Ali lights the torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Redemption Song is 40% off through Sunday, March 5th. Click here to activate the discount.
When Mike Marqusee passed away in January 2015 at the age of sixty-two, I wrote the following in pages of The Nation:
I’m a sportswriter because Mike Marqusee made me one. I divide my life not “before and after I had kids” or “before and after I moved out of my mom’s house in New York City” but “before and after I read Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties in 1998. Not only did Redemption Song rediscover quotes, speeches and dimensions of Ali’s politics and personality that had long been buried, but it revealed to me that sportswriting could be something different and even something dangerous.
Petition translated by David Broder.
1936 Berlin Olympics. via Wikimedia Commons.
Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris are still battling it out to be ‘host city’ for the 2024 Olympic Games, due to be selected by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) in September 2017. However, it is still possible that yet another city will withdraw from the contest, just like so many others that had earlier declared themselves candidates to welcome the Games. Such was the case of Boston (lack of popular support), Hamburg (in a referendum citizens voted against their city’s candidacy) and most recently Rome. Remembering that Italians are still paying the bill for the 1960 Games, Rome gave up on its candidacy for 2024 precisely so as to avoid ‘mortgaging the city’s future’. For some observers Donald Trump’s victory is bad news for Los Angeles. But maybe not. The IOC has shown in the past that sexist, racist and xenophobic statements do nothing to disturb its plans. On the contrary, organising the Games in the land ruled by a billionaire is the stuff of dreams for the members of the Olympics’ governing body; it might actually help the American city’s candidacy.
Today marks the 48th anniversary of the one of the Olympic Games' most famous moments: the Black Power salute of John Carlos and Tommie Smith in Mexico City, 1968. This extract from Jules Boykoff's Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics details the context of the salute, as well as its consequences for Smith and Carlos, and the Games as a whole.