Triumph of the Eastern Will: How the Olympics came clean about winning
A version of this article originally appeared in The Big Issue Magazine By the time you read this a couple of weeks will have passed since the end of the London 2012 Games. The Paralympics are about to start. Politicians will have made grand claims about their long term impact on the state of the nation. But an important effect has not been about retail business generated, or our likelihood to sing and dance down the street dressed as mutton-chopped Victorian engineers or Mod cyclists, as if living in an extended Danny Boyle opening ceremony. It has been, for this Generation X-er at least, about realising my own children watched a mostly honest and clean international competition full of healthy, natural human bodies, unmarred by Cold War hatred, often sexually exploitative training and the hideous extremes of anabolic steroid doping that scarred a generation of young Eastern Bloc athletes, notably East Germany's female swimmers and track and field team. Not a large nation, it suddenly