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Olympics Under Fire For Human Rights Violations After Forcing Athletes To Exert Themselves

TOKYO—In a scathing broadside that condemns the organization for glorifying physical suffering on a world stage, activists from more than 200 nations issued a statement Monday that accused the Olympics of human rights violations, citing a long history of forcing athletes to exert themselves. “Since its modern inception in 1896, the Olympics has demanded that people push themselves beyond what any human being should be reasonably expected to endure, an arrangement tantamount to torture,” read the statement, which extensively documents the manner in which Olympians, many of them underage, are drawn into a life of running, swimming, biking, rowing, wrestling, weight lifting, and other activities known to cause discomfort, especially muscle soreness. “The Olympic Games profit off athletes who must spend years of their life repeating an exhausting regimen of labor that often begins when they are very young—a clear violation of international norms. While some observers may try to rationalize the Games by citing more sedentary events like marksmanship and archery, the Olympics is clearly built around a rotten core of exertion in which people are required to move around far more than should ever be necessary.” The statement went on to criticize the forced marches of the Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the use of forced standing on medalists, who must mount a podium and maintain an upright position for several minutes.

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