|KNOW THE BEST IN SPORT|
|February 3-9, 2021|
Boycotting the Olympic Games is a bad idea
Some bureaucrats in countries like Canada have suggested a boycott to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games due to China’s track record. But an Olympic boycott is a cheap, populist scapegoat.
The 1980 Olympic boycott did nothing to stop the USSR from invading Afghanistan and the 1984 boycott did nothing to stop US imperialism to continue spreading. There is no evidence in reason or fact that a boycott to a a sport event has any mechanism to enact a political change.
What it would do is to provide politicians a way of saying they are “doing something” to improve the Human Rights conditions for the people in China, Xinjiang and Tibet when actually doing nothing. They might as well “like” more Facebook pages and have the same impact. It is a waste of attention and energy while at the same time destroying the lifelong dreams of individuals and teams that have nothing to do with the political situation or abusing human rights.
If governments want China to change they have avenues. They can pursue international sanctions and especially they can also stop buying from China. In the end it is giving the regime more money what is making it more powerful. Yet these governments still buy billions from them.
Of course that is uncomfortable for the bureaucrats so they prefer for athletes to bear the burden. But athletes, especially from other countries, do not have the burden to change the human rights situation in another country. If they do that is great, but them not competing would be irrelevant for the cause anyway.
If governments are stubborn on using the Olympic Games as a form of making the case of Human Rights violations more visible they can take actions outside in the non-sport side of things: not sending authorities to the Games, not attending the Opening and Closing ceremonies, using a certain color in the uniforms or whatever. But sport is first and foremost about sport.
Although sport it can be a vehicle to promote peace and change by getting people together, by bridging differences and establishing dialogue. Avoidance is actually a way of escalating conflict. It solves nothing, it improves no relations and it increases the perception of bad faith. If anything it make things worse and enables a possible backlash. Which of course, some people behind their desks might not care about when they have nothing at stake. So comfortable.
|Five things to know from last week|
- Endurance tests defined in the last hour. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona were won by Wayne Taylor Racing for the third time in a row, this time with Filipe Albuquerque (POR), Ricky Taylor (USA), Alexander Rossi (USA) and Hélio Castro-Neves (BRA). It was a great race that was defined just in the last lap with five cars on the lead lap. Corvette won the GTLM again, with Jordan Taylor (USA), Nicky Catsburg (NED) and Antonio García (ESP), who had to miss the celebrations due to a positive covid test. Another test of endurance that was defined until the very last day was the 40-day Vendée Globe Race, which was won by Yannick Bestaven (FRA) in his Maître Coq IV. He was the third to reach the French coast but thanks to a bonus given for assisting Kevin Escoffier (FRA), he became the winner of this test, in front of Dalin and Burton. (Watch their arrival)
- The old and the new at X-Games. Jamie Anderson (USA) won her 18th X-Games medal and her 8th gold in the Snowboard slopestyle, at the X-Games Aspen. No other woman has won more X-Games medals, while Henrik Harlaut (SWE) won his 8th X-Gams gold in Freestye Skiing the most in the sport. Dusty Hendricksen (USA, Snowboard) and Eileen Gu (CHN, Freestyle Skiing) won two gold medals…On their debuts, aged 17. (Watch a highlight reel – X-Games)
- German sliders again. Germany won four gold medals at the Luge World Championship. Julia Taubitz (DEU) won the Women’s Sprint and Classic race gold medals, as well as thte Team relay silver, teaming up with Doubles World Champions Toni Eggert / Sascha Benecken and with Felix Loch, who was upset again my Roman Repilov (RUS), who also own gold in the Men’s Classic race last year. Nico Gleirscher (AUT) won the Men’s Sprint and Austria also won the Relay gold. In bobsleigh, Francesco Friedrich and Alexander Schüller were impressive again, as they won the 2-Man and 4-Man World Cups by taking the last races at Innsbruck. Friedrich won all but one race in the season. (Watch the highlights from Innsbruck)
- Cyclo-cross Dutch domination. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) beat Wout van Aert (BEL) to take his fourth Cylo-Cross World Championship in a great track at Ostende, Belgium. Wout had a flat tyre but van der Poel was faster anyway. Lucinda Brand (NED) finished her great season by winning the Women’s race, in a Dutch 1-2-3. (Watch the Men’s Elite highlights – UCI)
- Burov flies again. Maxim Burov won his sixth straight World Cup Gold in Aerials, fifth individual, y winning the World Cup event in Belarus. (Watch Burov’s gold jump – FIS)
|GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK|
Gold: Björn Goop (SWE) and Face Time Bourbon (FRA)
(Harness Racing, Sweden and France)
Goop and FaceTime Bourbon won the Prix D’Amerique, the most important harness race in the world, for the second time in a row. They did it with the fastest race time ever, 3 ’11 “05, with a kilometer reduction of 1’10” 8, translated to a reference speed of 50,85 km/h.
Watch the race (Le Trot TV)
Silver: Denmark National Handball Team
Denmark won the 2021 IHF Men’s Handball World Championship by defeating Sweden. It is the second consecutive World Championship where they have won every single match. This had not been done since over 60 years, when the Champions played three matches.
Replay the Final match between Denmark and Sweden
Bronze: Alex Pereira
Pereira became the first Kickboxer to ever hold two Glory World Title at the same time. Glory Middleweight Champion since 2017, he beat Light Heavyweight Champion, Artem Vakhitov (RUS) so he now holds two belts. He then called for a fight against Heavyweight World Champion Rico Verhoeven (NED), who made it look easy when he won the 4-man Heavyweight Glory tournament the very same day. He has not lost in six years.
