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Australia becomes the latest host country unwilling to ‘share its dream’ | Marina Hyde

Reaction to the 250 or so Commonwealth Games athletes and officials seeking to stay underlines a basic rule of thumb: never believe what a country says about itself during a mega-event

After the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne 61 athletes and officials defected. Heroes, every one of them, in an era when switching from east to west – or vice versa – made the humans themselves prized trophies, coveted propaganda wins in the endless Cold War dick-measuring contest. Following last month’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast it has been revealed that around 200 athletes and officials have outstayed their visas and are now seeking asylum. (Another 50 remain in the country illegally.) It is not called defecting today, you’ll note, even if it is from the sort of places that first world countries like Australia love to define themselves against.

Related: Almost 200 Commonwealth Games athletes and officials seek asylum in Australia

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