit throughout the world.

Politics is outside the realm of the Olympics in itself, as the term ‘ekecheiria’ alludes to.
The result of the “1980 miracle on ice” in the US was a mere consequence of the politics of the time. The “miracle on ice” represented the triumph of amateur athletes over professional ones. The Soviet Hockey team was well recognized as the defending world champions. The US team was made up of college kids that came to the ice, played with their hearts, and beat Soviet players like Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Krutov and Makarov that would dominate the game for many years afterwards. The “miracle on ice” is considered one of the greatest moments in Hockey history, not because of politics, but because of the mind, body, and determined effort of the US team.[1]

Once again when dealing with the 1972 terrorist incident, it is not the policy of Olympics to succumb to the politics of the age. What was not mentioned was that IOC Brundage held a memorial service to the Israeli athletes, and the Olympics did in fact go on to become even more popular to this day.

The commercialization of athletes occurs as a result of the athlete’s performance and there is virtually no way to prove that an athlete competes to exclusively win money. The fact that athletes are commercialized is a testament to the world’s recognizance of the Olympic values of mind, body, and spirit. How would Olympic athletes be effective on a Wheaties box if they did not relate to the consumer? This is only evidence that the Olympic dream is still going strong.

From the IOC:

By retaining all rights relating to the organisation, marketing, broadcasting and reproduction of the Olympic Games, the IOC ensures the continuity of a unique and universal event.
How else are the Olympics supposed to be a success if they do not have the means to organize their games?

As well, the IOC puts strict limits on the amount of advertising during the games.

Advertisement regulations are still very strict, at least on the actual playing field, although "Official Olympic Sponsors" are common. Athletes are only allowed to have the names of clothing and equipment manufacturers on their outfit. The sizes of these markings are limited.

Speculation that cheating, bribery, and drugs run rampant in the Olympics is just that. It is a well-known fact that the Olympics do not tolerate any of these. Before 1967, the IOC did not even test for drugs, so the argument that drugs spoils the Olympic dream at present is nill in comparison to the past.

For example, the winner of the marathon at the 1904 Games, Thomas Hicks, was given strychnine and brandy by his coach, even during the race.
As well, the designer drugs you are talking about are just speculation, if there was any evidence than the Anti-Doping Agency would have handled it. Although the absence of finding people with that drug does not prove it does not happen, there is no evidence that it does either. The DNA-restructuring you are talking about is largely theoretical and isn’t even viable, as well you don’t mention any names of athletes.

During the 2004 Olympics, record global TV viewership occurred with a total near 4 billion, over half the world’s population of 6.4 billion.[4] This is a further testament to the fact that people all over the world watch for the mental and physical endurance as well as the determination and struggle of the athletes in the game. Athletes all over the world consider it simply an “honor” to partake in the Olympic games, including, a Palestinian girl accepted to run trials in the 800m despite that she was 30 seconds behind the standard Olympic qualifying time.[5] This example is one of many exemplifying not only the Olympics principle of equality for all nations, but also for equality of women. The IOC has allowed women to participate in the Olympics since the 1900 Olympics long ahead of the time that women’s sports has become as popular, if not more so in some sports, as men’s.

2. IOC Marketing Policy
3. Olympics
4. Yahoo News
5. Palestine's Sana Abu Bkheet

posted on Oct, 15 2004 @ 09:32 PM
Thank you Jamuhm!

Nationalism is the Name of the Games

The father of modern Olympics promoted the games under the name of Unity. In the inaugural 1896 games the all athletes wore club uniforms and did not compete for any particular nation, they participated for the sake of the games. This continued until 1908 when the Olympians marched into the stadium behind their respective flags but not before England and Russia attempted to bar Ireland and Finland from displaying their colors. This nationalist flair has continued ever since despite Coubertin wishes. The nationalistic embellishment increased even more in 1932 when the playing of anthems and raising of flags was added.