Watch a clip on the Pereiras (Glory)
|GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA|
The NFL Super Bowl will see one of the most expected matchups in a while: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers with last decade’s star, Tom Brady (USA), and the Kansas City Chiefs with new star Patrick Mahones (USA).
The FIFA Club World Cup could be the coronation of Bayern Munich’s season, one of the best ever, but first this weekend they have to beat the winner of the match between Tigres UANL (MEX) and Ulsan Hyundai (KOR).
Horse Racing has a very big week of Jump Grade 1 races and there are some Flat Racing Grade 1 races, a week after Melody Belle tied the record for most Grade 1 wins in New Zeland, in a race marred by the fatal injury for Rock On Wood.
The Alpine Skiing World Championships will start in Italy but sadly without local Sofia Goggia (ITA), who sustained an injury last weekend.
Golf continues with PGA and European Tour tournaments, after Patrick Reed (USA) and Paul Casey (ENG).
Australian Cricket has its most important domestic weekend, with the conclusion of its Big Bash League.
FIS World Cup Garmisch Partenkirchen (DEU)
FIS World Championship (ITA)
NFL – Super Bowl
African Nations Championship – Semis and Final
Domestic Cups (Final Copa do Brasil de Futebol, Coppa Italia Semi-finals, DFB Pokal, FA Women’s League Cup Semifinals etc.)
Domestic Leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A, Liga MX, Brasileirão Assaí, Barclays FA Women’s Super League, etc.)
FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020
Aussie Rules Football:
AFL Women’s Regular Season
King of the Hammers starts (Johnson Valley, California)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Bubba Raceway Park, USA)
TC 2000 (Buenos Aires, ARG)
USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series (Bubba Raceway Park, USA x2)
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars (Volusia Speedway Park, USA x3)
XXIX Championship of Russia. Super League – 2020-2021 Stage I
Serie Nacional de Béisbol de Cuba Quarter-Finals
FIBA Intercontinental Cup
NBA Regular Season
Miami Jai Alai games
Campeonato Parejas Clasificación Liguilla
Main nue Pro individuel – 3ème Journée
WST BetVictor Shoot Out
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup (Australia x2)
World Boxing Council World Female Super Bantam Title – Yamileth Mercado (MEX) vs Julissa Alejandra Guzmán (MEX)
World Boxing Council World Female Super Bantam Title – Yamileth Mercado (MEX) vs Julissa Alejandra Guzmán (MEX)
Champions Chess Tour
2019–21 ICC World Test Championship (Various)
Australian Big Bash League Finale
Women’s T20 International: South Africa vs Pakistan
FIS World Cup (Sweden)
Telenet Superprestige – Middelkerke (Belgium)
X²0 badkamers Trofee – Krawatencross (Belgium)
Arena of Valor – RoV Pro League 2021 Summer
Arena of Valor – Arena of Glory Spring 2021
League of Legends Spring Seasons (LCK, LCS Spring, LEC, LPL)
PUBG Mobile PUBG Global Invitational.S 2021
Quake Pro League Season 2: Stage 2
Starcraft Brood War – AfreecaTV StarCraft Team League Season 2
Men’s FIH Pro League Matches
FIS World Cup – IHC FREESTYLE INTERNATIONAL (USA)
European Tour (Saudi Arabia)
PGA Tour – Waste Management Phoenix Open (USA)
2020–21 EHF Champions League group stage
Horse Racing (Flat):
Gran Premio Miguel Alfredo Martínez de Hoz (Argentina)
C.F. Orr Stakes (Australia)
Grande Premio Henrique Possolo, Grande Premio Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
El Derby (Chile)
Horse Racing (Jump):
Scilly Isles Novices Chase (England)
Arkle Novice Chase, Arkle Novice Chase, Dublin Chase, Irish Champion Hurdle, Golden Cygnet Novice Hurdle, Spring Juvenile Hurdle,Spring Juvenile Hurdle, Flogas Novice Chase, Irish Gold Cup (Ireland)
Kontinental Hockey League Regular Season
NHL Regular Season
Red Bull King of the Air 2021
Ladies’ Gaelic Football:
All Ireland Club SemiFinals
FIL World Championship Natural Track (Austria)
Mixed Martial Arts:
UFC Fight Night: Alistair Overeem (NED) vs. Alexander Volkov (NED)
AMA Kenda SRT National Hare & Hound Championship (Lubbock Trail Riders, USA)
AMA Ice Race Grand Championship – Oval (Oshkosh, USA)
King of the Motos (Johnson Valley, California)
Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship (Indianapolis, USA x2)
IFSS World Cup Snow (Russia, Norway)
Nordic Combined Skiing:
FIS World Cup Klingenthal (Germany)
Grand Prix Series – Hinsdale Challenge Men’s & Women’s NRT
GCPC – The Sterling Cup – High Goal
The $100,000 World Cup by Audi – 0-40 Goal starts (USA)
WPT – Dubai Silver Cup
WWPT – King Power International Ladies Tournament (THA)
SHOOT BOXING 2021 act.1
ISSF Grand Prix Shotgun (MAR)
F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup
FIS World Cup (DEU)
FIS World Cup Women (AUT)
FIS World Cup Bannoye (PS/PGS) (RUS)
Natural Selection Tour
FIS World Cup (France)
Red Bull Magnitude
WTA Gippsland Trophy, Yarra Valley Classic, Grampians Trophy, Australian Open (AUS)
*This agenda is based on official information at time of publication. All events are subject to change and/or cancellation.
Sport’s best values
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Our intention here is clear: we want to keep Salla as it is, and our winters cold and full of snow. So, there was this crazy idea: to host the Summer Games in one of the coldest towns on the planet.”
Save Salla campaign
A 2023 Olympic bid parody by the coldest town in Finland