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Making Waves

New Olympic Cold War


By Peter Jackson

The Olympic Games are coming up in South Korea in a couple of weeks, and what's an Olympics without controversy?
The forum of international sport has as often been about politics down through the years, as it has been about the athletes.
This time, we've already gotten a double-whammy, even before the Games begin.
First, the country that hosted the last Winter Games -- Russia -- cannot send any athletes under their own flag to Pyeongchang, because of alleged rampant, state-sponsored doping.
It reminds many of us of the good old days of the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
Back then, it was pretty much a given that the old Soviet Union and some Warsaw Pact nations like East Germany were juicing up at least some of their competitors.
All to get that extra bit of distance or shave off those couple of hundredths of seconds in the name of the glorious Communist peoples' struggle.
We all looked the other way then, and the International Olympic Committee wasn't about to rock the boat in the middle of the Cold War.
Fast forward to 2018, and the new Cold War the United States and North Korea seem bent on fostering.
We notice that the two Koreas will make nice and compete as one, under a neutral flag -- as they did in Torino, Italy 12 years ago.
Some may call it cynical and it certainly is political
Germany hosted the Winter and Summer Games in 1936, in an attempt to show our great-grandparents that the Nazis really weren't so bad after all.
Three years later, they started a world war from which we are still feeling the effects today.
Let the Games begin, but keep in mind the old saying in the face of flashier, more high-tech competition -- the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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