The Olympics

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Every two years, the world gathers in a host city to watch the Summer (or Winter) Olympic Games. Most countries provide financial support for their teams through taxpayer funding. Surveys indicate that the people of most nations are in favor of their taxes funding Olympic teams as well—although it's only slightly more than half of all Americans [1].

I'm okay with federal funding for the Olympic teams, but I don't feel strongly about it [2]. What I don't understand, however, is why countries like North Korea are allowed to participate in the Olympics. This is a country whose human rights abuses are unparalleled in the modern world. The United States and many of our allies have no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, and there are extensive sanctions against trade with the country. So why are they participating in international sporting events?

The Olympics have long been political, and this seems unavoidable. Any joint effort between multiple countries is going to trigger a discussion about the relationship among those countries. Indeed, the U.S. has already indicated we won't be sending government delegates to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing due to China's human rights abuses [3].

I think our foreign policy should be clear and consistent. However we decide to treat other countries ought to be precise and public, and should directly appear in activities like the Olympics.

And of course: Go Team USA!


[2] Lots of teams got PPP money after the pandemic, incidentally.


the_olympics.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/03 17:41 by rslaughter