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Neoliberal games

International Socialist Review, Issue 93, Summer 2014 Mike Marqusee reviews Brazil’s Dance With the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy, by Dave Zirin (Haymarket Books). From June 12, the month-long soccer World Cup will capture global audiences of hundreds of millions, generating vast revenues for FIFA (the game’s notoriously venal… Read more

The Nazi Olympics – a missed opportunity?

As Gareth Edwards reminds us in his excellent letter in today’s Guardian, Jesse Owens was able to give the Nazis that slap-in-the-face at the 1936 Berlin Olympics because the boycott campaign preceding it had not been strong enough to stop the US, British and other national Olympic authorities from taking part. In the US, as… Read more

At the Olympics: Hype vs Reality

The Hindu, August 4 2012 I enjoyed my afternoon at the Olympics, sitting in my public lottery assigned £50 seat at the ExCel, with a fine view of the men’s boxing. And I enjoyed it not least because I was finally able to watch the sport itself without the surrounding hype, the layers of commentary…. Read more

Games nations play

Outlook (India), 19 April The International Olympic Committee is hoist on its own petard. On the one hand, it insists that politics and sport must be kept separate. On the other, it relies entirely on cooperation with governments to stage its quadrennial show. So keeping politics out of sport ends up meaning keeping whatever is… Read more

London’s Olympic reverie

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 30 September Four miles from my doorstep lies one of Europe’s largest construction sites: 500 acres to be transformed into an Olympic Park and Village in time for the 2012 Games. At the moment, it’s a wasteland. A few hundred tenants have been evicted from a council estate. Nineteenth century… Read more