The Olympics is a 2 week event that different countries around the world participate in. It is of huge value, especially in regards to the daily troubles the world faces. Those that take part in the Olympics are not only athletes, but representatives for their country. These people go to a common location and meet with other competitors from different countries, while the world watches. Whether that be upfront or through their television screens. It is an event where countries are able to compete in sports without conflict, which brings about a sense of unity and peace.
**Disclaimer – This article may be viewed as subjective**
Since the very first modern Olympics in 1896, the project of hosting the games is allocated to one city every four years (also known as the Olympiad). There are the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games. Having one city allocated means that that location becomes the centre of attention for the duration of both the Olympics and Paralympics, as well as the months leading up to it. Hosting the Olympics can give a city many economic and cultural benefits and is an event that encourages genuine support, peace and sportsmanship from around the world.
The Olympics were created to unify countries into on tournament, which brings together many nationalities over one match, and it is where every athlete is expected to respect / abide by the strict regulations and compete in a fair manner. With that said, one of the many good effects of the Olympics includes encouraging diversity and embracing multiculturalism.
The Olympics originally started as a series of competitions between representatives from cities in Ancient Greece. The events were mainly athletic, but also included ‘Chariot Racing,’ and ‘Combat Challenges.’ Winning an event was of great value and recognition as the winners were idolised by the Greeks on a national level, but they were also documented in myths and legends. The games really peaked in Ancient Greece during the 5th and 6th centuries BC, however, due to the Romans rise in power, the event ended around 400AD.
Various attempts were then made to revive the games during the early 1700’s and 1800’s in France and England, but were only local in scale. In 1890 the ‘International Olympic Association’ was founded and provided a framework for all the Olympic Games, known as the ‘International Olympic Charter’ (IOC).
The event underwent many revivals before becoming the modern Olympics we know today. However, one of the main revivals founded the Olympic Rings, which was all thanks to Pierre de Courbertin. He created intertwined rings in different colours – blue, yellow, black, green and red, with the a white background.
In his own words:
“These five rings represent the five parts of the world, which now are won over to Olympism and willing to accept healthy competition.”
The first Olympic games as we know them today were held in Athens in 1896 as a tribute to their origin. The games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes to compete in 43 events. The games were held in the ‘Penathenaic Stadium.’
Growth Of The Olympics Over Time:
(1) Sports – Compared to the ancient Olympics in 1896, much has changed. The five core sports have remained in every summer Olympics programme, which are swimming, cycling, gymnastics, athletics and fencing. The London 2012 Olympics had 26 sports in comparison to the 9 Athens had in 1896.
(2) Countries – There has been a considerable increase of countries taking part of the years. The 1896 Olympics were not well documented, but records did manage to show competitors from 11-16 different countries. The 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris saw 44 countries represented, 49 countries were represented before the second world war and more. Countries gradually increased by an estimate of 20 countries each year. The Olympic Games in Beijing saw 204 countries represented.
Below Are 5 Reasons Why The Olympics Are Good For The World:
(1) The Olympics Create Unity – Everyone respects other countries, and everyone wants their countries athletes to do their best. The Olympic grounds promote diversity and equality. It does not matter if an athlete wins or loses, simply taking part is good enough. The Olympics creates unity in people all over the world, because everyone is in awe over the athletes remarkable abilities.
(2) Team Spirit Is High – Patriotism is something everyone is rooting for when the Olympic games are being hosted, no matter where they are. Every country has pride in the top athletes they have chosen to represent their country, because they want their country to succeed.
(3) Good Sportsmanship – Whether your countries athletes win or lose, everyone supports one another. The winners all congratulate each other, no matter what spot they take because they all know how much hard work was put into making it that far.
(4) The Support Is Overwhelming – World leaders and monarchies etc., make their way to the country that the Olympics is being held in to show support to their athletes. This promotes a unionism in both the leaders of the world and the common people, as they watch their countries athletes compete in the Olympics.
(5) The World Focuses On Something Positive – For two weeks, the world focuses most of its energy and media on the Olympic Games, in which their countries athletes are participating in. This is extremely positive as it increases the nations health, media coverage is positive and conflict is forgotten about for a little while.
Below Are 5 Reasons Why The Olympics Are Bad For The World:
(1) Corruptions – There have been various atrocities within the Olympic divisions, such as with judges and competitors bribing one another, drug intakes and more. These corruptions occur due to the desire of wanting their country to win medals, which would raise pride and patriotism for other nations.
(2) Ego Competition – The Olympics is well known for receiving negative criticism as to how it is not a world competition, but instead, an ego boosting fight between the more powerful and privileged countries.
(3) Money – In order for countries to host the Olympics, the government must invest enormous funds (billions) in building the arenas and to make certain featured areas look more aesthetically pleasing.
(4) Human Rights Violations – Building new infrastructures in a city means destroying already existing urban areas. When that happens, local populations and communities are often dispersed and displaced, without proper compensation. Before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an estimated 1.5 million people were evicted from their homes to make way for the new Olympic Arena, with minimal compensation and their neighbourhoods were destroyed.
(5) International Prestige – Hosting a mega-event can create a buzz, offer the chance for a positive re-brand or garner international prestige. But, it can also draw unwanted attention and bad media coverage. Host nations often obscure human rights violations, but find it more difficult to manage the high-profile political and economic problems associated with international organisations, such as the IOC.
What Olympic Sports Are There?
There have been many Olympic sports over time, but in modern-day society, the below games are the ones that athletes participate in – both summer and winter:
Summer Olympic Disciplines:
Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball and Boxing.
Canoeing / Kayaking, Climbing, Cycling and Diving.
Equestrian, Fencing, Field Hockey, Football, Golf and Gymnastics.
Handball, Judo, Karate and Modern Pentathlon
Roller Sports, Rowing and Rugby.
Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Surfing and Synchronised Swimming.
Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Track and Field and Triathlon.
Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
Winter Olympic Disciplines:
Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bob-sleighing, Cross Country Skating and Curling.
Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Long Track Speed Skating and Luge.
Short Track Speed Skating, Skiing, Ski Jumping, Skeleton and Snowboarding.
Host cities are usually decided by the IOC membership seven years in advance. The selection process lasts for an estimate of 2 years. In the first stage, any city in the world may submit an application to become a host city. After 10 months, the IOC Executive Board decides which applicant city will become official candidates based on the recommendation of a working group that briefly reviews the applications. In the second stage, the candidate cities are thoroughly investigated by an Evaluation Commission, which then submits a final short list of cities to be considered for selection. The host city is then chosen by IOC members, via a vote.
Countries That Have Hosted the Olympics:
There have been many countries that have hosted the Olympics as well as six continents (Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa). Over 50 cities within 50 countries have hosted Summer and Winter Olympic games, and only an estimate of 15 cities have been unsuccessful in gaining enough bids to host them.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to hosting the Olympic games in different countries. Sometimes it brings about poverty, and other times it brings about the end of conflict. However, the main aim of the games was to bring about a sense of unity, which it has done over the years.
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