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Tyranny of the Olympics

The Vancouver Winter Olympics has eroded Canadian law and democracy, and worsened relations with Canada’s indigenous peoples

By David Goldblatt   February 2010

Above: the mock set of Olympic rings ordered to be removed due to the demands of the IOC

In the run up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) defended its choice of China by arguing that the Games could contribute to the democratisation of an authoritarian regime, making a closed society more open and bringing the force of international law to bear on the hosts. As we now know, the record proved less impressive than the claims. In fact, there is a stronger case to be made for the obverse—that the Olympics can contribute to the…

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