The 1952 Helsinki games marked the return of Russian athletes, absent since 1912, and with it the beginning of a 38 year battle between Communism and Capitalism. During this period both sides used their athletes as venues for national superiority. Many communist and capitalist countries used their Olympians as laboratories to produce bigger, stronger, faster athletes through steroids and other means because losing to the opposing side in the Olympics would be devastating politically.

In addition to the Communism-Capitalism battle waged during the games, fledgling states used the games to promote their nationalism. Literally dozens of post-colonial nations with baseless histories were portrayed as unique political and cultural units.

Time and time again countries have used the Olympics as a venue to challenge the nature of the international community. A outrageously enormous list includes:

  • 1956-Arab Nations protesting Israel’s Military
  • 1976-African Nations protesting New Zealand’s South Africa Rugby tour
  • 1932-1984-China for many different purposes.
  • 1980 and 1984-Massive Boycotts due to the Cold War

The unity of the modern Olympics began dying out in 1908, only 12 years after its reincarnation. Today the Olympic Dream of unity has been annihilated and replaced by Nationalism.[1]

The Olympics are Politics

The Olympics have been used in conjunction with Nationalism for political gain since 1908 as illustrated by the attempted barring of Ireland and Finland. Since then it has only gotten worse.

Olympic Charter excerpt
The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit

Contrary to the above quote the Olympics have bowed down to Politics when allowing individuals to compete. In 1920, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and Turkey were all barred from the games due to their roles in WWI. Again in 1948 an after effect of WWII led to the exclusion of both Germany and Japan. From 1960-1992 South Africa was barred from competition due to apartheid politics and so was Rhodesia ins 1972. Certainly, apartheid is bad policy but the Olympic charter states everyone “must have the possibility or practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind. Barring from the games is definitely discrimination.

Remember the 1968 games were the site of massive anti-Vietnam protests. Along with the anti-war politics, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos saluted their flag with black-gloved fists and Vera Caslavaska lowering her head while her national anthem played just months after signing a manifesto against Soviet Domination of her country.

As recent as the 2004 Olympics politics entered the fray. When Bush was asked what was his favorite moment of the Olympics, this was his response:

I liked the -- let’s see -- Iraqi soccer. I liked seeing the Afghan woman carrying the flag coming in.

Bush used the Iraqi Soccer team and the Afghan women as justification for the wars in both countries, unmistakably political, clearly in defiance of the Olympic dream.[2]

Also in the 2004 games there were several instances of the crowd booing American and British athletes because of their politics on the war on terror. When the US soccer team was eliminated by Mexico in qualifying the crowd chanted “Osama, Osama.”[3] Bottom line, Olympics and Politics are inseparable, a marriage that murders the Olympic dream.

Money, the root of all Evil

The site of the 1998 winter Olympics was selected because the IOC delegates received bribes from Nagano and one $27Million donation to IOC president Samaranch. Not to be outdone Salt Lake City presented IOC delegates with vacations, “jewelry, bicycles, guns and sporting goods, jobs and scholarships for their children, and envelopes of plain old cash” to secure the 2002 Olympics.[4] So indeed bribery does run rampant within the Olympics.

Lastly, a 2-year study has found the Anti-Doping Agency is not doing all it can do to prohibit drug use because of a double standard:

while the organization claims to want drug-free competition, the image of the Games, and their ability to attract lucrative corporate sponsors, would be damaged if star athletes were eliminated from competition by positive drug tests.[5]

Unfortunately I must end but there is much more.


posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 11:41 PM
Thank you BlackJackal!

The Olympics are a competition between individuals or teams
The real way the Olympics work begins when a country, in conjunction with the respective National Olympic Committee (the NOC represents a continent), selects participants to attend the qualifying trials at the Olympic Games. Then, all the athletes are tried individually without respect to country, and the top number of competitors reach the next round of competition. Multiple teams and individuals from the same country compete in most of the events. The teams or individuals who win do so based on olympic principles of mind, body, and spirit (not based on their country). This is the Olympic dream, individuals promoting the Olympic spirit through example. In fact, this is the idea that Coubertin, the father of the Olympics, had all along, in an effort to promote peace between nations.

