Is Flogging the Answer to 2014 Sochi Olympics Safety and Security?
It’s amazing that such an ancient part of our historical existence has to be laden with fears of safety and security as we soon celebrate the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In response to threats of terrorism, $50 billion has been invested into:
- 60,000 uniformed officials;
- 5,500 surveillance cameras;
- The use of the technical system SORM to monitor cell phone calls, emails, messenger services and chats;
- Drones; and
- Positioning systems that can direct submarines to prevent attacks from sea.
That’s some pretty high-tech stuff! This makes me wonder what our ancient kinfolk did to keep their Olympic Games safe. After all, some of the best remedies are based in history.
Reviewing historical records and artifacts, historians have come to tell the tale of Olympic Games as far back as 776 BC in the ancient plains of Olympia where competitors would show off their skills in running, jumping, throwing shot put and discus, boxing and wrestling, pankration (a primitive form of martial arts) and equestrian events. With all this throwing, karate chopping, jumping, kicking and horse wrangling going on, how did the ancients control the Olympics?
From essays written in 1998 by Nigel Crowther in the journal Nikephorous, apparently the right to flog was given to chief officials who could also appoint other officials to keep order with whips, sticks and shields. Flogging was used as punishment for a false start or other forms of cheating and could also be used for crowd control, which is maybe something the “modern” Olympic game officials should consider in response to threats of terrorism.
I know I’d think twice about throwing a pipe bomb into a crowd if I knew whips were flying around!
As the 2014 Olympic Winter games are soon to get underway, I wonder if taking it “old school” by whipping and beating those who threaten to terrorize these sacred games is the solution to this evolving terrorist threat? This seemed to work in the ancient days, and as far as I can tell, the world isn’t any closer to putting a stop to terrorism, so maybe looking back to the ways of our ancestors could hold the answer we’re all searching for.
Posted by Ginger Hill on Jan 28, 2014