De Olimpia a impasse

PARIS – “¡No mezclen los deportes con la política!" El grito desafiante de los gobernantes chinos a las amenazas de un boicot a los Juegos Olímpicos de este verano en Beijing no resiste la prueba de la realidad. El deporte y la política siempre han estado estrechamente vinculados.

Abundan los ejemplos obvios. Los Juegos Olímpicos de 1936 en Berlín estuvieron tan marcados por la propaganda nazi como por los eventos atléticos. Durante la Guerra Fría, “la diplomacia del ping pong” ayudó a revivir las relaciones oficiales entre China y Estados Unidos. En 1990, Alemania armó un solo equipo olímpico antes de que el país se reunificara.

Afirmar que la política y el deporte pueden estar más separados en la época mediática actual que como lo estuvieron en el pasado es particularmente ingenuo. Beijing recibió los Juegos Olímpicos por una combinación de razones económicas y políticas, y China deseó albergarlos por las mismas razones. La tensión actual entre China y (principalmente) la opinión pública occidental en vísperas de los Juegos es el resultado de incompetencia, hipocresía y una indignación legítima pero potencialmente contraproducente.

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