The father of the Modern Olympics believed in nations for good reason
When the games first began in 1896, they involved competitors from 13 countries. The competitors were paired in teams at this time as well, for example, track teams. Another point to note is that Coubertin became the president of the International Olympic Committee in 1896 until 1925 and then became the honorary president until 1937 when he died.[1] Coubertin, therefore, was actively involved in not only displaying the national uniforms (which was clearly just a symbolic gesture) but also with having national anthems and flags played for every country involved.

Perhaps, I should explain Coubertin’s motive for setting up the games as such. Coubertin states:

“Let us export our oarsmen, our runners, our fencers into other lands. That is the true Free Trade of the future; and the day it is introduced into Europe the cause of Peace will have received a new and strong ally.”

The Olympics are very effective in establishing peace throughout the world in addition to its vision of physical, mental, and spiritual efforts. The IOC states clearly its goals in this respect:

Through this global and symbolic concept, the IOC aims to:
- raise awareness and encourage political leaders to act in favour of peace;
- establish contacts between communities in conflict;
- offer humanitarian support in countries at war

That countries protest other countries in the Olympics does not reflect upon the Olympics, but rather reflects on the countries lodging these complaints. Interesting to note is that all of these conflicts have thus far been resolved and these countries compete together every two years in the Olympics. When we ask ourselves, “Is the Olympic dream dying?” we take into account the state of Olympics now, and realize that its current state negates pandering about the past.

The IOC protests apartheid, a noble cause
Straight from the International Olympic Committee website, we read the following:

"The apartheid policy violates the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter, which governs the entire Olympic Movement and it cannot be tolerated in any form whatsoever."

In fact, it is the countries that the IOC has banned from previous games that have been trampling on the Olympic dream. The IOC is proud to proclaim that by barring these countries it is promoting equality in sport. How can a country be inline with Olympic principles when it wasn't living them?

Olympics promote Women’s equality in sports
Women have been involved in the Olympics since 1900, long before women’s sports in general gained steam in the respective countries they were participating in. Every year, women become more involved in the Olympic dream. The IOC actively promotes women’s sports and equality throughout the world. Not even in the Ancient Olympic Games were women so involved in taking part.[4] The IOC truly lives up to the ideal of promoting the Olympic dream of non-discrimination throughout the world.

The IOC started an investigation in relation to the 1998 Salt Lake City games, which led to four resigning and six being expelled.

By January, an IOC investigation accused 13 Olympic officials of accepting bribes from Salt Lake City organizers. At least four IOC members were forced to resign, and the IOC said it would change the way it selected host cities.

The Olympic dream has become one of the most important virtues in our current world, promoting equality in every facet of life. The Olympics is not the cause for any problems that arise in our day, yet it suffers, time to time, the effect. That the Olympic dream has become more prominent since these conflicts is testament to the fact that the dream is alive more than ever. Even in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, do we see competitors striving to promote this dream.

I, as well, have much more to add, but, I’ll save it.

1. Pierre de Coubertin Biography
2. Coubertin quote
3. IOC Promotion of Equality in Sport
4. The Women's Olympic Games is an important breakthrough obscured by time
5. Salt Lake City

posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 09:29 PM
Thank you, Jamuhn!

What the Olympics Support

Jamuhn has admitted nationalism is a part of the Olympics yet justifies this because Coubertin was present during its beginnings. Yet nationalism leads to conflicts, wars, and destruction as proven throughout history.[1] So it doesn’t matter if Coubertin did allow its introduction it still kills the Olympic dream to promote peace throughout the world.

Jamuhn contends the Anti-Doping Agency will catch any drug abuse in the Olympics yet I have proven they are not doing all they can. Drugs in the Olympics make the performances of the athletes almost meaningless. Drugs kill the principles of mind, body, and spirit.

