The Olympic games debate

    North Korea creates tensions for Olympics, causing possible government involvement

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    The U.S. government has never been part of the Olympic Committee but now wants to start making decisions on its behalf.

    The government of the United States seems to have forgotten that they are not the United States Olympic Committee. The government is not able to determine whether athletes participate in the Olympic Games.

    With comments first by United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, and then White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the administration gave the impression that American athletes might skip the Pyeongchang Olympics due to tensions in North Korea.

    On Thursday, a White House spokeswoman said “no official decision has been made” on whether the United States would be sending athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

    The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is not a government agency and receives no direct government funding but works closely with several federal departments in its Olympic preparations, including the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The 2018 Winter Olympics are set to be held February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The situation with neighboring North Korea, which has grown increasingly hostile as the nation pursues its nuclear ambitions, is deemed unsafe, according to the U.S Department of state.

    While there are huge safety concerns for American athletes, the government cannot pull the Olympic team from participating. The USOC is the only organization that is able to keep athletes from doing so.

    USOC officials blamed miscommunication for the White House’s conflicting statements on the Pyeongchang Olympics, and repeated their intention to bring teams “unless it’s physically impossible or legally impossible,” according to USA today.

    The USOC will not be putting American lives in danger, because they work directly with the parts of the U.S. government to determine safety factors.

    The USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic Movement throughout the country.

    The U.S. government does not have the right to take control of the U.S. Olympic team when the USOC has put the hard work into creating the Olympic movement throughout America.

    It would be unfair for the government to take over the USOC, because the organization knows what it’s doing. This committee is their livelihood and the government would be taking away their jobs and purpose.  

    Unlike nearly every National Olympic Committee in the world, the USOC programs receive no federal government support. The U.S. relies on private resources to help fund America’s elite athletes as they focus on their pursuit of excellence at the Games, according to the team USA fund.

    I don’t see a reason the government would need to take over the USOC any time soon. It would just create problems for the government. They would need staff and funding for it if they took over USOC.

    Funding would create a large problem because the Olympic committee is currently independently funded. The government would need to create a budget for the committee and find financial support.

    I forsee a lot of issues in the case that the government takes control of the Olympic committee. Therefore, it would be better if the government minded its own business and let the USOC do its job.