Essay On The Olympic Games And Politics

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In a world as deeply political as today’s it is impossible to create an international event that brings many of the world’s countries and pits each nation against each other in sport, then claim that such an event should be devoid of all politics and political influences. The Olympic Games have, since their rebirth, been used to demonstrate country 's political power to the world and display shifting worldviews on things like race, sex, and class. Coubertin’s 1896 games at Athens marked the first modern Olympiad. Developed with intention of toughening the European gentry, French primarily, through the ideals of muscular Christianity. These games were a stylized reflection of the Ancient Olympics, in that they took the basic concept of the games and altered them to reflect Coubertin’s modern views and values; foremost among them were nationalism and amateurism(pg14). Nationalism was intended to be apart of the games in that each competitor would take pride in competing and winning for his home country.…show more content…
1906 marked the first appearance of a medal ceremony for the victors of each event. Such an event presented a major stage on which a bold athlete could make a large political statement. Irish athlete Peter O’Connor did exactly that. After arriving at the game O 'Connor and his Irish teammates found Ireland was not being recognized by the IOC and as such O’Connor and teammates were registered as British athletes. After placing second in the hop, step, and jump competition O’Connor protested his competing under the Union Jack by climbing the flagpole during the medal ceremony and replacing the British flag with that of Ireland. This marked the first time an Olympic medal ceremony would be used as a pedestal to air a political displeasure. By making this protest O’Connor paved the way for athletes to use the games as a platform on which issues occurring in the world could be
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