The IOC does little to prohibit the massive commercialization taking place inside the Olympic movement. Strangely, the IOC doesn’t seem to be bothered by the commercialization of their movement even though the massive amounts of money are causing a winning at all cost mentality among its Olympians. The Olympic dream is playing for the sake of playing yet as shown by Paul Hamm and Yang Tae-young in the 2004 games winning is what is important to Olympians. Paul Hamm was awarded the gold due to a technical error, meaning he did not win the medal on his own, yet he did not give up the medal. He has now taken the matter to court to keep the medal. If he was truly playing for the sake of playing he would surrender the medal to its true owner.[2]

Jamuhn has used athletes appearing on Wheaties boxes as justification for commercialization. Yet, no where in the Olympic charter does it mention anything about promoting athletes so they can sell Wheaties or any other product for that matter. Nonetheless, Jamuhn is correct in that the Olympics does support the commercialization of its Olympians.

Regardless of the feel goodness of the “miracle on ice” the event transcended sports and became political. The US used the game for propaganda and the Russians suffered a political blow because of it. The “miracle” led directly to the Russian boycott of the 1984 games illustrating a perfect example of the Olympics being synonymous with politics. Furthermore, As I have shown previously politics taint the Olympic Dream at every turn.

Hypocritical Olympics

Jamuhn brings up the reasoning behind the apartheid banning illustrating the policy is against the Olympic movement, yet the banning itself is against the Olympic movement.

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement.

So the Olympics themselves are guilty of staining the Olympic Dream by discriminating against several countries based on their politics. The Olympic Dream is supposed to be for anyone regardless of discrimination but the Olympics have undoubtedly banned many.

If the Olympics were truly concerned about bad politics they would not have awarded the 1936 Olympics to Berlin. The holocaust began around 1933 with the stripping of basic human rights from Jews and the opening of 4 concentration camps.[3] Moreover, Regardless of the 4 Jesse Owens medals, Germany succeeded politically in proving the dominance of the Aryan race through the medal-count winning 89 medals with the US a distant second at 56.

Another Dubious choice for the Olympics is the upcoming 2008 Olympics in China. Tiananmen Square did happen, yet only 20% of Chinese know anything about it. Infanticide is a way of life in China as families are limited to one child with boys valued over girls. China controls the media and the internet with an iron fist, arresting and executing “subversive internet users”.[4]

So it seems the Olympics can ban bad politics when convenient and embrace them when they wish, clearly not the Olympic dream.

Failures of Olympic Dream

The modern Olympics have been around for over 100 years yet what has it accomplished? One of the main goals of the Olympics is to promote peace and Jamuhn contends the Olympics are “very effective in establishing peace throughout the world”. But the Olympics have failed to prevent any conflicts during its history such as WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War I and II, etc. The Olympics have not resolved any conflicts but has served to fan the flames of war several times. Clearly, the Olympic dream has failed in one of its chief objectives.

Jamuhn brings up several statistics about attendance and viewership. While both may be at record levels the actual Olympic Dream is at its lowest level. The Olympics are filled with an air of self-righteousness and pompous somehow placing it above the real troubles of the world. While the Olympics are played countries are at war, people starve, genocide takes place, and terrorism marches on.

It takes more than games every 4-years to improve the human condition.


posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 11:13 PM
Thanks BlackJackal!

Internationlism, not nationalism
Never, in this debate, have I said nationalism is part of the Olympics. What I did state, is that competitors from nations are involved in the Olympics, and that events occur between competitors and not between countries. Most of the events actually involve competitors from the same country, which compete against each other. Nations are represented as a way to promote international unity as we see from Coubertin, which is directly opposite of the notion of nationalism.

As well, you will note the following from BlackJackal’s reference:

Anti-nationalism is the idea that nationalism is dangerous and leads to conflict and war. [and] ..the idea..must reject...jingoism [patriotism].

