There seems to be a lot of debate about whether or not Russia should be banned from the Olympic Games in Rio this summer. Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), makes a solid argument for excluding them – however, he does not send a strong enough message. If Russia is allowed to compete next month, what message will it send to today’s youth? Every day, today’s young people are exposed to news stories about lies, harassment, corruption, greed, abuses of power and cheating in almost every realm of society – government, business, religion, the media and arts, etc. The Olympic Games are in a rare position to offer young people a beacon of fairness, setting the example that through healthy competition, people from different walks of life can find common ground. Whether you win or lose, you can be proud of how well you played the game. The IOC has failed us, and more importantly the youth generation, by failing to ban Russia thus far. As Pound puts it, this is no “political issue,” but rather “a matter of tawdry, organized cheating.” The Olympics must transcend the rhetoric and do what’s right by eliminating any internal rot – only then can our young people really have heroes to look up to. You can read Pound's full article at The Globe & Mail.
Image: The 2012 Summer Olympics, via Wikimedia Commons