Politics, Propaganda and The Olympic Games Essay

Politics, Propaganda and The Olympic Games Essay

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Since the resurrection of the Olympic games in 1896, the games have slowly become compromised by politics and propaganda. The purity of the athleticism has been tarnished with scandal, corruption, commercialism, boycotts, political disputes, reputation promotion, as well as acts of terrorism. Mega sporting events such as the Olympics have the strange ability to not only momentarily unite national communities, but, conversely, mirror real world rivalries and conflicts (Grix).
Politics have often been pushed to the forefront of the Olympics, altering their meaning from purely athletic competition to political aims and moneymaking propaganda. Chapter five of the Olympic Charter states “No kind of demonstrations or political, religious, or racial propaganda is permitted in the Olympic areas (The Guardian).” However, as Allen Guttmann points out in his account of the history of the Olympics, the inception of the modern Olympic games in 1896 was very much political, due to the significant political and social impacts the Olympics have. At various times the in history of the modern Olympic games, politics have overshadowed the true focus of the games. The Olympics are supposed to represent the world coming together peacefully in the mutual enjoyment of universal sport. It is a chance for everyone to set aside all that we claim makes us different and come together as a human family to support something that is less divisive and a little more humane.
As early as the planning stages for future Olympic venues, often some 10 years out, politics are an integral part of bidding for, staging of, protesting against, reporting on, and even taking part in the Olympics (Grix). It is evident during that process that there are many reasons behind w...


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...Historical Perspective." Playing Politics: Olympic Controversies Past and Present | Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective. Ohio State University, Aug. 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. .
"Soviets Announce Boycott of 1984 Olympics." History.com. A&E Television Networks, Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .
Thackrah, John Richard. "Black September." Encyclopedia of Terrorism and Political Violence. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987. 26-28. Print.
Thackrah, John Richard. "Munich Olympic Massacre, 1972." Encyclopedia of Terrorism and Political Violence. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987. 162-63. Print.
"XXII Summer Olympic Games." Russian Life 2010: 19-21. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. .

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