Politics In The Olympics

22 02 2010

The Olympic games are seen as one of the most pinnacle events in the current sporting world. The opportunity to host them is strongly contested because of the rewards available from this such as: tourism, merchandising and the opportunity to revitalise cities. However because the Olympic games are such a big “shop window” event it can be used wrongly by people in order to stress their opinion to a wider audience, and one of the main topics for this is politics.

In 1936 Berlin was granted the rights to host the games. The IOC didn’t know then but this would be used by Adolf Hitler as a chance to demonstrate how powerful his country was and who the dominate race were. In the final of the long jump it would be strongly contested by Germany’s Lutz Lang and an African-American called Jesse Owens. In front of Hitler, this was and ideal chance for Hitlers vision to be demonstrated worldwide. however Lang gave Owen’s a tip to help him jump further. Of course he went on to win the games and Hitler refused to place the gold medal around his neck.

The Infamous Black Power Salute At The Olympics

Another famous event was in the 1968 games in Mexico. Tommie Smith and John Carlos had competed in the 200m final. When they were on the podium and the national anthem played they raised a single fist in the air which had a leather black glove on. They were also barefoot and civil rights badges on. This was the perfect opportunity to voice their opinion worldwide. The then head of the IOC Avery Brundage banned them from competing stating the games shouldn’t be used for political statements.

Because sport appeals worldwide and draws in viewers of millions it can be used rightly or wrongly as a chance to demonstrate political opinions. It’s been happening throughout the history of sport and there is no signs that this will change.

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2 responses

22 02 2010
writerdood

Maybe “Political Spinning” should be an event?

23 02 2010
nagle

is this one of your A level drafts?

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