You may not like or disagree Jacek Bartosiak, who was called by his fans “the first geopolitical of the republic”, but it is undeniable that he contributed to the expansion of public debate in Poland. It was the author of “Rzeczpospolita between the sea al ± dem” who introduced the term “mental maps” to the vast waters. In short: it is about a systematic perception of the world that reflects our image of it. Then we follow these maps in our behavior.
When it comes to sports, because I write this on sports sites, we are dealing with such a mind map, for example, in football. It is known that Only the big clubs count in it: Manchester, Barcelona, Real, Paris Saint-Germain etc. Anyone who comes up with the idea of creating a more equal competition, and forcing the big clubs to be a little smaller, would be considered stunned. Even in countries that can benefit from it. It is inconceivable to us, for example, that a Polish club would become a full-time participant in the Champions League ex officio only because the Polish fans also deserve something. These are mind maps in sports.
Thomas Bach commented Russia and Belarus with great sadness ¶
Let’s go back to these words – allegedly shameful or shocking Thomas Bach. The President of the International Olympic Committee said: – We excluded the athletes from Russia and Belarus with a sad heart because the decision was taken against people who did not start this brutal war and are not responsible for it. Athletes should never be victims of the decisions of their government, because this presents a dilemma that cannot be resolved.
Then he added: – Now, unfortunately, the situation has become so special that we had to refuse some athletes only because of their passport. today is Russia And Belarus, but if we allow politics to interfere with sports, one of you might be in for a moment.
The words, of course, alarmed the public during the General Assembly of the Federation of National Olympic Committees in Seoul. Surely many delegates thought: “Is he crazy? Does he think so Sweden Suddenly the bombing begins NorwayAnd the Italians will invade Corsica in a moment? For only in such cases can one think seriously of the words: ‘In a moment it may be one of you’..
Everyone thought that sport changes the world for the better
However, I approach Bach’s words with greater understanding. He uses old mind maps before him. Maps where there was no division between good and evil, and the Olympic movement was a place where bandits could lend a hand to potential victims.
After all, who is Thomas Bach? German florist who won the Olympic gold medal in the team with the German national team in 1976. Before that he was the world runner-up and then the world champion in the same competition. His sports career was marked by a boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow, to which Germany did not send athletes due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Bach was no longer competitive until the next Olympic Games. He retired in 1980 at the age of 27.
Then, as a lawyer and sports activist, he watched the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the divisions in East and West faded. The belief in the superiority of liberal democracy and the welfare state over other regimes was so widespread that it was felt that it was only a matter of time to change the rest of the world. You just need to set an example, trade, open up to others and of course compete with them on the pitch.
Sports played an important role here. Upright activists believe that by mandating states that have an inherent violation of human rights in their constitutions to organize the largest sporting events, they have led them into the light of democracy and respect for others. Under-the-table bribes made them stronger.
Sports journalists faithfully followed them. You can read in articles and books how sport is changing the world for the better. No one would have thought that today, when religion is no longer important to most Scots, sectarianism and unjustified brutality continue to thrive thanks to the rivalry between the Celtic Rangers. This is just one example of how old divisions still fuel great emotions thanks to the sport.
It also defied the extent to which sporting successes and the organization of sporting events strengthened the power of various kinds of dictators.
Since the war did not change Bach’s thinking, nothing will change him
However, returning to Bach, it was before his young eyes that the Federal Republic of Germany had first normalized diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union when Willy Brandt signed the treaty in Moscow. The Russians, because other republics were irrelevant, were no longer enemies, and then – after 1990 they returned to the European family and have been a very important part of it since then. This is how the media in Western Europe presented it. Chanted the victory of liberal democracy. Since then, the slogan “Let’s not mix sports with politics” has become one of the most important slogans at the Olympics. After all, the topic in international relations was only one superpower – the United States. A liberal democracy cannot make mistakes in military interventions.
These are the mind maps that Thomas Bach’s generation grew up in and that she certainly went through. Hence his words. And if the war in Ukraine hasn’t drawn these maps for him yet, it won’t change anything.
The IOC has repeatedly acted against the mantra of not mixing sports with politics
After all, he could benefit from the past of the committee he headed. It was clear to the International Olympic Committee in 1919 that Germanyturkey, AustriaHungary and Bulgaria should serve their sentences for the start of the First World War, and athletes from these countries were not invited to Antwerp, tormented by the actions of the German armed forces. This is where the 1920 games were held.
For one of Bach’s predecessors – Henri de Pele Latour – it was inconceivable that the evil empire, the Soviet Union, was part of the Olympic movement. with reciprocity. The communists did not want to participate in bourgeois games.
In 1948, the International Olympic Committee was again mixing politics and sport, when it did not invite the Germans and the Japanese – the aggressors of World War II – to the London Olympics. At that time, no one asked the question that not all Germans were Nazis, and that Japanese athletes were suffering because of the mistakes of politicians.
But World War II plowed through mental maps. The bloody dictator responsible for the deaths of millions of people has become “Uncle Joe” in the West. KGB and Stasi officials, always full of sports activists and athletes from the Warsaw Pact countries, shook hands with the Western belle and together proclaimed the slogan: We do not combine sports with politics.
And just remembering how gently Józef Wisarionowicz’s transformation passed through the Western European media, it is impossible not to take Bach’s words: “In a moment it may be one of you” – seriously.
Take, for example, the list of sponsors of the International Olympic Committee and FIFA. He continued the exponential growth of these major sports organizations thanks to money from China, Russia and other non-democratic countries. Look at how many activists from these countries have a real impact on the activities of many sports associations. Companies from Western Europe are increasingly reluctant to display their logos during competitions in Qatar, Saudi Arabia or any other country that does not respect human rights. They give way to the Chinese easily. Do you think that the Emir of Qatar mistakenly sent a warm message to Vladimir Putin on the eve of the FIFA World Cup? The phrase “the West is no longer in power” he uttered In an interview with Sport.pl Prof. Simon Chadwick For nearly a year, she’s been reflecting the situation pretty well.
So let’s plow our mind maps. Bach warns us seriously. One fired the next could really be ours. After all, one can choose to remain in the International Olympic Committee, which is ruled by the Saudis, the Chinese, and the Russians.
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