The relationship between politics, sport and diplomacy is a long and intriguing one. History shows that when sport provides a function ‘beyond the game’ it is often always exploited by ruling elites. The Ancient Olympiad, for example, began in 776 bce in a religious setting as one of the activities during the festival of Zeus, subsequently morphed into a complex and famous sporting competition, and was finally abolished in 394 ce by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I as part of a campaign to abolish Paganism and impose Christianity as a state religion (Hugh 1998). The Olympic Truce sublimated conflict between diverse Greek city-states and afforded athletes, spectators and officials protection while travelling to and from the Games. Ekecheria, the Greek word for ‘a staying of the hand’ allowed people from dozens of estranged political entities to travel safely, even while journeying through enemy territory. The Ancient Games were also an expression of Pan-Hellenism. While Sparta, Argos, Athens and many others had their military rivalries and political differences sport was something they all had in common. In other words, it transcended politics.