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Let's Stop Pretending the Olympics Are About World Peace

Reuters

By Jonathan S. Tobin, The New York Post

What’s wrong with the Olympics isn’t limited to the rapturous reception accorded to Kim Yo-jong in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

As Bethany Mandel pointed out here, it’s a disgrace that the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was fawned over by the international press and favorably compared to Vice President Mike Pence because he refused to play along with that evil regime’s charm offensive. It’s appalling that many are so willing to embrace those responsible for countless murders and torture just to take a swipe at President Trump.

But the heart of the problem isn’t the obsession with Trump or even the North Koreans’ clever use of the Olympics to soften the image of what is arguably the worst tyranny on the planet. The real problem is that the Olympics always lend themselves to bad actors and foolish notions about the majesty of sports and international cooperation. The Olympics are the United Nations of sports — high-minded principles and feel-good sentiments exploited by hypocrites to the detriment of the cause of freedom.

The Olympics are great for athletes and for a network like NBC that ponied up billions for the rights to cover them. They’re sports for casual fans, and they make great television. More than that, the games thrive because of notions about sports transcending conflicts that are essential to the Olympic myth.

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