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We Pivot: White- and Male-Dominated History Perpetuates White, Male Supremacy

If, like me, you don’t recognize these women as household names, you are likely a victim of history education that focuses on males and white people. And while you are likely not a racist misogynist, we all have to do … [Read more]

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Montreal Gazette: WADA and the IOC Will be One Another’s Salvation or Undoing

In my article in the Gazette, I caution the International Olympic Committee against undermining the World Anti-Doping Agency. Not everyone who stands up to you is your enemy, just as not everyone who flatters you is your friend.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: WADA and the IOC Will be One Another’s Salvation or Undoing

Too many of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s ostensible sport partners appear to feel that the agency has betrayed them, by unmasking the ugly truths that lie behind the Olympic’s impeccable fictions.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: The World Anti-Doping Agency Think Tank

I joined the WADA Think Tank in Lausanne, as the agency grapples with state-sponsored doping. We are all careering towards a confrontation between the high ideals of sport and the low ruthlessness of some of the most powerful figures in global affairs. Which will prevail remains an open question.

. . . → Read More: Akaash Maharaj – Practical Idealism: The World Anti-Doping Agency Think Tank

A Different Point of View....: Olympic groups wasting $-millions while athletes struggled to get to Rio

Dozens of athletes from Canada and thousands from developing countries have had a difficult time raising the money needed to train and take part in the Olympics Games in Brazil.In Canada, more than two dozen world-class athletes were so hard up for sup… . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Olympic groups wasting $-millions while athletes struggled to get to Rio

A Different Point of View....: Olympic groups wasting $-millions while athletes struggled to get to Rio

Dozens of athletes from Canada and thousands from developing countries have had a difficult time raising the money needed to train and take part in the Olympics Games in Brazil.

In Canada, more than two dozen world-class athletes were so hard up for support that they resorted to launching crowdfunding campaigns to supplement the money they receive from government and perhaps corporate sponsors.

On the tiny Pacific Island country of Nauru, judo participant Judoka Uera  had to hold barbecues and knock on doors to get the funds he needed Getting to Rio fulfilled Uera’s lifelong dream.

However, hundreds of other athletes who had the same dream and could have qualified for Rio were unable to attend because of a lack of support.

Given the financial difficulties faced by athletes, you would think the Canadian Olympic Committee  (COC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would provide every dime possible to sports bodies to provide funding.

Not so.

In fact, both the COC and the IOC are guilty of greedily spending millions of dollars on themselves while struggling athletes scrambled for a few bucks to get to Rio.

COC spends $10-million-plus on office

The Canadian Olympics Committee’s main task is supposed to be fostering Canadian participation in the Olympics. So it’s a bit of a shock that it is spending $10-million on a new office – Olympic House  – in Montreal. Included in the grandiose facility is a $2.9-million board room, called the “Lausanne Room” – a tribute to the international masters which have their headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

An artist’s rendering of the stylized LED-light Olympic flame that will ‘burn’ outside the Canadian Olympic Committee offices at Olympic House in Montreal. 

In addition, hundreds-of-thousands of dollars are being spent on a spectacular outside lighting system for the office. To top it off, the Committee spent more than $1-million on a launch party for its new headquarters.


According to an audit, the project is facing a cost overrun, likely more than $1-million. The COC has not so far been able to collect $1.5-million it has counted on to help pay for Olympic House.

In fairness, the $10-million to be raised was specifically for the one-time project. But a more modest but adequate facility could have been built for much less.

The COC could have focused more on getting funds to athletes.

In the COC’s most recent but sketchy financial report filed with the Canada Revenue Agency for 2014, figures show that it passed on $5.218-million to the various sports bodies – less than one-half the amount spent on the office.

Incidentally, the COC refused to say how many of its 19 Board members and staff are attending the Games in Rio.

The COC is also having difficulty recovering from a horrendous sexual harassment situation.

Recently resigned President Marcel Aubut made unwanted sexual advances toward many staff members over a period of five years. Senior staff members who knew about the situation were fired.

Problems linger and it’s too soon to tell whether the COC will be able to adequately do its job of supporting athletes and the Olympics.

IOC looks after its own

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) clearly spends much more money on itself than is reasonable. Its priority is supposed to be distributing as much of its estimated $1.375-billion US to sports groups around the world.

The IOC is a volunteer organization but, as The Washington Post reported in July, it has created ways of greasing the palms of its executives and members.

IOC President Thomas Bach, a former German fencer, is called a “volunteer.” However, he receives an annual “allowance” of US$251,000 plus other perks. The IOC pays for his suite at a luxurious hotel in Lausanne that is listed at more than US$1,000 per night.

