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JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Own the podium” is a genuinely stupid expression, not in keeping even with Olympic ideals.

Naturally, money and resources dedicated to any object, however trivial, can give results.

I wonder how many Canadians care enough about things like rowing or badminton or trampoline to even walk down the street to see someone playing?

Not a lot, would be my guess.

With all our genuine needs as a society – everything from bridges and roads in need of replacement to medical needs – the dedication of large amounts of taxpayers’ money to sports is of doubtful merit.

As for the Olympics themselves, the constant repetition of country names, flags, and anthems is in direct contradiction to genuine sports ideals.

It is supposed to be a competition of individuals in an international atmosphere, not a mock war between nations. Indeed, this modern emphasis owes a great deal to Hitler’s Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Indeed, that is when truly barbarian concepts like the quasi-religious running of the Olympic torch had their beginning – stuff straight from Dr. Goebbels’ mind.

One thing Canadians might learn from this waste of money in search of momentary drum-crashing national prestige, the same principles are now being applied to politics by Harper.

He works tirelessly towards the American system, which is one where vast amounts of private money from special interests are collected to finance campaigns.

It’s precisely what has turned a democratic institution into a plutocracy.

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