Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Retire the Rings

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Retire the Rings

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Retire the rings

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An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published Aug. 4:

The Olympics were wonderful. They brought the world together in the spirit of peace and fair play, with athletes gathering from all over the world to compete in a celebration of human excellence and accomplishment.

Those days, however, are long past.

Blame it on the Russians for continuing to make doping a state-sponsored practice, a tradition they started decades ago as the Soviet Union.

Blame it on global terrorism.

Blame it on unbridled nationalism and countries spending their way to success, like Canada and its Own The Podium campaign.

Blame on the International Olympic Committee, an organization as corrupt as the Fdration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), soccer's global governing body.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't cheer on Prince George's Alyx Treasure, competing in the women's high jump, or the other 300-plus Canadian athletes proudly wearing the Maple Leaf in Rio during the next two weeks. They have earned their moment of glory and we should cheer their success.

Wherever she goes and however high she jumps when she gets there, Treasure is already Prince George's and Canada's ambassador and our city and our country is richer for it.

Going forward, however, the Olympics should be retired.

For many international sports bodies, Olympic years are a nuisance, an extra event that needs to be incorporated around the major annual competitions on an already crowded schedule.

The Rio Olympics are a distraction for many golfer and tennis players, to take just two examples. These athletes are normally busy on their respective league tours in the middle of summer and the winnings from those tour stops pay the bills.

Canada's Milos Raonic, a finalist at Wimbledon in June, is sitting out the Olympics. He blamed it on the zika virus but he's also looking ahead to the U.S. Open, the final tennis major in September. Winning that major would be far more financially lucrative to him, not to mention more significant within the tennis world, than Olympic glory. Just as a Stanley Cup means more to hockey players and fans than Olympic gold, winning a tennis major is the real pinnacle of the sport. …

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