The 2016 Olympic Games has already been shrouded in political controversy after Lebanese athletes refused to allow a group of Israelis join them on a bus to take them to the opening ceremony.
Israeli sailing coach Udi Gal posted on Facebook his ‘shock’ as to what played out in front of him on Friday evening. He said: “2016 Olympics…shame on you. The Israeli delegation was preparing to board a bus to the opening ceremony, which was to be shared with the Lebanese delegation. The Lebanese, upon comprehending that they were to share a bus with the Israelis, addressed the driver in refusal and demanded that the door to the bus be shut. Event organisers then attempted to scatter us on different buses – something that is unacceptable for security and representative reasons.
“We insisted that we board the bus designated for us – and that the Lebanese should de-board if so they wish. So the bus driver opened the door. But this time, the head of the Lebanese delegation blocked the entrance to the bus with his own body. Event organisers – attempting to prevent a diplomatic incident – then organised a separate ride for us. But the diplomatic incident already occurred – shame!
“How can it be that something like this occurs on the eve of the Olympic opening ceremony? Does this not directly oppose what the Olympics represent and stand for…I cannot begin to express my feelings, I’m in shock from the incident.”