Abstract / Synopsis

With a title that sounds provocative but with no intention to embarrass the organizers and participants of the event of IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad) this article should be seen as the sharing of some thoughts on this activity, or more generally on mathematical competitions, by a teacher of mathematics who had once helped in the coaching of the first Hong Kong Team to take part in the 29th IMO held in Canberra in 1988 and in the coordination work of the 35th IMO held in Hong Kong in 1994. The author tries to look at the issue in its educational context and more broadly in its sociocultural context.