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Olympic Controversies

Uploaded by shorty on Aug 10, 2001

The most important thing at the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as the important thing about life is not to conquer but to struggle well. The words spoken by Pierre de Coubertin, father of the Modern Summer Olympic Games. Baron Pierre de Coubertin may have intended for the new Olympic Games ‘to be a period of concord in which all differences of status, religion, politics and race would be forgotten’ but unfortunately as the Games have progressed, so too have the political overtones associated with them.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, by reviving the ancient Olympic Games hoped that competition in sports would ‘lead to a new international friendship and better cooperation amongst the nations, whilst also allowing athletes to be exposed to different values than those of their own.’ It is with misfortune that the Olympic Games have taken an unexpected turn and are used time and time again as another measurement for the ultimate victory, the ultimate dominance, the ultimate triumph on the world stage.

In the commotion of the promotion of the Olympic Games, it is often forgotten that the original principles of the games included that individuals were to be contested against one another, and that countries played no part. In fact, in the first Olympiads, there were no formal teams of nations, rather an assortment of individuals who came to Athens on their own expense for their own purposes.

As the Olympic Games progressed, it became more and more apparent for participating nations that it was an excellent opportunity to promote their country. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Olympic Games is relayed to countries all over the world, exposing it onto a world audience. Even before technological advances of television, the Olympic Games were used by the countries to elevate themselves amongst one another. Even in the first Olympiad of 1896 in Athens, the realisation of the chance or promotion was evident, the Greek royal family of George I ‘used the games as a device to build its power.’ In addition, when television was initially introduced, the prospect of exposure was heightened. Although television was first used to transmit images from one country to another in the Summer Olympic Games of 1960 in Rome, it was further intensified in 1964 in Tokyo. The mayor of Tokyo announced that “without the Olympics, Japan would not...

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Uploaded by:   shorty

Date:   08/10/2001

Category:   History

Length:   14 pages (3,158 words)

Views:   1441

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