THE OLYMPIC GAMES • Objectives • In the two lessons on the Olympics you should learn about:- • The History of the Ancient & Modern Games. • The Importance of The Olympics as an International event. • The controversies surrounding various Games in the modern era • The advantages and disadvantages of hosting the Olympics.
THE OLYMPIC GAMES • A N C I E N T O LY M P I C GA M E S • The first recorded Ancient Olympic Games were in 776BC. They lasted for approximately 1000 years. Then in 394AD they were banned by the Roman Emperor, Theodosius. He forbade any pagan festivals, which included the Olympic Games. • The Games were held in Olympia. A village in a sacred fertile valley, approximately 500km south west of Mount Olympus, after which it is named. Originally, organised as a religious, sporting and cultural festival, the Ancient Olympic Games were held in honour of Zeus, the father of the gods. • The Ancient Greeks believed that both the body and mind needed discipline. They believed that those who practiced this discipline could best honour Zeus. The perfect human would come from a “marriage of mind and muscle”. • The name “Olympic” is derived from Mount Olympus, the home of the Greek gods. The Games of Olympia were held in honour of Zeus. They were held every four years. This time span has become known as an Olympiad. Only Greek citizens were allowed to compete. For centuries Greece was divided into independent states. These states were often at war with one another. However, during the Olympic festival there was a guaranteed official truce, called the Ekecheiria. This allowed athletes to travel safely from their cities, across the Greek Empire, to take part in the Games. A violation of this truce was punishable by death. And yes they had to compete naked!!!!
THE OLYMPIC GAMES • THE BIRTH OF THE NEW GAMES • It was Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France who dreamt up this ambitious project. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Olympic Games, plus from Much Wenlock! Coubertin decided to create the modern Olympics and founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 in Paris. This new committee set itself the objective of organising the first modern games. • The first modern Olympic Games in 1896 featured many references to the original Greek Games • They were held in Athens as a reminder that the Olympic Games originated in Greece. • Most of the sports on the programme of the ancient Olympic Games were echoed in the modern Games. The organisers even went as far as to invent the marathon
THE OLYMPIC GAMES • De Coubertin liked the way that sport was organised in Britain and visited lots of events including the Henley Regatta – this combined with the discovery of the ruins of the original stadium in Olympia gave him the push to start the Olympics. • He believed that the games would promote world peace and harmony as seen in his quote which is still displayed on the scoreboards at each games. • “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part. Just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle” The IOC which was originally chosen by the Baron is now huge and has representatives from all the countries who take part. They decide where the games will take part and chose the city 6 years before the event. • At first not many cities wanted the ‘honour’ as the games are extremely expensive and usually made a loss. This changed after 1984 when because of marketing and sponsorship the games resulted in a ‘surplus’ • It now costs nearly as much to make a bid as host the games!
Rings, motto and flame —Transmitting the values of Olympism through symbols : universality, excellence, peace and openness to others. The Rings Five interlacing rings to illustrate the universality of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games — Rings and flag proposed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1914 — Presence of the rings and flag at the Olympic Games — Symbol recognised all over the world. Rings represent the five continents and the colours are in every flag in the world. The Motto The Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words : Which means : FASTER — HIGHER — STRONGER The Flame Link between the Games of antiquity and the modern Games — Message of peace and friendship — Lighting of the flame and organisation of the relay. THEOLYMPICGAMES
THE OLYMPIC GAMES • The Olympic games were the first major international sporting event and they are still the most important and successful of all the events that take place. • However, things have not always run smoothly and nearly all of the recent one have been affected by problems of one sort or another.
This was a games dominated by politics – Hitler was in power and wanted the games to be a propaganda exercise for his ideals and beliefs. One of these was that the Aryan master race – that people who were blond, fair and true Germans – were superior to all others. However Jesse Owens a black USA athlete won 4 gold medals and this along with many other black athletes winning medals foiled Hitler's plans. The USA team nearly hadn’t gone to the games because they were concerned about what was happening to Jews and Black people in Germany under Hitler but this ended up being the best way to counteract his ideas to the world at large. It did make the IOC think much more carefully about who to let host the games from then on. THE BERLIN GAMES 1936
THE MEXICO GAMES -1968 • Mexico was a very controversial games for several reasons. Firstly it was the first one to be held at high altitude – helps athletes who train at altitude and those in short explosive events. • Secondly Mexico was a very poor country and people worried that they would not be able to afford the games – they were still paying the money off many years later. • There were also several black American athletes who gave a black power salute during their medal ceremonies. This was to protest at the way black people were treated in America. Two athletes were sent home by the American team.
