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POSTPONED – The Olympics: Politics in and out of the Games

March 26, 2020 @ 6:45 PM - 9:00 PM

POSTPONED – The Olympics: Politics in and out of the Games

March 26, 2020

For over 100 years, the world has come together to celebrate athletic competition in the modern Olympic Games. The best competitors on the planet face each other in a variety of disciplines, in a mostly peaceful clash of nations.

At the same time, the dynamics within and between countries have often been reflected in the Games over the decades.

Did you know that…

  • The Montreal 1976 Olympics suffered the second largest number of nations boycotting the Games when 25 African countries protested the presence of New Zealand at the event. The All Blacks New Zealand rugby team had toured South Africa previously, defying calls by the UN, given South Africa’s apartheid.
  • Though initially uninterested in hosting the Berlin 1936 Olympics, Hitler was persudaded by Joseph Goebbels, his Propaganda Minister, that his Nazi political agenda could be advanced by moving forward with the Games.
  • Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, won a gold medal in boxing at the age of 18 in the Rome 1960 Olympics. After returning to Louisville, he would be expelled from a downtown restaurant because of his skin colour.
  • The image of John Carlos and Tommy Smith‘s Black Power or human rights salute after victory at the Mexico City 1968 Games (which is our event image), has been listed as one of the 100 most iconic pictures in history by Life Magazine. They were expelled from the Games for this protest gesture.

We invite you to think about:

  • the significance of the Olympics to nations hosting and participating in them, as they deal with political situations at home and abroad.
  • the relationship of nations with the individuality and power of their athletes, both at and beyond competitive events
  • Canadian athletes’ increasingly successful role in the Summer and Winter Olympics


Join us!

At the Mozilla Lounge on Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. for a historical perspective on the Olympic Games, followed by Q&A, snacks and good conversation!

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Toronto. In the spirit of prioritizing safety, we’ll update the event and send out a notice in case we are forced to postpone or cancel the event.




Professor Hernán Humaña

Professor Hernán Humaña is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, where he teaches a course titled Olympic Games: Heroes and Villains at Play. He has published about the Olympics and volleyball for decades, including the book Playing Under the Gun.

Humaña, apart from having been a professional basketball player, also played 11 seasons with the Chilean national volleyball team and coached the country’s juvenile national team. He was the Team Leader at the Barcelona 1992 Games. He coached in the Sydney 2000 and also in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, leading Canada to its first Olympic medal in beach volleyball.

Professor Humaña holds an advanced coaching certificate and a master’s degree in the sociology of sport. He is currently the director and head coach of the Elite Beach Volleyball Club, one of the most successful beach volleyball clubs in Canada. He is the father of Melissa Humaña-Paredes, a gold medallist at the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships and a qualified Olympian for Tokyo 2020.




Image sources: AP, Hernán Humaña


March 26, 2020
6:45 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Categories:


Mozilla Lounge
366 Adelaide St W, Suite 500 (5th floor)
Toronto,ONM5V 1R9Canada


Civic Series
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