International outrage over the IOC’s decision to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics is mounting. Who’d have thought we’d actually side with Iran on a political issue? Strange times indeed!
Still, complaints continued to pour in Wednesday from different parts of the world, uniting the U.S. and Iran on an issue in ways never imagined in diplomatic circles. The U.S. and Russia were also unlikely allies in the save-wrestling campaign.
“Some people are better at lobbying than others,” he told the AP. “There is a political dimension to this. There are people who have connections, who have this and that. We may like it or not, but in a multi-national organization like this decisions get made in ways that are not completely logical.“
Speaking of politics, the Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece that covers this angle.
For years, the IOC consisted of aristocrats and their offspring. Commoners need not apply…
“You had to be rich,” said Anita DeFrantz. “It cost a great deal of money to go all the places and do all the things that IOC members did. Nobody’s expenses were paid.”
Modern-day administration and operational procedures, with a nice nudge from the efficiencies and vision of Peter Ueberroth in 1984, made the IOC not only able to pay expenses but to also include a minority female from Philadelphia, a descendant of slaves, in its august body.
But that small step for mankind — or in DeFrantz’s case, womankind — does not necessarily represent any trend toward universal progressivism in the current IOC.
So, for the most part, the IOC is still made up of a bunch of rich white males. Boy that sounds familiar! Much like U.S. politics, logic need not apply.
Also interesting in this discussion of IOC stumbling and fumbling is the juxtaposition of recent actions. First, the IOC announced it would extend the Sochi Winter Games from 17 days to 18, with extensive competition the day before the opening ceremony. Then, it jettisoned wrestling while sticking to its 25 “core sports” maximum.
So in the winter we have longer Games. Why not in the summer? Add a day and keep wrestling. The limit of 25 core sports is an arbitrary IOC number.
Let’s hope that international pressure gets the IOC to pull its collective head out of its collective arse.