Do the Olympics provide politically free international competition?

Posted Feb. 08, 2010, at 3:52 p.m.

The modern Olympics were intended to provide a stage for amateur athletes from around the world to compete in a safe environment, thereby fostering international cooperation and understanding. In 2010, is this the case? Or are the games merely a stage to launch

endorsement careers? Do a nation’s athletes work to represent their country’s values? Or are they pressured to win above all to further national pride?