But silence over China "that little country known for tucking its lovely Uyghurs away neatly in dark spaces".
The International Surfing Association has extended its competition ban of Russian surfers running up to the 2024 Olympic Games.
Apparently, the ISA wants to show you its morals much the way the Dali Lama wants Sam George to show his secret spots.
The continued ban is in reaction to Moscow’s attempted reclamation of Ukraine, its former sister state. If you haven’t heard, the year-long aggression in the East hasn’t gone over well in the West, as the razed cities, estimated 30,000 civilian casualties, and the kind of general vulgarities associated with invasions pile up.
According to the ISA, “these decisions are the result of the ISA’s strong condemnation of the Russian Government’s invasion of Ukraine – a war which has been fought for more than a year. As a top priority, the ISA is ensuring the safety of the public, athletes and officials, and is protecting the integrity of its competitions. The ISA continues to express its solidarity with the people and surfers from Ukraine.”
However, the International Olympic Committee, from which the ISA takes its guidance, makes exception for Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag as the IOC has “serious concerns” over excluding athletes “strictly based upon their nationality.”
Cheers to a world without bias.
Yet here’s where the ISA deviates stating, “There is no provision in the ISA rule book for the participation of individuals outside their national teams, including for World Surfing Games and other events that play a part in athlete qualification for the Olympic Games via their National Olympic Committees.”
Hard line tactics here from surfing’s world governing body.
Does the ISA believe that the barbaric Wagner Group eating up Bakhmut will see this, drop their guns and pick up their rosary beads?
Of course, this could be the rare moment in history when every voice screams, “This ain’t right.”
It’s a fool’s bet that we’d see a surfer with the hammer and sickle on the sleeve in Teahupo’o next summer, anyway.
It makes one think the ruling is simply moral preening, knowing that the exclusion of any potential (see fool’s bet) Russian surfers from competition will have zero impact on the war?
Afterall, the IOC, and by extension the ISA, continues their silence over China’s participation in sporting competition, that little country known for tucking its lovely Uyghurs away neatly in dark spaces. Since 2014, over one million Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang territory have been killed or imprisoned in “re-education camps.”
And remember Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai? In 2021, after accusing a senior Communist party official of sexual misconduct, she disappeared. IOC president Thomas Bach shrugged and Peng is still gone.
The expressed goal of the Olympic movement is to “contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without a discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.”
Considering this mission statement, should not the ISA let surfers compete regardless of where they happened to drop from mother’s womb?