International sports events are intended to being together competitors from different countries to compete in honest games - "may the best man win" - without regard to his race, country of origin, or political ideology. As the world gets tenser and increasingly politicized, anger and revenge often leave the political arena and enter into sports, pulling down with them the hopes and aspirations of the sportsmen who have spent years, or even a lifetime, in preparation. Spectators, too, become pawns, as governments take away their opportunities to relax and enjoy wholesome entertainment.
Sports laws policies, and random acts of intervention by countries vary in scope and kind. To influence the international outcomes, governmental support of athletic programmes and exchange is now almost universal. The Scandinavian governments guarantee employment to cross-country skiing competitors, but this modest influence is dwarfed by the massive programmes for nationalist sporting propaganda which have been engaged in by the former German DR and the People's Republic of China. A college-bonus system of support is used in the USA, and a cash bonus and military service relation system was employed by the former Soviet Union. The use or boycotting of international sporting competitions to apply political pressure on South Africa was a new development wherein alignments of nations for political exploitation of widely viewed athletic events were made for the first time.
No future Olympics should be hosted by a superpower. Given the increasingly tense atmosphere of world politics, it is inevitable that the Games will sometimes by used as weapons. The Olympics should instead by entrusted to lesser powers who could content themselves with staging an event that brings nations together and provides role models for the millions who see in the broad jumper, the swimmer, or the gymnast only the perfection brought about by discipline and aspiration, and not the ideology expressed by the government he or she represents.
As long as the Olympics is organized along national lines, [ie] national committees, national representatives to the International Olympics Committee, and national team sports; national governments will intervene to protect national prestige.