The philosophy of the establishment of the Olympics Games is unity and solidarity and friendship and also the spread of peace in the world, an analyst tells Press TV.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Shahrokh Shahnazi, deputy president of the Asian table tennis union and president of the national Olympics and Paralympics Academy of Iran, to further discuss the issue. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
My first question to you is what could be said about the philosophy of the Olympics and what ends these games meet?
The Olympics has a big meaning in the world, on the planet on earth and the philosophy of the establishment of this issue is unity and solidarity and friendship and also I can say the spread of peace in the world and when we talk about these understandings, without the consideration of religion, without the consideration of color, language and race, all people from all over the world, they gather in the city that is the host of the Olympic Games.
Let me tell you that in the city of London for example many people maybe millions of people from all continents, from all countries during the Olympics, they come there and exchange their ideas, their culture and they make friendship and after Olympics, they communicate with each other and every four years, you can find new friends, new people and exchange your points of view.
This is the philosophy of the Olympics and this is the new term of Olympics established and founded by Pierre de Coubertin and you know that we had an Olympic in former centuries and originally come from Greece.
You talked about unity and you know the idea, well what happened to Saudi Arabia and Wojdan Shaherkani and initially she was not allowed to play in the Olympics because of her Hijab. That also ties in with the concept of unity, right? What do you have to say about that?
You see before in the instructions and regulations of the disciplines of different sports in the world federations, Muslims’ ideas were not in fact taken into consideration but step by step it is coming and it is raising and it is in the progress.
For example in table tennis, in taekwondo and in some other sports now luckily it is allowed but in some sports like karate it is not allowed but it depends on the Muslim countries officials activities and they should follow this matter and for example myself in Asia, because I am the deputy president of table tennis, I tried to get permission from Asia first and then in the ITT, the International Table Tennis Federation, with the unity of other Muslim countries, we tried to pass a resolution and now in table tennis, the Muslim ladies and girls are allowed to play with Hijab.
So it is a matter that day by day is a matter of unity between Muslim people and non-Muslim people and it is progressing.
Well my next question is about what factors do you think makes Olympics different from other sports events like for example the World Cup?
You see World Cup, every kind of these sports, they have their own world champion. For example, for tennis we have World Cup; for football we have World Cup; for taekwondo we have World Cup. Each kind of these sports, they have their own World Cup and also the World Championship. But Olympics is a gathering of sports. More than 30 to 35 sports come together and they conduct all sports in one event. This is the difference of World Championships, World Cup and Olympic Games.
Well the organizing of such big events like the Olympic Games takes huge efforts, how do you see the organization of the 2012 London Olympics?
It is a very interesting question because I have experienced and participated in five Olympics and I can compare what is happening now in London and what happened in former Olympics.
For example in Sydney Olympic Games which I was the head of the delegation of Iran group, I can say the management of the Olympics, organizing of the Olympics was excellent and they were very large to give facilities to the participants and also visitors and reporters and media people.
But I can say that in London Olympic Games, the Olympic standards which it has a definition, Olympics standards, because in all Olympics for example for transportation, for hotel, for meal and beverage there are very specific definitions and I should say that now in London Olympic Games it is not in a high level compared with Beijing Olympics and also Athens.
You see Greece is not a first degree, first ranking country in the Europe but their Olympics was really excellent compared with London. I think that all people are not satisfied, all people are a little bit unsatisfied.
Where do you see the problem?
For example in transportation there are a little bit traffic jam. They should forecast before and anticipate before Olympics and they could manage, they should manage these problems. In Olympics there are in the streets you know there are Olympics lines. Okay, this is a good facility only for Olympic cars but for others, there are a lot of metro also I think they are not really managed and conducted.
I think the organizing committee despite of the philosophy of Olympics, they a little bit did not spend money and they gathered a lot. You know sponsors, give billions of pounds and dollars to the organizing committee and these days if you follow the news, we will see that Coca Cola and McDonald’s and the British Airways they have conflict with the organizing committee but some issues that I will explain later.
Just to add to that, how come there have been so many controversial issues surrounding the Olympics? I mean there have been reports on black market tickets and this is while seats sill remain empty throughout the events? Why do you think this is happening?
This is very strange because as you know people attended the Olympics to see the matches, to attend the gymnasium and enjoy. But in this Olympics despite of availability of tickets, you see that there are black market but the tickets are available but because the prices are very expensive and in some other Olympics like Beijing it was not so expensive like that.
So one of the issues that people are not satisfied is the ticket problem and the conflict between the sponsors and the organizing committee is the organizing committee says that you did not distribute well and properly the tickets among your costumers and they say no, we did but this is your problem. So they have big dispute between them.