Sport: Proxy WarriorsAthletes are champions on the field, and of larger issues on the world stage.

Sport: Proxy WarriorsAthletes are champions on the field, and of larger issues on the world stage.

George Orwell famously referred to modern global sport as “war minus the shooting.” In this view, sport enacts larger political conflicts, and world-class athletes become both spirited performers and fierce partisans—proxy warriors whose successes or failures reverberate far beyond the field of competition. These echoes are loudest at moments of great tension, when war may be unthinkable but competing sides crave victory and vindication over their rivals. On the most prominent stage for international competition, the athletes of the modern Olympics compete at the apogee of their sports while they engage the great political and social struggles of our age. The most powerful images of these competitors convey a fascinating balance of ferocity and beauty and show athletes not merely ...

ISSUE 52

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