The Olympic Games that we all know so well wasn’t always the way that it is now. Beginning as only athletic competitions in Greece, several components began the development of the first modern Olympic Games. These elements eventually lead to today’s Olympics. Some of the several factors that have contributed to the evolution of the Olympics included economics, gender participation, solidarity, and nationalism. An additional document from an audience member’s point of view would have been useful as well, providing the general public’s insight. The Olympics would not have been successful without the support from viewers, whether it be fans sitting in the stands at the games or on the couch watching it on the television.
In documents 7 and 9, economics are shown to be a big factor of the Olympics. Countries relied on the games to present their power through a worldwide television audience, giving them more money with each viewer and fan. Earning medals was the ultimate goal for each participant, for each medal earned brought home money and a sense of power. This gave participants the motivation to come back and join the Olympics again, increasing the number of people and success of the games. This expansion of the Olympics is also directly linked to the great increase in the amount of money that was made at each game. The money that people invested into the Olympics would then be used for the expenses of the next Olympic game in four years. This created a cycle where the Olympics thrived on the strength of the economy to continue so that it could became the successful, worldwide program that it is today.
Documents 2 and 8 focus on the topic of women’s participation in the Olympics. Ever since the first civilizations, people were very sexist. Women had very little rights and suffered from inequality. Because of this, it is important that females had the opportunity to take part in the games. What started off as 2% female participation in the 1908 Olympics became 29% by 1995; today’s Olympics are relatively equal in both gender participation. This equality impacted the way people viewed feminism and sexism. When females proved to be as strong as and even stronger than males, people supported women participants. This continued to encourage even more female
athletes to join the Olympics, shaping the games into a non-discriminating event.
In document numbers 1, 5, and 6, unity is a main point of the Olympics’ progression. Many countries suffered from the consumption of war and used the Olympics as a way to bring their country together again. As countries found solidarity in the games, they also found that the Olympics was another way to create peace with other countries. The Olympics grew as athletes from their own countries traveled to new lands and competed through sports instead of battles and war. This continuous movement of athletes across different countries allowed them to also create new social contacts. Some countries would even become more powerful and wealthy as others became aware of which star athletes came from which country. Unity blossomed between a country and itself at first, but eventually this grew to become the unity of all the countries. This proves that the Olympics are a way for athletes and people from all around the world to come together, connecting all of us in some kind of way. Modern-day Olympics include athletes of all types of genders, age, size, and ethnicities.
Documents 3, 4, and 10 address the idea that nationalism is another component of the Olympics’ development. As mentioned before, wars created a lot of issues for many countries during the earlier Olympic Games. Certain countries found that the safest way to settle these arguments was through the games, which is something we don’t necessarily do today. Pride and competitiveness motivated participants to win and beat the “enemy” country. Failure to do well in the games was believed to doom your country. A country’s victory over another was considered a way to show that one country was definitely more powerful than the other. As the Olympics grew, the urge to beat another country just turned into being proud of where you came from. Friendly competition was extracted from this and exists in today’s Olympics, but only to keep the audience entertained and the games interesting. Nationalism is still present in modern Olympics, but only in such extent that it does not involve settling wars. This leads to how we all view the Olympics today. Every four years, we all gather around a television to watch as some of our own do their best to show their skills and represent our