Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On August 22

On this day in ...
... 1972 (40 years ago today), 4 days before the opening of the Munich Games, the International Olympic Committee expelled Rhodesia by a margin of 36 aye-31 nay-3 abstain. The vote came amid threats by the National Olympic Committee of Africa to boycott the Games if Rhodesia, ruled by a white minority, were permitted to compete. The Rhodesian team, made up of black as well as white athletes who were already in Munich by the time of the vote, tried to present themselves as British subjects, toting the Union-Jack-included flag of Southern Rhodesia, below, and standing for the British national anthem, God Save the Queen. But the team manager did not help matters by stating:
'We are ready to participate under any flag, be it the flag of the boy scouts or the Moscow flag. But everyone knows very well that we are Rhodesians and will always remain Rhodesians.'
Rhodesia, which adopted apartheid laws in 1973, never again would compete in the Olympics; the next time athletes from that territory appeared, in 1980, the country's name was Zimbabwe.

(Prior August 22 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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