When on IOC business, members are allowed to fly first class, stay in luxury hotels, and get large per diems: US$450 per day for regular IOC members, and US$900 per day for IOC executive members.

Former Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut, who as forced to resign because of sexual harassment complaints, is about to embrace Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen O’Neill. 

Representing Canada on the IOC, and therefore entitled to the expenses, are Richard Pound, former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency; former hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser; and new COC President Tricia Smith.

Hundreds of so-called IOC volunteers at the Olympics are handsomely rewarded.

Bob Balk, a former U.S. Paralympic canoe athlete volunteered at the 2012 Games in London. Every morning a crowd of IOC members and volunteers gathered in a hotel room to get their daily stipend, he told The Washington Post.

“They had a US$100-bill-counting machine, and people were standing in line to get their stacks of hundred-dollar-bills,” Balk said. “It was crazy.”

IOC answers to no one

The IOC is able to get away with such extravagances because it answers to no one except itself.

Every year the IOC claims that 90 per cent of its income is sent to sports organizations around the world. But because it is a non-profit based in tax-haven Switzerland, it is not required to disclose how it spends its money.

A lot of money goes to non-profit sports organizations in many countries where they too are not required to account for their spending.

Just like the IOC, international sports bodies concerning track and field, swimming and gymnastics are located in Switzerland or Monaco, another tax haven.

Obviously, a culture of absurd entitlement exists throughout much of the Olympic movement, and the question arises: How many millions of dollars are not being used in the right way to support the Olympics?

Because so much financial information is hidden, it is difficult to tell how much money might be poorly allocated in Canada, and whether there is corruption and theft on an international level.

Clearly, as both organizations need to maintain the confidence of donors and the public, they should voluntarily undergo independent audits.

When such scandals erupt, the athletes know that, even though they are the stars adored by millions, they are at the bottom of the heap when it comes to money.

At the top are the big international advertisers who fund the Olympics because they want access to those millions of eyeballs. Next come the wheeling and dealing middle men Olympic officials who get their piece of the pie. Last are the athletes.

The athletes would be wise to organize and demand full disclosure from all Olympic bodies.

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. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Olympic groups wasting $-millions while athletes struggled to get to Rio

Dead Wild Roses: Today in Patriarchy – Women, Unpeople Owned by Men

Patriarchy is alive and well in 2016. Let’s head over to the Olympics – Exhibit 1:   Ooookay. Maybe this is just a fluke this isn’t a implicit patriarchal norm – we just need to find all the stories that mention a man’s status as “husband” first then his achievement… (good luck with that). Surely […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Today in Patriarchy – Women, Unpeople Owned by Men

Regan Wolfrom: Life as a Smug Canadian: Winter Olympics Edition

So it’s really hard to resist feeling good about being Canadian.

Especially when as of this post, Canadians are second in gold medals at Sochi. But you know what makes me even happier? Knowing that these great results are due to the success of Canadian women, who happen to also be my favouritest people. Fun . . . → Read More: Regan Wolfrom: Life as a Smug Canadian: Winter Olympics Edition

Yappa Ding Ding: Another Olympics, Another Scandal

So Canada is the alleged victim in another Olympic figure skating scandal, this time in ice dance. There are the usual calls for ending all judged sports at the Olympics, as if questions about fairness arise only in judged sports. (I guess these people haven’t heard about questionable calls by referees in team sports.) Every . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Another Olympics, Another Scandal

Yappa Ding Ding: Olympic Update

CBC coverage of the Olympics has been fantastic. I don’t have TV reception in my home so have been watching events via olympics.cbc.ca. CBC shows live events, webcasts of the entire event (including qualifying), highlights of individual performances, and editorials. Commentators are former competitors and do an excellent job.

I have a quibble though: coverage . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Olympic Update

Left Over: Canadian Athletes: Smart Like Tractor, eh, Putin?

Vladimir Putin and the Horror at Canada House

http://montrealsimon.blogspot.ca/

Why are you even surprised, Simon? The fact that they are involved in the ‘owe-limp-icks’ tells you everything you need to know..they probably shop at MalWarts, and accept endorsement money from any PR hack from any company (can you say ‘Nike?) that gets waved in their . . . → Read More: Left Over: Canadian Athletes: Smart Like Tractor, eh, Putin?

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

Here’s a tribute to the Sochi Olympics from The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion: * Not to be outdone, the Norwegians have come out with a response to the anti-gay laws passed in Russia prior to the Olympics: I may be biased, but I prefer the Canadian one.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

The following commentary on yesterday’s job numbers is quoted in today’s National Post (page FP4):

The Olympic motto may be “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but Canada’s employment growth is slower, lower and weaker going into the winter games.

