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I'd say that's a pretty accurate summation of the '36 games. The Jesse Owens story was largely ignored at the time (America being what it was back then), and was resurrected during the civil rights era.

On the one hand, I think an outright boycott of the games would backfire. All countries see the games as a source of national pride, but totalitarian ones carry it even further. Those who advocate a boycott need to realize that the Chinese would be deeply hurt and would lash out in response. The leadership might even fall and hotheads put in place. A war over Taiwan could even result.

On the other side, those who say "keep politics out of the games" are equally wrong, as your post shows.

So what to do? I saw that we should go go the games but do things that would show our displeasure. No elected officials from any Western country should attend. The athletes could engage in a number of symbolic protests. This would get the point across without risking a backlash.

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I tend to agree, but I don't see the harm for people to at least talk about Olympic boycotts. Circumstances have provided the world with unique, though temporary, leverage over Chinese behavior. Kind of a shame for people to just throw that opportunity away.

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