Saturday, October 04, 2008

Does the Olympic Flag Really Belong to Everyone?

In early August 2008, Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, explained the meaning of the Olympic flag: “It belongs to everyone…It’s one of the most striking and important symbols…an expression of universality and brotherhood of the world.”

Even for persons with disabilities?

If so, why do the Paralympic Games continue to be a separate contest from the Olympics? Why aren't both combined into one Olympic Games with one Olympic symbol?

The Paralympics designed its own flag emblem but the IOC intervened, stating that if the emblem was to be used for marketing purposes it would have to be redesigned because it too closely resembled Olympic symbolism.

Why is it necessary to maintain symbolic separation between athletes pursuing the same Olympic ideals? Why doesn't one symbol or flag represent them all?

The Paralympic Games take place the same year, in the same city, and in the same venues as the Olympic Games, although they always begin after the completion of the Olympic Games. Separated Games could be construed as being less respected Games.

Certainly 'separate but equal' is a discredited equation.

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