A member of the relay team carrying the Olympic Torch through inner city Melbourne yesterday called for the scrapping of the Games' national medal tally.
    "The Olympics risk being dominated by a small group of wealthy western nations", said Jesuit priest and human rights activist, Fr Peter Norden. "We've lost the plot by substituting the recognition of individual excellence and achievement with the suggestion that some nations are superior to others because they win more medals".
    "This practice reinforces borders and highlights differences, whereas the Olympics have always been about bringing the peoples of the world together in harmony," he said.
    Fr Norden yesterday carried the Olympic Torch through the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond, to the famous "Church on the Hill", St Ignatius. The district is renowned for its multicultural community, working class history, famous criminal identities and current drug problems.
    "It's a real coincidence that I have been asked to carry the torch on 31 July, the Feast Day of the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius" he said. "It provides an important opportunity to speak out against the grotesque idea of national superiority, first exemplified in the Olympics in Berlin in 1936. The Olympic Games call us to a powerful experience of the international community, 'the global village' and to a greater understanding of our place in a bigger world than one of national competition, massive corporate sponsorships and international comparisons."
    Jesuit Social Services

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