Olympic Pawns

By Janet Lynn,  Posted By Newssleuth

………………………………………… Janet Lynn at the 1972 Olympics……………………
Ordinary Americans have autonomously pursued extraordinary Olympic dreams, while other nations have involved political authorities in the athletic endeavors of their citizens. This has been exemplified in the controversy over the Men’s Figure Skating event at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, when political authorities publicly challenged the results of the competition, upset that their athlete did not win the gold medal. Perhaps this occurred because the government has a large vested interest in the success of its athletes. In contrast, athletes in the United States of America have relied on private sources, combined with their own ingenuity and hard work, to make their dreams come true without government involvement or interference…until now.
On June 16, 2009, a press conference announced the first ever White House Officeof Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Sports. The press release states:
This permanent White House Office will promote the values of the Olympic Movement and encourage increased youth participation in athletics. The primary function of the Office will be to enhance awareness of the Olympic Movement through promotion of its fundamental principles at the federal level.”

Figure skating became my passion at the tender age of two and a half when I went skating with my older brother’s Cub Scout Troop at a pond on the south side of Chicago. Over the next 18 years, my parents and three siblings, living on a single modest income, sacrificed to give me the opportunity to skate, four to ten hours a day, six days a week, ten months a year, with no guarantee of success.  Eventually, American entrepreneurs took up the cause to support my budding athletic skill. A confluence of my own “pursuit of happiness,” along with a growing quest for excellence doing something I loved, placed me on a road that was fun and inspiring. The Olympic spirit became part of my consciousness as early as age ten. By age twelve I had already made my own Olympic goals; no White House or government involvement necessary! The formation of a new and permanent White House Office of Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Sports will establish more centralized control over “amateur” sports and over all athletes in the United States.

According to the press release this new Office will “also work in coordination with appropriate executive departments and agencies, including the Departments of Education, and Health and Human Services,”
Engage in outreach to state and local government officials, nonprofit organizations and the private sector;

Coordinate federal resources, and act as liaison to, any organizing committee for an Olympic and Paralympic Games Hosted in the United States;

And work closely with the United States Olympic Committee and national sport governing bodies to increase access and opportunities for youth to participate in sports.

When I competed and traveled as an athlete and United States citizen, I encountered figure skating colleagues who were not free, from nations with government structures that controlled all aspects of their sports; parents were not welcome in the decisions of their children’s involvement in athletics.The United States government has never before wielded its powerful influence in Olympic or youth athletics. This White House office has the potential to use athletes as pawns in a game for power. By centralizing control and influence in American sports, this new office mirrors the centralized government sport structures of the nations I was exposed to that were not free.

Americans have never needed, nor do we need now, government involvement to enhance our awareness of athletic opportunity or dreams of pursuing Olympic glory. We need private citizens and entrepreneurs, clubs, and coaches to continue to offer opportunities for the less fortunate and to reward character and success, inspiring other Olympic hopefuls in the process. Furthermore, parents who are healthily involved in their children’s lives and who support their athletic desires are golden and cannot be matched by any government organization. My parents, coach, and private sponsors were the reason I was able to skate. My mom was very grateful that I was not beholden to or controlled by our government. Our unique way of life and innate American spirit offer U.S. citizens opportunities to find and pursue their passions. Individuals from all financial backgrounds in our free nation have overcome incredible obstacles to play sports and pursue Olympic dreams, thus inspiring others to achieve their goals.

Millions of Americans follow the Olympic Games. It is in their best interest that we now focus the cameras on the federal agenda for sports that will intrude into our lives and the lives of our children in profound ways, forever changing the face of athletic competition in the United States of America. Our freedom to play sports or not, and how we play them should always be out of bounds for U.S. politicians. Therefore, we must demand the dismantling of the White House Office of Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Sports before it dismantles our unique sporting culture.


Janet Lynn is a five-time U.S. Ladies Figure Skating Champion, Olympic bronze medalist, World silver medalist, inducted into the U.S. and World Figure Skating Halls of Fame, and mother of five children.


10 responses to “Olympic Pawns

  1. The government will be able to use this new White House Office of Olympics to control all our athletes and politicize Olympic sports. How pathetic.

  2. What a great story, Sleuth!

    The government needs to get out of the way!

    • Thanks Peach. You know, I see the policy of a “Third Reich” like Olympic program coming out of this White House Office of Olympics. It sounds scary to me.

  3. This is what Marxist/Communist countries do. This is what neo-coms do. No surprise. I wonder if Bill O’Reilly will defend this, too?

  4. Obama established a “permanent White House Office of Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Sports” and will establish more centralized control over “amateur” sports and over all athletes in the United States…I guess it is called STATE SPONSORED…in tune with the likes of the Chinese and Russian athletes! I wonder what will happen to our athletes if they don’t win under Obama’s communist regime!

    Where is all of the outrage at this latest information…or was this information unreported by the msm?

    • My other half is a sailor who was working to qualify for sailing in the 1980 Olympics when Carter boycotted them because of Russia’s military activity in Afghanistan.

      “The United States and 64 other countries boycotted the games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, though athletes from some boycotting countries participated in the games, under the Olympic Flag. This prompted the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics.”

      Politics got in the way and ruined the chances for countless athletes to participate in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

      It will get only worse from now on.

      • Thank you, Sleuth for coming forward with this bit.

        I remember very well the climate of the USA stance on the Olympics at this time.

        I’m pretty sure Iran was holding 52 American Hostages (11/4/79) during this period. The students in Iran resembled Bill Ayres and his boss Bernardine at the time. The 2 Mary’s and I think Asselrod’s buddy, Ahmanutjob were in charge of the kidnapping.

        We won the Hockey Gold when all was said and done. ??

        It was an exhaustive time. Terd Kennedy actually went all the way at the Democraric Convention. Unlike Hillary Clinton who QUIT and reneged when New York came to the floor in August 2008, Denver Colorado.

        Yep, I remember like it was yesterday.

        Remind me, as I am getting old now.

        • We had the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York

          “The 1980 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIII Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in February 13 through February 24, 1980 in Lake Placid, New York, United States of America. This was the second time the Upstate New York village hosted the Games, after 1932. The only other candidate city to bid for the Games was Vancouver-Garibaldi, British Columbia, Canada; they withdrew before the final vote.”

          Carter couldn’t boycott the Winter Olympics when they were going to be held in his own country at Lake Placid, New York but he boycotted the Summer Olympics when they were going to be held in Moscow, Tallinn, Leningrad, Kiev, and Minsk, USSR.

          • Yep, I remember.

            Lake Placid. NY…

            David Letterman’s mother was a spokesperson on his late night show when he was an patriotic American.

  5. The Russian Head of the Olympics “resigned” ….and the Russian purge begins. It must be his fault that the athletes didn’t win enough gold medals. I wonder where he will be in a year..or even better in a month.

    State sponsored and paid athletes should be able to get more medals in their opinion. Rather than being proud of all the athletes that participated and showed their prowess, win or lose, they are shamed. Someone MUST pay.

    Can’t wait for Obama’s athletes to show up..wonder what O will do if they lose? I sure hope all athletes and athletic organizations are up in arms against government intrusion into sports. The USA is not Russia and is not China!

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