Of the 29,000 Canadians who supposedly gained employment in January, 28,000 reported being self-employed. Only 1,000 found jobs . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta cities, province fly the Rainbow Flag for Sochi Olympics

TweetDefying the stereotypes of Alberta as a conservative backwater, Rainbow Pride Flag are flying outside of city halls in Edmonton, Calgary and St. Albert and the Alberta Legislature today in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Russia. The a small but powerful gesture is a sign of support for a community that has become the . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Alberta cities, province fly the Rainbow Flag for Sochi Olympics

Melissa Fong: Ignorance VS Hatefulness: How to talk about explain gay-bashing in Sochi

I’m kind of tired of people describing some racists, misogynists and homophobes as “ignorance”. ’Ignorance’ means that they just don’t know better, they are missing information and they just need […]

Dead Wild Roses: The Olympics Suck.

The very notion that we are spending money on an assortment of rubber disk chasers, gravity assisted sled-fanatics and dancers-on-frozen water angers me. What infuriates me is the notion that throwing money at this motley crew will somehow enhance Canada’s standing as a nation and that “owning the podium” will bring us international regard.

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The Olympics Suck.

The Political Road Map: Why Sochi 2014 is My Generations 1972 Summit Series

I was not around in 1972 to experience the dramatic and intense summit series between Canada and the Soviet Union, however I have read a lot about the event and heard many stories from hockey fanatics who had the pleasure of experiencing it live.

The Summit Series was an immensely important event in both sports . . . → Read More: The Political Road Map: Why Sochi 2014 is My Generations 1972 Summit Series

Trashy's World: The Cons have no shame

They are actually high jacking the announcement of the Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team and are making it a political moment. Un-freaking believable. Is there no depth that they won’t sink to? Gag. (1) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

The Disaffected Lib: Because in Vlad Putin’s Russia, This is Piracy

A few inflatable boats delivering a handful of protesters to a massive Russian oil rig in the Arctic and, according to Vlad Putin, that’s piracy for which they could be slammed up in some dingy Russian prison for up to 15-years.

In the non-totalitarian world, piracy has always had an element of robbery or . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Because in Vlad Putin’s Russia, This is Piracy

Dead Wild Roses: Russia: The Westboro Baptist of Nations

Ms.Betty Bowers thoughts on the 2014 Olympics.

Filed under: Ethics, Gender Issues, International Affairs Tagged: bigotry, discrimination, Olympics, Russia

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Russia: The Westboro Baptist of Nations

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Should we boycott the Olympics in Russia?

Absolutely! I think it’s disgraceful the way that Russia treats its gay and lesbian citizens. On top of that, I don’t think the Ruskies have any idea how many figure skaters their laws would disqualify, and let’s face it, a … Continue reading →

The Disaffected Lib: Wrestling is Out?

Wrestling is being scrubbed from the Olympics.   Apparently it’s a victim of dwindling popularity.   Being considered to replace wrestling are sport climbing, wake boarding, roller sports and – wait for it – wushu.   In case you’re wondering, here is Jet Li’s championship wushu performance from 1978.

If the ancient Greeks did it, up on . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Wrestling is Out?

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the War Olympics

Well the Olympic Games are finally over, and I must say I enjoyed the show, from the stunning beginning to the wild and wonderful end.

I thought the Brits did an amazing job, I was proud of all our athletes, whether they won a medal or not.

And the only thing that almost ruined . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the War Olympics

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan’s Emily Zurrer Cheered Her Teamates On to An Olympic Bronze!

The Olympics produce Gold Medals, exhiliration and heartbreak. Cowichan News Leader’s Don Bodger brings us the heartwarming story of Emily Zurrer, her injuries and the class that she maintained as Canada went on to win a Bronze Medal.

Champions rise to the occasion. Clearly Emily Zurrer is a ‘Cowichan Champion.’

. . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan’s Emily Zurrer Cheered Her Teamates On to An Olympic Bronze!

Canadian Progressive World: Christine Sinclair For Canada’s Flagbearer For London Olympics Closing Ceremony

Christine Sinclair, the captain of the bronze-winning Canadian women’s Olympics soccer team, is our choice to carry the flag during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. That’s the word from Canadians. See the Twitter hashtag #SinclairForFlagBearer. I approve.

By making Sinclair flag-bearer, Canada would honour both our gallant women’s soccer team and her personal . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Christine Sinclair For Canada’s Flagbearer For London Olympics Closing Ceremony