Election Connection

Balancing Act

The taste of victory at the Olympics comes with it a responsibility for representing the U.S. abroad. How are athletes balancing sports and activism in this election year, and where do the campaigns fall on sports issues?

This year, speed skater Joey Cheek was banned from the opening ceremonies for his public support of Team Darfur.

But as this ESPN story points out, he's hardly the first to face such pressure.

"The boldest political move was made by track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who bowed their heads   and raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City in 1968 as a way of turning attention to the plight of black Americans. They were quickly expelled from the Olympic Village."

A Marketplace piece from July makes the case for separating sports and politics, to much debate from readers.

Comments included this one from Kim Bruno:

"The Olympics was designed to be a test of nations. The Greek city states sent their athletes not only for personal glory but for glory of the gods and their homelands."

President Bush spent the better part of a week in Beijing with his family for the games, but Sens. Obama and McCain have kept their focus on the trail. That's not to say sports isn't a key issue for the campaigns.

A comprehensive list from USA Today outlines where they stand on issues from Title IX to doping.

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