The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games, both winter and summer, are a chance for athletes to compete and for nations to feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Each four years, fans around the world get to witness true examples of the love of sports, as amateurs demonstrate skill and talent honed through years of training.
Before the Games, many of the athletes are unknown; yet, by the closing ceremonies, they will be household names, perhaps appearing in television commercials or pictured on cereal boxes.
The first modern Olympics took place in 1896, in Athens, Greece. These games included competitors from 14 nations, with the largest delegations coming from Europe. 241 athletes participated in 43 different sporting events.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), reportedly makes about $6 billion in revenue from administering the events. It costs nation’s large amounts to host the Olympics, some finding it difficult to make a profit. Nevertheless, the ability to brand their nation and the host city as tourist attractions proves invaluable.
With so much riding on victories and metal accumulation, politics has played a role in the Olympics. Most notorious was the 1936 Games in Germany. Chancellor Adolf Hitler famously left the stadium rather than acknowledge the victories of non-German athletes.
On the other side of the globe, the United States boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics, held in the Soviet Union, after the hosts refused to withdraw from Afghanistan, as requested by American President Jimmy Carter.
Summer Olympic Hosts
2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2020 – Tokyo, Japan
Winter Olympic Hosts
2018 – Pyeongchang, South Korea
2022 – Beijing, China
Be a Part of the Excitement
Major television networks broadcast the Olympic Games to a worldwide audience. It can be difficult to catch all the events because of time zone differences. Nevertheless, whole families love to gather, as in the past, to watch their favorites give their all in the spirit of international competition and cooperation.
In sum, the Olympics are a success because they provide people the chance to exhibit national pride in a peaceful manner, which is much needed in the contemporary world.