Again, I never justified commercialization of athletes period. That is BlackJackal once again twisting my words. I stated that Olympic athletes are shown in advertisements only because world citizens can relate to the Olympic dream. BlackJackal’s stance of anti-capitalism and anti-money is not realistic, and would leave us worse off in the Stone Age.

I want to remind everyone there is a strict difference between politics and human rights as well.

The Olympic Village
Athletes participating in the Olympics live in what is known as the Olympic Village during the fortnight of Olympic Games. In this way, the athletes are able to pursue intercultural exchange outside the games themselves.[1] The Olympic village is conducive to the high-level sports competition and encourages the athletes to experience the local culture of the host city. The Olympic Village also promotes a barrier-free design in respect for the environment and life-quality. In fact, Homebush Bay from the Sydney Olympics was renovated to include housing as well as a new sports arena.[2] It is important to remember that facilities created at host cities are long-standing reminders of the Olympic dream that continue to promote the values of mind, body, and spirit long after the games end.

Anti-Doping Facilities
BlackJackal contends that speculation about substances never found and theoretical DNA restructuring proves drug-abuse. Well, that doesn’t sounds like proof to me. The Medical Commission tests the top four competitors in each event and two more at random. Chemical substances such as beta-blockers, diuretics or amphetamines are prohibited in addition to hormonal substances like steroids or erythropoietin.[3] You can find an entire list of prohibited substances at this reference. Before such testing occurred, there was a case of a Danish runner who died after ingesting a large amount of amphetamines. The Anti-Doping agency has been effective at protecting athletes’ health, maintaining equal sporting opportunities, and deterring drug-use.[3] The cases found are testament that it is, in fact, working, and promoting such values in sports around the globe.

The 1936 Berlin Games were awarded before the Nazis came to power.[4] By the time the games occurred, the Jewish people were not being sent to concentration camps, but were stripped of rights such as joining certain Labor unions, which are not basic human rights. I won't defend what the Nazis did before the 1936 games, but it doesn't compare to the holocaust as we know it, which started in 1941.

2008 Olympics (Green Olympics) will has already improved the rights of citizens
Leading up to the 2008 Olympics, China has already begun to fall inline with international human rights standards.

Beijing's decision to back ratification of the covenant on economic, social and cultural rights may be a first step toward respecting international human-rights standards. The covenant lays down basic standards for health care, education and the alleviation of poverty.

China released a former prominent student leader from the 1989 student protests who was sentenced to two and a half years in a forced labor camp, a human rights group said Wednesday.
The Olympics will also alleviate the lock-down that China has imposed on media. As well, it is projected that by 2007, 40 percent of Beijing will be green, and that all the solid waste including wastewater will be treated inline with IOC environmental standards. The Olympics will significantly improve China’s economy and way of life.

Solving China’s problems cannot be solved by the isolationism of the country, but by opening up China to the rest of the world and promoting virtues via the Olympic dream. We cannot just sit back and hope everything works out; it takes cooperation, dialogue, and inspiration by example to change China. China will be one among a host of other countries changed for the better by the Olympic dream. The International Olympic Truce Foundation resulted in North and South Korea to unite under one flag in 2000, a cease-fire in Bosnia, and more. All in the name of the Olympic dream.

Lastly, Olympic games occur every 2 years, not 4.

International Unity

1. Olympic Village (PDF)
2 Environmental Committee
3. Anti-Doping Commission
4. 1936 Summer Olympics

posted on Oct, 20 2004 @ 09:15 PM
Thank you Jamuhn for a very memorable debate.


The father of the Modern Olympics believed in nations for good reason

As Jamuhn illustrated, the downfall of the Olympics began with its creator believing in nations and allowing nationalism into the games. Nationalism leads directly to conflict as proven by history time after time. By permitting nationalism the Olympics actually foster conflict rather than prevent it and concurrently reduce the human condition.


