The head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, delivered out another portion of pearls
At the forum of international federations taking place in Lausanne, important sports officials puff out their cheeks sedately and pretend to be smart, as if they are independent people in making decisions. The agenda, as usual, was set by the leader: Thomas Bach from the high rostrum did not miss the opportunity to once again make several loud statements, however, contrary to common sense. Including regarding the Friendship Games, which will be held next September in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and, with a high degree of probability, in Minsk.
Over the past couple of years, Thomas Bach has said so much that a collection of jokes could be published. You won’t find complete and clear thoughts there—all wobbling and contradictions. The head of a once serious and authoritative organisation designed to maintain political neutrality and monitor the rights of athletes is increasingly reminiscent of the famous cat Vasily from the Strugatsky brothers’ cult work Monday Begins on Saturday. Like that same cat Bayun, he wanders around the oak tree, now to the right, now to the left, muttering, clearing his throat, howling, mooing, getting down on all fours from tension — in a word, he is suffering unspeakably. He doesn’t know more than half of a fairy tale or a song, and therefore, once he starts, he can’t finish. “The misfunction drove him into such a rage that several times he flung himself at the oak, ripping its bark with his claws, hissing and spitting while his eyes glowed with a satanic gleam and his furry tail, thick as a log, would now point at the zenith, then twitch spasmodically, then lash his sides...” A quote from the classics hits not the eyebrow, but the eye — just a portrait from life!
First, Bach spoke about the possible cancellation of the Olympics in Paris next year. The boss cheerfully reported: There will be games! “We have very strong geopolitical tensions, but to say that we will sacrifice the Olympic Games in Paris would be a completely wrong approach,” Bach said. “According to the UN, there are 28 wars in the world currently. Our goal is a humanitarian mission for athletes and sports. We try to take this into account; people need something that will unite them.” Hypocrisy of the hundredth level. The main thing is that it doesn’t blush and doesn’t lead the eye. Although the question suggests itself: why, if there are 28 wars in the world, are only Russia and Belarus subject to severe sanctions? Moreover, our country is not a party to any military conflict at all. The guru of self-righteousness and duplicity did not disappoint when answering another question: is the IOC going to introduce sanctions against Israel and Palestine, which are in a state of violent confrontation? You don’t even know whether to laugh or cry at this jesuitism: ‘The IOC adheres to the principles of individual responsibility, and athletes cannot be held responsible for the actions of their governments’. How does this even fit into their bright democratic heads?
Then the top of the IOC became very excited about the Friendship Games. Not at all embarrassed, Bach called these competitions politicised and warned athletes against possible participation in them. James McLeod, Director of the IOC Department for Relations with National Olympic Committees, spoke next and continued the chief’s fascinating thought, “Given the growing politicisation of world sport, we ask all National Olympic Committees to exercise caution in relation to this initiative. Indeed, any participation of NOCs in the Friendship Games would be contrary not only to the recommendations of the IOC Executive Committee of February 25th, 2022, regarding international sports competitions held in Russia, but also to the overall goal of the Olympic movement to preserve the independence and autonomy of sport.” The IOC is clearly gone nuts. And there is a reason.
There is no doubt that the Friendship Games will be held on a wide scale and whether they like it or not, this competition will become a notable event in the international sports schedule. It is planned that more than 10 thousand athletes from more than 100 countries can take part in the competition, and the prize fund will be about $50 million (each winner will hit the jackpot of 40 thousand dollars — there is something to fight for). Something similar has already happened in world sports: the Friendship-84 competitions were organised in Moscow after the Olympics in Los Angeles, which the USSR and many countries of the socialist camp boycotted. The 2024 competition, like 40 years ago, will also take place almost immediately after the Olympic battles. The IOC will certainly forcefully twist the arms of all its satellites and will do everything possible to prevent athletes from other countries from coming to Russia and Belarus. We’ll see what comes of this, but the flywheel has already been launched, and its swinging certainly cannot be stopped by the usual empty nonsense, which, moreover, does not fit in with common sense and elementary logic. In addition to the Friendship Games, next year, we recall, Russia will also host the open BRICS Games, which will be held in Kazan from June 12th to June 23rd — a month before the Olympic Games. Athletes from Russia and Belarus, Brazil, India, China and South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia and other countries will compete for medals.
The Strugatskys’ cat Vasily finally became completely exhausted, meowed quietly, sadly, took the harp under his arm and slowly hobbled along the dewy grass. Thomas Bach, unlike him, is not going to go anywhere. Despite the clause in the Olympic Charter that limits the maximum term of office as head of the IOC to 12 years, Bach expects to repeal this law introduced by his predecessor Jacques Rogge and continue to tell everyone lies. A similar initiative has already been introduced. And that’s normal for them: this is different.