Taraneh Ghajar Jerven’s recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, “2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: What about Vancouver’s homeless?” highlights the injustices perpetrated in the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.(1) Jerven discusses the expensive development costs associated with the 2010 Olympic Games, where the original budget of $660 million was revised to over $5 billion.(2)
The astronomical increase in costs for the Vancouver Olympics is especially egregious when considering that the city’s homeless population has doubled since 2003 – the same year that the city secured its Olympic bid. This rise in homelessness leaves one wondering: how can an international event that claims to celebrate peace, unity and global harmony so callously ignore the needs of the most vulnerable populations? Continue reading →
Last week, writing about sports as labor, I noted that sports are a form of collective identification—of solidarity—a way to bring a community together around feats of strength and competition that have nothing to do with war or resources.
The Winter Olympics are going on, and they show off this identification principle in the extreme. People who think little of patriotism are encouraged to support their nation’s athletes who do this not for money, like pro teams (though many of these athletes are professionals) but for glory—for themselves and for their country. It’s international competition (and sometimes obnoxious jingoism), but with a nonviolent goal. Continue reading →
Friday February 12, marked the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The ceremonies were attended by the Four Chiefs who represent the Squamish, Musqueam, Tseil-Watuth (Burrard), and Lil’wat (Mt. Currie, part of St’at’imc) band councils, because the Olympics are occurring on Indigenous land. Despite their presence, many in the Indigenous community are still opposed to the Olympics: Continue reading →
With the Vancouver Games starting today and it also being Black History month, I have pondered why we haven’t had as many excellent African-American winter Olympians as we consistently produce for the Summer Games. The Olympics, after all, mean a lot to me.
Whether they take place in the summer or winter, I’m parked in front of the television during that fortnight of competition. I get excited when I see the torch lighting ceremony happen in Greece and eagerly count the days down to the opening ceremonies in the host nation. I get a little emotional when the closing ceremonies occur and see the flame extinguished until the next Olympiad. Continue reading →