Commercialization of the games has lead to a winning first mentality among the Olympians and IOC alike. There are literally millions of dollars at stake for athletes causing the winning mentality. The IOC accepts bribes like candy. Richer nations athletes receive more prize money than poorer countries causing an unbalanced playing field. This all kills the Olympic dream of playing for the sake of playing.

Drug Abuse

Drug use kills the Olympic principles of body, will, and mind. The anti-doping agency is a step in the right direction yet, studies conclude it is not doing all it can to prevent drug abuse. The reason is simple the Olympics don’t want to hurt their bottom-line by producing negative press through disqualifications.

Questionable sites

Even though the 1936 Olympics were awarded prior to the Nazi’s coming to power they still came to power in 1933, 3-years prior to the games. Beggar’s, Homeless, unemployed, and alcoholics were all sent to concentration camps in 1933. The Nuremberg Race laws are passed in 1935 relegating Jew’s to less than human subjects. Forced abortions are legal to prevent the passing of non-Aryan genes. All of this and more prior to the Olympics date and still the Olympics proceeded fanning the flames of WWII.

The 2008 Olympics are set to take place in one of the most brutal dictatorships in the modern world. The IOC contends the site was given to China as an incentive to open up China. Well it may just serve the same purpose the 1936 games did for Germany, to portray the country as a civilized, cultured, advanced nation despite its murderous infanticide and oppression behind the scenes. One student has been released and air pollution is being reduced in Beijing but the government still murders.

Both are clearly in defiance of the Olympic Dream.


Olympics and politics are in reality interchangeable. Countries use the Olympics as proving grounds to prove national superiority. Countries jeer others with differing politics. The Olympics bar countries based on their politics, in defiance of the Olympic Dream, and then turn around and award countries with worse politics Olympic sites!


The Olympic dream is one of promoting peace, unity and improving the human condition. Yet in the Olympics 100+ year history it has not had any lasting effect on either. Today the world is more fragmented than ever, wars continue to rage, genocide persists, and multitudes are starved and diseased. The Olympic dream is dying because the Olympics can only serve as a feel-good diversion from reality not offer any real change.

posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 09:25 PM
Thank you BlackJackal.

Sport for All

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race,...politics, incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement.

BlackJackal stated that the International Olympic Committee bars any country that practices sport discrimination. Barring apartheid South Africa and others went to prove that the Olympics is alive in ‘Sport For All.’

In addition, the Olympic movement significantly aided the global women’s rights movement. Women have participated in the Olympic games since 1900, decades ahead of its time.

International Unity

The Olympic dream is represented in the symbol of five continents, united. Coubertin realized that a prerequisite for international peace were games in and between civilized nations. He also saw himself as an educator, intending to educate all countries of sport and culture. We see the representation of nations in the international games as being a symbol of Free Trade and capitalism, in sport, culture, and virtue.[1]

Alleviating conflict

BlackJackal speculated that the Olympics have never alleviated conflict, this isn't true. The Olympic Truce (a revival of ekecheiria)began in 1992 and has resulted in the following:

  • A cease-fire in Bosnia in 1994
  • The two Koreas marching under the same flag as a sign of unity in 2000
  • A pause in bombing of Iraq in 1998
  • A pledge by African leaders to halt hostilities in 2000

In addition, I showed how the 2008 Beijing Olympics have already resulted in China signing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1997 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1998.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was created by the IOC in 1983 and is regarded as the highest court in Sport, ruling in favor of fair play as is evident from the international Hamm-Tae resolution.

Commercialization isn’t how BlackJackal spins it.
There is significantly less prize money given to Olympic athletes than other international competitions, yet the Olympics are the place to compete because of the Olympic dream. I have proved earlier that most of the Olympic sponsorships occur outside of the games, but many sponsorships occur from within the Olympics. Without this sponsorship, participants from poorer countries would not be able to play, contrary to ‘Sport for All.’ BlackJackal’s idea of money being evil would have mass amounts of participants excluded from the games.

