SPORTS LETTERS

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The Independent Online
From D Mark Smith

Ken Jones ("Rhythms out of synch with Olympic spirit", 1 August) and other commentators have spent the last two weeks crying and stamping their feet over rampant commercialism in the Olympics. Meanwhile, I and a few billion other people around the world have been treated to a riveting festival of human endeavour in arenas that are more free of advertising than can be seen at any other international sporting competition.

The Atlanta Olympics has brought together the best athletes from nearly every country on earth. Yet, rather than relate the privilege of witnessing this to the public at home, it seems that British reporters can only attack flaws in the system.

So what is corrupting the Olympic spirit? The largesse of the mandarins from the IOC? The corporate dollars that pay for everything? Or is it cynicism in the media? Probably all three, but I suspect the latter should shoulder more of the blame than many realise.

D MARK SMITH

Wallingford, Oxfordshire

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