Manuel: I share your sentiments regarding the politicization of the Olympics. When I was a youngster, I was taken to a weekend-long International AAU meet that was held in the city in which I was raised. It was such an exciting show that, to this day, watching track-and-field competition ranks as one of my favorite spectator sports. The athletes competed in events I had, until then, never even heard of (e.g., steeplechase, hammer throw, walking, etc.) It was, for the entire weekend, a purely individualistic form of competition (this guy was the world's fastest runner, etc.) There was no flag-waving that I recall, and any celebration was directed to someone breaking a world's or AAU record.