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
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1000 years. Then in 394AD they were banned by the Roman Emperor, Theodosius.
He forbade any pagan festivals, which included the Olympic Games.
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.
that those who practiced this discipline could best honour Zeus. The perfect human would
come from a “marriage of mind and muscle”.
had to compete naked!!!!
seen in his quote which is still displayed on the scoreboards at each games.
take part. Just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the
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.
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 Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words :
Which means :
FASTER — HIGHER — STRONGER
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.