On the morning of September 5, with six days left in the Games, the worst tragedy in Olympic history hit. Eight Arab terrorists stormed into the Olympic village and raided the apartment building that housed the Israeli contingent. Two Israeli athletes were killed and nine more were seized as hostages. They demanded the release of over 200 Palestinians serving time in Israeli jails, along with two renowned German terrorists. After a day of unsuccessful negotiations, the terrorists collected the hostages and headed for the military airport in Munich for a flight back to the Middle East. At the airport, German sharpshooters opened fire, killing three of the Palestinians. A horrifying gun battle ensued, claiming the lives of all nine of the hostages, along with one policeman and two terrorists. THE MUNICH GAMES - 1972
Athletic competition was suspended for 24 hours. During a day of mourning, a memorial service was held at the main stadium in front of 80,000 spectators. In a controversial decision, IOC president Avery Brundage declared, "the Games must go on." And so they did, with the Olympic and national flags flying at half-mast. The most memorable footage from Munich should have been that of American swimmer Mark Spitz winning his seventh gold medal or 17-year-old Russian gymnast Olga Korbut wowing the world on the balance beam. Instead, we're left with disturbing photos of terrorists in ski masks and of a policeman standing on the roof of the compound waiting to pounce with a semi-automatic weapon. And ultimately we're left with the video of ABC announcer Jim McKay uttering his fateful words, "They're all gone." THE MUNICH GAMES - 1972
South Africa had been banned from Tokyo Olympics because of apartheid. A New Zealand rugby team had toured South Africa and therefore upset African Nations. A total of 30 nations , mostly African, boycotted the Montreal Games as a consequence. This was the start of a long period of boycotts for various political reasons. The other reason that Montreal was notable was the cost of the games – because of increased security after the Munich Games. It took Montreal many years to pay off the debt. THE MONTREAL GAMES 1976
The choice of Moscow was controversial due to a poor human rights record. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan prior to the Games and when the games were due to begin they were still occupying the country. Many countries demanded that the Soviets withdrew but they refused – many countries boycotted the games as a protest. As a result a total of 52 nation, including the USA and Canada boycotted and also individuals from many other teams decided that their consciences would not allow them to go. Many people felt that this devalued the Moscow Games particularly as the American team was always very strong – i.e. that the standard wasn’t as high. THE MOSCOW GAMES - 1980
As the venue is chosen 6 years in advance the IOC could not avoid America staging the Games after they had boycotted the Moscow Games. The Soviet Union along with 14 other nations retaliated in turn by boycotting the Los Angeles Games. Security was the excuse but in reality it was tit for tat. Another excuse was that the Games were over commercialised and for the first time ever the Games ran at a large profit for the host city. This was against Communist ideals and thus was a perfect excuse to boycott. THE LOS ANGELES GAMES - 1984
Seoul is in S Korea and there had been a war between them and N Korea – situation was still bad in 88. The IOC was criticized for awarding Seoul the games – there was a lot of tension that the facilities wouldn’t be ready and that N Korea would interfere. In the end there was little disruption and the games were quite successful. There were 5 boycotts including N Korea and Cuba but new rules meant that the countries who boycotted would not be involved in future decisions. The biggest controversy was drug related – in all ten athletes were banned after testing positive. The most famous was Canadian Ben Johnson who won the 100m but was stripped of his title 2 days later. THE SEOUL GAMES - 1988
After all the previous controversial events the 1992 were just about incident free. This is basically because the old Soviet Union had ceased to exist and the E. European Communist countries had collapsed and all these countries could now compete individually. South Africa were also welcomed back to fold as they had ended apartheid and entered a mixed race team. There were over 12,000 athletes competing in 257 medal events. Drugs were still an issue and 3 Britons were sent home when they tested positive. THE BARCELONA GAMES - 1992
Controversy raged before the games even started – it was considered that the time of the games would result in potential danger for the athletes because of high humidity and temperatures but Atlanta had spent 6 yrs getting ready for the biggest games yet – so it was decided to carry on. Measures were taken to help the athletes – fans blowing fine mists of water – particularly used in the equestrian events and marathons. There were problems due to the large numbers of media and spectators which meant crushes at many of the venues – athletes were often held up getting to their event. Drugs were a problem – Michelle Smith won 3 gold medals but insisted it was not due to drugs – 1997 tested positive and eventually banned in 1999. On day 9 there was a tragedy – a pipe bomb blast in Centennial Park (right next to the stadium) killed 1 person and injured 11. This brought new fears about the games being a terrorist target so security was greatly increased. THE ATLANTA GAMES - 1996
These winter Olympics were the first ones in which technological developments created big controversy. Dutch skaters used revolutionary skates with hinged mechanisms and a one piece body suit therefore much more aerodynamic. They presented the innovations to the International Speed skating Union for approval 48hrs before the races so no one could copy them. They went on to win the first 4 places in the 5000m race. The USA and Canadian teams also protested when the winner of the luge Georg Hackle wore aerodynamic boots which shaved 300th of a second off his time. THE NAGANO GAMES - 1998
Thought to be one of the most successful and friendly games of recent times. Very little in the way of controversy or major incident. The biggest controversy was the withdrawal of 27 athletes and 13 team officials from the Chinese team just before the games. People thought that this was because they didn’t want to risk drugs tests finding positive results. Drug testing at the games were the strictest ever and also the most advanced ever and low levels of performance particularly in the marathon was evidence that less cheating had taken place. Steve Redgrave also won his 5th Gold medal in rowing – a record in an endurance event. THE SYDNEY GAMES - 2000
Find out about Olympic Games since 2000. 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010
Hosting the Games Why host the Olympic Games? The advantages to hosting the Games must outweigh the disadvantages as there is never a shortage of countries wanting to host it. In fact, countries spend hundreds of millions of pounds just on the bidding process!
Advantages: • Profit through sponsorship, media rights and merchandise. (Think of all the London 2012 products on sale). • Updated or new facilities that can be used for years to come. • Raising the profile and reputation of the hosts in the eyes of the world.
Negatives: • Security and risk of terror attacks. • Boycotts and political protests. • High costs!
Examiner’s Tip You will not be asked about any one Games but you are likely to be tested on issues relating to them and the advantages and disadvantages of hosting them.