Olympics: History

Essay by SP_10University, Bachelor'sA-, June 2004

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The most important thing at the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as the important thing about life is not to conquer but to struggle well. The words spoken by Pierre de Coubertin, father of the Modern Summer Olympic Games. Baron Pierre de Coubertin may have intended for the new Olympic Games 'to be a period of concord in which all differences of status, religion, politics and race would be forgotten' but unfortunately as the Games have progressed, so too have the political overtones associated with them.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, by reviving the ancient Olympic Games hoped that competition in sports would 'lead to a new international friendship and better cooperation amongst the nations, whilst also allowing athletes to be exposed to different values than those of their own.' It is with misfortune that the Olympic Games have taken an unexpected turn and are used time and time again as another measurement for the ultimate victory, the ultimate dominance, the ultimate triumph on the world stage.

In the commotion of the promotion of the Olympic Games, it is often forgotten that the original principles of the games included that individuals were to be contested against one another, and that countries played no part. In fact, in the first Olympiads, there were no formal teams of nations, rather an assortment of individuals who came to Athens on their own expense for their own purposes.

As the Olympic Games progressed, it became more and more apparent for participating nations that it was an excellent opportunity to promote their country. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Olympic Games is relayed to countries all over the world, exposing it onto a world audience. Even before technological advances of television, the Olympic Games...