A scene before the men's team ski jump event at the Asian Winter Games in 2011 in Almaty, Kazakhstan // photo Getty Images

A scene before the men's team ski jump event at the Asian Winter Games in 2011 in Almaty, Kazakhstan // photo Getty Images

IOC

2022: sport, politics, irony

Here is the definition of irony. The International Olympic Committee has spent a great deal of this past year building bridges between the worlds of sport and politics. Then the government of Norway decides not to bid for the 2022 Winter Games. So what does the IOC do?

It issues a statement in which it opts not for its usual measured tones in assessing the Norwegian government and political establishment. The release calls the Norwegian decision a “missed opportunity.” It says the Norwegians didn’t come to a meeting — that the Norwegians themselves asked for, the IOC notes — and thus the move to bow out of 2022 was taken on the “basis of half-truths and factual inaccuracies.”

IOC president Thomas Bach at the Nanjing Youth Games // photo Getty Images

IOC president Thomas Bach at the Nanjing Youth Games // photo Getty Images

IOC

A 2022 let’s wait proposal

Good grief. Who writes these International Olympic Committee news releases?

The news in Monday’s account was not who was on the 2022 Winter Games evaluation commission. That was interesting if, say, you are a student of soft power, and want to note that the president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, as well as the senior vice president of Sochi 2014, Tatiana Dobrokhvalova, are both on the commission. Have at it, students of intrigue.

IOC president Thomas Bach (right), with Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah at the OCA general assembly in Incheon, South Korea // photo Getty Images

IOC president Thomas Bach (right), with Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah at the OCA general assembly in Incheon, South Korea // photo Getty Images

IOC

Sports and politics do mix

At long last, the secret that really is no secret is finally out: sports and politics do mix.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said so, in a speech over the weekend at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. If it is a mystery why it took so long for the IOC president, any IOC president, to articulate the obvious, this IOC president deserves full credit for not just recognizing reality but standing ready to build on it.

Goalie Hope Solo before last week's US-Mexico match // photo Getty Images

Goalie Hope Solo before last week's US-Mexico match // photo Getty Images

USOC

Enough with trial by court of public opinion

Enough already with trial by court of public opinion. All around. We have courts — real courts, of law — to dispense justice. That’s what they’re for.

You can like Hope Solo, or not. But her case is not like that involving Ray Rice. The notion that the two matters are the same, or ought to be treated the same, or that the U.S. Olympic Committee ought to do something in the Solo case, and do it now, because of some notion of equality or of leveling the playing field in sports thoroughly and completely misses the point.