Sport: Are the Olympics Dead?

A new and lamentable Olympic record was getting as much attention throughout the world last week as the feats of Nadia Comaneci. "Nations boycotting: 25." That grim statistic raised severe doubts about the future of the Games themselves. There was widespread resentment against Canada for kowtowing to Peking and thereby forcing 42 athletes from Taiwan to withdraw (TIME, July 26). There was both consternation and anger over an African walkout directed against New Zealand because it sent a rugby team to South Africa.

"A global wrath against the Canadian government is certain," wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine. "In a confrontation between sports...

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