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Debate: Should Olympic Athletes Be Allowed to Protest?

Olympic athletes are banned from publicly expressing their political views during the Olympic games. The restriction, known as Rule 50, was put in place by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over 40 years ago as a way of maintaining neutrality in sports. The IOC argued that Olympic competition should be kept separate from the contentious world of politics. But many athletes say the societal problems they care about are relevant in the sports world, too, and they believe the Olympics are an appropriate place to express their views. Listen to learn about the controversy over Rule 50 and then debate: Should Olympic athletes be allowed to protest?


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Story Length: 6:34

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234