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Paris 2024 Olympics chief: “We are ready”
Paris 2024 Olympics chief: “We are ready” | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Paris 2024 Olympics chief: “We are ready”

Eight months ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics, Tony Estanguet says Paris plans to offer “a fantastic moment of celebration.”

Estanguet serves as President of the Paris 2024 host committee and led the hard-fought battle to bring the Games back to the city for the first time in 100 years.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist, a canoeist, is one of the most decorated French athletes and the first to win gold in three different Olympiads. In 2022, he served as his nation’s flag-bearer at the Beijing Games.

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Haiti unrest: Will the UN's troop deployment help restore peace?
Haiti unrest: Will the UN's deployment of troops help restore peace? | World In: 60 | GZERO Media

Haiti unrest: Will the UN's troop deployment help restore peace?

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Will the UN's deployment of troops to Haiti help bring peace to the country?

It certainly won't hurt, you know, a thousand Kenyan troops being deployed, as well as lots support for training of police and militias. There's been no government in Haiti. It's been taken over by gangs, massive amounts of violence and vigilantism in response. They need help. The UN's history in Haiti has been absolutely checkered and problematic. And so there are a lot of people that are concerned about this. But on balance, I'm really glad that finally someone is getting something done better. Frankly, if the US and Canada had played at least some role in this, given that their/our backyard.

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Olympic dispatch: Business as usual despite pandemic, geopolitical risks

Olympic dispatch: Business as usual despite pandemic, geopolitical risks

Last week I wrote about why hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in the shadow of Covid, diplomatic boycotts, and a fraught geopolitical environment was a risky bet for China. But now that the Beijing Games are firmly underway, I have to say they are going pretty well for the host.

On the pandemic front, China has thus far been effective at containing infections within the Olympic “bubble.” Sporting events have been only minimally disrupted. Authorities also seem to be succeeding at keeping said bubble tightly sealed and quarantined from the general population, key to ensuring the sustainability of the country’s zero-Covid policy should an outbreak pop up.To be sure, most people (including the Chinese!) are still feeling blasé about these Olympics. Last Friday’s opening ceremony drew 43% fewer TV viewers than the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. But the same could be said about the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, also underwhelming but hardly scandalous. Public interest in the Olympics has been on a steady decline for many years. Beyond this trend and the lack of crowds to cheer on the athletes, though, we haven’t seen any significant Covid- or politics-related disruptions to the Games. That’s a win in China’s book.

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The Winter Olympics in a divided world
The Winter Olympics in a Divided World | Quick Take | GZERO Media

The Winter Olympics in a divided world

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a happy start of the week to you. Got your Quick Take to get you going on a Monday, and why not talk about the Olympics, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, so different from the Summer Olympics that they hosted back in 2008, when the American president was there, and was enormously impressed, and this was China coming out onto the world stage, and seen as a global leader. Though the presumption in the West was still as they got wealthier and more powerful, and we let them into global leadership roles, including hosting the Olympics, they would eventually become more of a free market and more democratic. And of course, that was wrong.

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An employee is seen while people undergo PCR tests for COVID-19 upon their arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The 24th Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Beijing on February 4-20, 2022.

Valery Sharifulin/TASS

Hard Numbers: COVID bursts Olympic bubble, Italian prez re-elected, Yemeni child soldiers, Peruvian ecocide

34: The organizers of the Beijing Winter Olympics reported on Sunday 34 new COVID infections within the "bubble" set up for the Games, where athletes can only compete if they test negative twice in 24 hours. Troubling news for China's zero-COVID policy.

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COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics
COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics | GZERO World

COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics

China's zero-COVID strategy will be put to its biggest test to date with the Beijing Winter Olympics approach.

Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, says Chinese officials think they are taking the safest approach, but that may not be enough against the more transmissible omicron variant.

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If You Ain’t First…

If You Ain’t First…

I had a quiet moment at breakfast on Sunday and came across a fascinating study as the Olympics closing ceremony played in the background. From the abstract:

This paper investigates the effects of competition outcomes on health by using U.S. Olympic medalists' lifespans and medal colors as a natural experiment. Whereas the life expectancies of gold and bronze medalists do not differ significantly, life expectancy of silver medalists is about 2.4 and 3.9 years less than these former, respectively. These findings are readily explainable by insights from behavioral economics, psychology, and human biology, which suggest that (perceived) dissatisfactory competition outcomes may adversely affect health.

The authors find that Olympic silver medalists on average live significantly shorter lives than gold and bronze medalists. Gold is not too surprising, but bronze?

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Would athletes be exempt from a Beijing 2022 Olympics boycott?
Athletes Likely Exempt From Eventual Beijing 2022 Boycott | IOC's Dick Pound | GZERO World

Would athletes be exempt from a Beijing 2022 Olympics boycott?

Will Western nations boycott next year's Beijing Winter Olympics over China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang? Probably not, says the International Olympic Committee's Dick Pound. But some countries, he anticipates, may opt to only send their athletes — like his native Canada, which has a lot of diplomatic issues with the Chinese. Pound, a former Olympian athlete himself, spoke in an interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Politics, protest & the Olympics: the IOC's Dick Pound

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