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Every two years, countries around the world join together in excitement for the Olympic Games. Either winter or summer, the Olympics are something everyone seems to look forward to in one way or another. Olympic preparation is no easy task, for the athletes, nor for the event staff. When the idea of Olympic preparation is brought up, two main ideas come to mind. How is the site for the Olympics picked? And how is it decided who carries the Olympic torch?
After careful research, the answers to these questions have been found. First, the topic of how an “Olympic City” comes to be. All cities applying to become candidate cities to host the Olympic Games are subject to a candidature acceptance procedure, conducted by the IOC Executive Board. IOC stands for International Olympic Committee. In the end the IOC Executive Board will determine which cities are accepted as candidate cities. There are several criteria that a host city must meet in order to be considered a candidate for the job. Two of these are: ability to host, organize and stage high level international multi-sports events and compliance with the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics. Once the candidates are chosen based on more general elements, the process of choosing an Olympic host can begin. There are usually five cities chosen as possible candidates for the prestige honor of hosting the Olympic Games. From here each city must fill out a lengthy questionnaire about their plans for the Olympic Games. The main topics on the questionnaire concern Motivation and Support, Political and Public Support, General Infrastructure, Sports Infrastructure, Logistics and Experience, and the Financing of the games. After this long and in depth form, the IOC has a better knowledge of each city’s plans for all the events and coordination for the Games. After the questionnaire is received the IOC can send experts to the city to further investigate certain matters pertaining to the questions answered. This is usually done to ensure that the correct choice is made to further the “Olympic Movement.” Each of the five candidate cities receives a visit by not only the experts, but by the IOC to discuss matters more in depth to get a better feel for the city and it’s ideas for the Games.
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The Olympic torch, a symbol that we all know very well, and are used to seeing during the Olympics and for many days and weeks that precede the Games. We’ve probably all become accustom to seeing different people running a leg of the Torch’s travel across the country until it reaches to Olympic city on opening day of the Games. We are probably most familiar with this situation happening just a short time ago during the 2002 Games. A variety of people, from celebrities to hometown heroes carry the Olympic torch with honor as the carry a leg of the route closer to the Olympic Arena. How is someone chosen to have such a prestigious job as to carry the torch? Well, here’s how it all happens. The first process that is undergone to choose Olympic torch carriers is done through nomination. Anyone can be nominated to be a runner, and anyone can nominate someone else. When it came time to scrutinize nominees for the 2002 Games, candidates are looked out for being outstanding people. Not necessarily someone who was won a Nobel Prize or won a National Championship in Sports. When torch relay nominees are looked at, they are looked at for being good people. Honest, hard-working, mentally strong people. A few nominees that became runners for the 2002 Games include, a women in Utah, who had overcome cancer, and learned to live life to its fullest. She overcame incredible odds, and tries to live life for all its worth. She spends time volunteering whenever possible, and is a great member of society. For this example, and the theme of 2002, is not looking for some hot shot movie star or athlete, but everyday people who help others and are bright, happy people despite hardships they have faced. These nominees are chosen by a Torch Relay Committee headed by Stephen McCarthy. McCarthy considers it an honor to have such a position.
Now that we know how the decision is made for who carries the torch, how is the route and time table decided. The idea for the route of the Olympic Torch is based on covering as much area of the country as possible. This is used to further accentuate the Olympic City as well as the individuals of the Olympic country. Using the 2002 Games as an example, the route for the torch went all across the country from Maine to Utah. The Olympic Flame traveled 13,500 miles through 46 states on its way to the Games. Over 11,500 torchbearers and countless others participated in the event, making the Torch Relay for the 2002 Games the largest in the history of the Olympic Games.
The Olympics are a very proud time for the world. It is a time of unity for everyone. Many people enjoy and participate in some relation with the Olympics. As you can see it is not only the athletes who must work hard to prepare for the Games. Everyone from the International Olympic Committee to the volunteers and Torch carriers do their part to make sure everything goes smoothly behind the scenes. Hopefully the information presented gives a better idea of how preparations for the Olympics take place. Preparation is not an easy task, but certainly a unique and important one for the Olympic Games.