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Olympic-Scale Ignorance

Sometimes, those who forget history are doomed not to repeat it.

This sign protests the International Olympic Committee’s 2001 decision to award the 2008 Summer Games to Beijing.

Unfortunately for the protesters, the answer to the question is, “Yes, we did ‘allow’ Nazi Germany to host the Olympics.”

The IOC awarded Berlin the 1936 Summer Games in 1931. After solidifying Nazi power during 1933-34, Adolph Hilter intended to use the Olympics to demonstrate the superiority of the so-called Aryan race.

He hadn’t counted on Jesse Owens, the black American track-and-field star who won four gold medals, set a long jump record that stood for 25 years, and provided the second-greatest demonstration of the power of hard work and freedom over ideology and totalitarianism in the history of the Olympics.