IMAT 2014 Q2 [Conclusion | Olympics]

One of the foolish but persisting fantasies of the Olympic movement is that the Games are, or were, or will be, or even ought to be, completely free of politics. It is difficult to understand how this foolish belief continues, but the facts are these: the nations lining up to host the games are motivated not by unattainable ideals but by a legitimate desire to promote the excellence of their citizens; and the nations who have boycotted the games in the past have done so to make
genuine political points.

Which one of the following is a conclusion which can be drawn from the above passage?

A. Although everyone knows the Olympics are caught up in politics, no one is brave enough to admit it.

B. National interests are ruining the Olympics.

C. Just because the Olympic games have been politicised, it doesn’t mean that they should be.

D. If some countries use the Olympic movement to further their own ends, they are guilty only of exposing a myth.

E. We should do everything possible to ensure that the Olympics do not become further politicised.

Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:

  • Read the Question (Every question)
  • Go through the text and underline evidence
  • Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  • Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
  • Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

This is a difficult question. The best way to approach this is to eliminate as many options as possible and then take your time choosing between the rest. The most important thing to realize is that the author has not tried to change how the games are, they do not say that they want the games to be free from politics, rather the author is just saying that we need to be aware of this. Once we figured this out, we can easily eliminate B, C, and E, because they all include some opinion on the effect of politics on the game.

A Although everyone knows the Olympics are caught up in politics, no one is brave enough to admit it:

The author does not believe that it is a question of bravery needed to speak up on what is truly going on in the Olympics, but rather the author believes that some are too foolish to see what is really going on. Most people are holding this foolish belief that the games are free of politics, it is not a case that everyone knows but is afraid to speak up. Therefore A is incorrect.

B National interests are ruining the Olympics:

There is no mention of the effects of politics on the quality of the games, therefore we cannot conclude that National interests are ruining the game. If anything, it could elevate the levels of sport because the countries become more competitive in trying to show off their excellence. Notice how this is a weak answer choice because we can quickly provide an example that does the opposite under the guidelines of the text? Therefore B is incorrect.

C Just because the Olympic games have been politicised, it doesn’t mean that they should be:

The author is not trying to say that the games should or should not be politicised, but rather the author is trying to expose the games for what they really are: full of politics. There is no opinion from the author on whether or not it should continue or stop, the goal of the author is awareness and not change. Therefore C is incorrect.

D If some countries use the Olympic movement to further their own ends, they are guilty only of exposing a myth:

The introductory sentence states that one of the ‘persisting fantasies of the Olympic movement is that the Games are, or were, or will be, or even ought to be, completely free of politics’. Language is important here, notice the connection between ‘myth’ and ‘fantasy’? Meaning fictional belief. This answer choice is saying that if countries use the Olympics to further their own ends (meaning they use the Olympics for political reasons), they are guilty of exposing this fictional belief that the games are free of politics. This is the conclusion because the author is arguing about how the games are politically-motivated and not only in the interest of sporting competition. For example, the author says the nations line up to host the games to promote the excellence of their citizens, not for sports reasons. Therefore D is the correct answer.

E We should do everything possible to ensure that the Olympics do not become further politicised:

The author has not stated their opinion on what they believe the future of the Olympics should look like. As previously stated, the author does not offer solutions or opinions on whether or not politics should be in the game, they only want awareness. Therefore E is incorrect.