Assess the way the writer opens this editorial and how it persuades the reader.
The first sentence of this article would have captured the attention of many readers, who may have disagreed with the suggestion that the Olympics belonged to the Chinese people or who may have agreed with this view and been as displeased as is the author.
The author presents his actual concern in the second paragraph when he suggests that the Olympics have ceased to be
a common activity that brought people together in shared enjoyment. It allowed for human contact and improved the character of those who participated.
To support his contention that the Olympics have lost this basic spirit of gathering for the sake of sport for play, the writer presents examples of Olympic Games that were turned into political statements by the host countries, specifically the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
The writer also traces the abandonment of the amateur status that originally was expected of athletes, but was easily abused in a variety of ways in the interest of finding the most capable athletes to represent a given country in a particular event. The introduction of commercialism into the development of Olympic athletes is also condemned. The writer eventually returns to his opening paragraph, questioning the evolution of the Olympics into "the very crudest form of loud, boasting, triumphalist nationalism."
In place of the enormous and expensive, both monetarily and in terms of environmental impact, productions that the Olympics have become, he suggests that the Olympics need to return to a competition between individual people, without all the nationalistic "symbols and strutting."
His argument is stated clearly and he uses undeniable facts to support his opinions. He does not address how he would go about accomplishing the transformation he proposes, but the editorial presents his positions clearly and supports them with thought-provoking logic. Even the most enthusiastic supporter of the Olympic pageantry will find food for thought and consideration in the points made in this editorial.