In a democracy politics is a good thing, and this certainly has been America's big political week. But in sports, politics can be perilous. This is the week that members of the international Olympics community are meeting in Mexico City, seeking to find a way to remove some of the politics from the Olympic Games. They want to prevent a repetition of the boycotts that have marred the past three summer Olympics, and that could permanently fragment the Olympics.Skip to next paragraph
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The most immediate problem is the 1988 games, scheduled for Seoul. Inasmuch as the Soviet Union bitterly opposes the South Korean regime, will four years hence the USSR and its allies boycott their second successive Olympics? As an emerging dynamic capital, Seoul deserves the games.
Members of the Association of National Olympics Committees, now holding the Mexico meeting, seek to reduce the politicizing of the games.
There is no easy answer. But among ideas offered by the US Olympic Committee, these merit consideration: require nations to commit themselves on whether to participate in an Olympics much further in advance than two months as at present; and give greater consideration to the wishes of athletes, who bear the brunt of boycotts.