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Politics and the Olympics over the years

WASHINGTON – The Olympics are supposed to be all about sports, not politics, right?

Wrong.

Although the Games began in 1896 with the hope that sporting events between nations could bring about a more peaceful world, they have not escaped politics.

Over the past 112 years, nations have boycotted the Games for political reasons, others have been denied entry by the International Olympic Committee and in 1972 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian insurgents.

Click here for a photo slideshow “Politics and the Olympics”, narrated by noted American sportswriter Frank Deford published by the U.S.-based Council of Foreign Relations.

“Sport builds bridges, not walls” – Germany

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Germans have had an extraordinarily unique perspective on the issue of Olympic boycotts — and what they might or might not accomplish.

Germany is the only country whose competitors missed the 1980 and 1984 Olympics due to boycotts. Germany was reunited in 1990. West Germany joined the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan while Communist East Germany joined the Soviet Union and east bloc allies in boycotting the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

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