The180·The 180

OPINION: The Olympics are useless

This month, there was been news of more pre-Olympics trouble in Rio, news of scandal at the Canadian Olympic Committee, and news of the horrifying things South Korea did in Seoul before the 1988 Olympics. Charles Lane says ongoing scandal just proves that the Olympics have outstayed their welcome.
The Olympic torch is lit in Greece in advance of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The Games were inspired by ancient tradition, but does the glory hold up in the 21st century? (Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters)

The International Olympic Committee uses pretty lofty language to describe what the games are all about.

According to the IOC, Olympism is "a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."

But to some people the Olympic Games are associated with scandal, corruption, doping, bribery, and an exceptional waste of money.

Charles Lane is a writer with the Washington Post, and he thinks it's time we ditched the Olympics. 

Over the years the Olympics have been an occasion of international conflict as often as they've been an occasion of international harmony. They've been boycotted for political reasons, they've been hosted by dictatorships. They have spawned scandals. The list goes on and on. I do not believe the Olympics have been successful in achieving their declared goals.- Charles Lane, Washington Post

Lane feels that if we just stopped holding Olympic games, people wouldn't really feel like we were missing out on all that much.

We would do pretty well without them pretty quickly. And they would be remembered as a relic of a time when people of the world thought it was meaningful to expend tremendous financial and other resources to stage a spectacle every few years, and then later on came to their senses.- Charles Lane, Washington Post
​To hear the full interview, click the play button above. And below, listen to a bonus feature about how wars have affected the Olympics:
How wars have interrupted the Olympics.


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