The founding ideals of the modern Olympics were admirable: France's Pierre de Coubertin wanted to foster peace and understanding between nations. But things haven't worked out that way, and the Games have ultimately caused more harm than good, writes Charles Lane in the Washington Post: "What we really need is a movement to get rid of them." This year, they're being hosted by a "notoriously despotic regime" that has targeted journalists, political opponents, and gay people. And that's just the latest "embarrassment."
There were boycotts of the Games in 1976, 1980, and 1984. Extremists have attacked the Olympics multiple times: There were the 11 Israelis killed by terrorists in Munich in 1972, and the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Meanwhile, "rather than curbing nationalism, the Olympics have arguably exacerbated it," whether it's through countries' bribes to judges or tolerance of dangerous sports doping. On top of that, "the whole event long ago became a corporate spectacle that has more to do with selling TV ads than promoting international friendship," and they've caused economic hardship for some host nations. The Olympics' costs are "political, financial, moral and—for athletes ravaged by steroid abuse—human," Lane writes. Click for the full piece. (Read more Olympics stories.)