The Olympic Movement also advocates environmental protection by example, using recycled materials every game, recycling their own facilities, and setting standards for host cities.[3]

The Olympic dream extends far beyond the realm of sport, precisely because its ideals of mind, body, spirit, and equality have such far reaching benefits. I have shown throughout this debate how the Olympic dream has aided virtually every facet of life. The Olympic dream is gaining steam too, with more competitors than ever as well as aiding international unity, world peace, environmental protection, education, and ultimately “Sport For All.”

1. Coubertin - Internationalism, Democracy, Peace
2. Olympic Truce
3. Environmental Protection

posted on Oct, 26 2004 @ 06:35 AM
Judging charges in place, armed and fired. The results should come crashing down upon us in a few days.

posted on Nov, 7 2004 @ 01:49 AM
Ok, results are in, the winner of this debate by a margin of 6-5 is BlackJackal. A big thankyou and well done to Jamuhn for making it this far in the tournament.

Judges Comments:

A very tought debate, I struggled with this one. Both sides presented their side of the debate extremely well, both of a high standard. However I feel Blackjackal just about had the upper hand. Well done.

Another GREAT debate!
I congratulate both debators on their arguments, presentations, and most of all, their efforts. This is another excellent debate that could go either way. They both did such outstanding job in this one. Unfortunately, only one will be chosen to move to the next phase...sad really, but my vote goes to Jamuhn. His argument seemingly be presented in a more convincing manner. Neither should be disappointed in their efferts, and both should hold their heads high. This debate, despite who wins, further gives an indication of the great intellectual members that ATS has garnered into its community. Both are fine example's. My congratulations and 'thank you' to both Jamuhn and BlackJackal for this great debate!

It has to be hard to argue against something as grand and revered as the Olympics, but BlackJackal managed to pull it off. I never realized how much negative history goes along with the Olympics, something I once thought of to be, as Jamuhn tried to state, for the goodness and unity of the human race. Good job to you both!

The "Olympic" debate by BlackJackal and Jamuhn was an outstanding debate between two closely matched competitors.

Congratulations to you both for a well argued debate, alas I have to pick a winner although I feel both of you are winners here.

As an idealist I was drawn to Jahmuhn's argument and in particular the closing statement finally swung me to a decision in Jamuhn's favor.

Once again, a pleasure to see two able fighters provide us with an informative and respectful debate, thank you. I felt that Jamuhn made an excellent argument, but just didn’t sell me on his view. In my opinion, BlackJackal took control of the debate and handled the subject very well.

Both debators were very good. The result of this that there was no real problem with interpreting the topic. Both used references well and had a good structure in and between their posts. I often found myself agreeing with the side I was reading at that moment, only to agree with the other side in the next post.

I agree with Jamuhn on the arguments of internationalism and against questionable sites and politics. I don't think the actions of certain nations during the olympics has a large influence on the Olympic dream in general.

BlackJackal has the arguments of commercialization and doping. I understand Jamuhn's point that the Olympics have to be paid for as well, but this commercialization does undermine the Olympic dream, whether it is necessary or not.

In the end, I think Jamuhn debated best. If I could, I would like to let both of you go on to the next round, but that is impossible, alas.

Okay, I'm going to go with Jamhun, because his argument convinced me. I wasn't totally convinced by BlackJackal, but Jamhun really brought me in to his point of view. But it still was very close.

Points well made by both. The Olympic movement was well in advance of western politics for women. Point to Jamuhn. However, it was pointed out by Blackjackal that the "dream" of the Olympics is severely tarnished by politics. I find the stronger arguements are for the winner, Blackjackal.

This debate was almost impossible to decide it was so evenly matched. Having read and re-read the arguments I could find few faults in either's logic, and the points were well made. Finally, reviewing the statements point-bypoint, I have to go with Jamuhn as the most persuasive. Thanks for the best match-up yet!

Once again he dominates in the field where he is king. While Jahmun put up a great fight, I felt that BlackJackel really had all the chips here.

Best of luck to BlackJackal who passes through to defend his title in the championship match.

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