Killanin approvingly quotes Avery Brundage's description of the Olympics as "the greatest social force of our time." Whatever its ranking, it is a major force indeed. The men and the handful of women who control this power—the IOC—are, in Killanin's accurate words, "a self-electing, self-perpetuating body...a club to which membership is invited...and, in fact, for more than half the world's countries there are no members." This should disturb no one, he believes, "since it is not understood that the members are not representing their country at the IOC, but the IOC in their country or territory from which they come."
To the man capable of this disingenuous disclaimer, it perhaps came as no surprise that Brundage, the man who was IOC chief executive for 20 years, answerable only to himself, could tell us all that we have much to learn from Adolf Hitler.