The 1980 Olympics in Moscow. That was the last time the United States skipped an Olympic games. The reason– communist Russia decided to invade Afghanistan.
This year– Germany, France, and Austria are considering avoiding the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea over another aggressive regime– Kim Jong Un’s “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
This summer, the North Korean dictator launched several missiles, two of which were sent soaring over Japan, as warning shots directed at their western enemies– who by alliance and ideology include most European nations. In addition to missile tests, various reports indicate that N. Korea is getting closer and closer to nuclear prominence. Despite doing their best to dissuade concerns over athlete safety, three European nations are contemplating skipping the games altogether
Together, France and Austria combined for 32 medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Karl Stoss of the Austrian Olympic Committee recently said that his country’s participation was not guaranteed due to rising tensions on the Korean penninsula.“If the situation worsens and the security of our athletes is no longer guaranteed, we will not go to South Korea.”
After making that bombshell statement, France’s sports minister Laura Flessel up’d the ante telling one radio show, “If this gets worse and we do not have our security assured, then our French team will stay here.” So far IOC officials say there is no contingency plan in place if North Korea were to engage in open war against any of the participating nations. Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, still believes South Korea will be a safe host nation until proved otherwise. That belief was called into serious question on Satuday when N. Korea’s UN rep said that a nuclear missile striking mainland America was “inevitable.”
And then there’s this bizarre tweet and response from Lebron James (*not Lebrown).