Essay on The Olympics: Politics, Scandal, and Corruption

3790 Words 16 Pages
ABSTRACT: The purity of the Olympics has been smeared by scandal, corruption, boycotts, political disputes and even acts of terrorism. Sadly, politics have taken control of the Olympics and turned it into a political and money-making extravaganza. Olympic boycotts became a way for countries to protest each other. Hitler tried to use the Games to prove his belief of racial superiority. Wars interfered with the Olympics. Bloodshed even covered the Olympics, in the 1972 Munich Games where terrorists killed eleven Israeli Olympic members. Unfortunately, throughout Olympic history, politics have overshadowed the true focus of the Games. They were "intended to unite the countries of the world through friendly competition" not segregate them …show more content…
Greeks had to suspend legal disputes and postpone capital punishment sentences until completion of the Games. Early Greek politicians took advantage of the Games by using it as a tool to promote their city's importance (Hellenic World).

Politics started to overcome the Early Olympics when the Romans took over Greece. They not only restructured the stadiums, but also the Games themselves. These new Games began to greatly stray from their origins until Emperor Theodosius I, being disgusted with the games, cancel them in 393 AD. The Olympics remained canceled until 1896 when Pierre de Coubertin fought to start the Modern Olympic Games. He did so with the intention of promoting peace, unity, and sportsmanship through athletic competition. He knew politics would be a part of the Games, but not to the extent that they have become. Over time, politics has taken over to make the games into so much more than friendly competition.

Politics has been evident almost from the beginning of the modern Olympics. At the 1908 London Olympics, American flag bearers refused to lower their flag in front of the British monarchy, which the British saw as a sign of disrespect. The Russians also tried to prevent their enemy, the Finns, from showing their flag. In the early Olympics, wars were suspended during the Games. Just the opposite happened in 1916 when the Games were suspended because of World War I. The politicians pushed this even further when Germany,
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