The Politics of the Olympics

Since the games’ inception, the international olympic committee has argued that the olympics are apolitical, and promote a world message of peace. Yet, the truth of the matter is that the Olympics are political. Whether it is the politics of corruption as olympic officials take expensive gifts in return for their vote in granting host-city rights, or its the politics of masking human rights abuses as the games take place in authoritarian regimes broadcasted on the world stage., politics are omnipresent in the olympics. In our discussion today, we discuss the politics of the Olympics, both historically, and presently as the Tokyo Olympics barrel ahead and the Winter Beijing Olympics of 2022 sit just months away. Joining us today to discuss this topic, is Professor John Hoberman.

 The Politics of the Olympics

John Hoberman is a social and cultural historian who has researched and published extensively in the fields of sports studies, race studies, human enhancements, medical history, and globalization studies. His work in sports studies encompasses race relations, politics and the Olympics, and performance-enhancing drug use. His interests in medical history include the social and medical impacts of androgenic drugs (anabolic steroids) and the history of medical racism in the United States. He has lectured at many medical schools and other medical institutions on this topic.

 Prof. Hoberman is the author of Sport and Political Ideology (1984), The Olympic Crisis: Sport, Politics, and the Moral Order (1986), Mortal Engines: The Science of Performance and the Dehumanization of Sport (1992), Darwin’s Athletes: How Sport Has Damaged Black America and Preserved the Myth of Race (1997), Testosterone Dreams: Rejuvenation, Aphrodisia, Doping ((2005), Black & Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism (2012), and Age of Globalization, the text of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) broadcast on the edX global platform during 2013 and 2014 and published online by the University of Texas Press in January 2014.

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Cover Image source: Image source: Grunge, What Do The Olympic Rings Actually Stand For?

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