|Olympics Beyond Sport|
The Olympic movement has always been about more than just sporting combat, and has always aimed to bring out change in a wider context to the benefit of mankind. While the Ancient Olympians came together under the banner of peace to celebrate human ability and give worship to their gods, so too the Modern Olympics was founded to bring the ideals of the peace movement to the rest of the word in an attempt to end conflict between nations.
Today, The Olympics strives to stick to the ideals of bringing all nations together in peace to celebrate mankind’s ability and potential, though its scope has dramatically advanced.
While the development of professional sport has increased at a rapid rate in the past few decades, so the Olympics has grown and incorporated many more aspects of human life, though keeping sporting contest as its focus. Professional sport involves many different areas of human development; as well as the physiological and psychological aspects of sport there have been huge advances in technology within sport.
Putting on a modern Olympics involves major projects in architecture, design and infrastructure, regional and national development of the hosting nation and wider continent, substantial financial investment, targeted and coordinated advertising campaigns, significant social organisation and mobility, wider technological development and international media management.
The Modern Olympics now includes a substantial ‘Cultural Olympiad’ including many areas of non-sporting events and activities of artistic expression including large musical concerts, painting, poetry, design, sculpture and architecture. For London 2012, there is a four year Cultural Olympiad including all of these and more that gathers pace and reaches climax during the Olympics itself, providing a much richer and fuller experience to all those that gather to enjoy the London Olympics
The impact of the Olympics is also now highly significant. Hosting the Olympics has huge economic, social and political implications, with the effects spreading beyond to the wider continent and through all the nations competing. The Olympic Legacy has therefore become a major part of deciding where to host the Games, and London 2012 will see the biggest and longest legacy of any Olympics, not only for London and its boroughs, but for the health and prosperity of the United Kingdom as a whole, and also wider communities around the world. A key part of the London Olympics Legacy strategy is to use the focus of the Olympics in London to bring development to some of the poorest and most deprived nations and communities in the world, with active development using sport to help bring about changes needed for an improved quality of life.
The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world, but now goes far beyond sport, using and affecting almost all areas of life in an attempt to enhance mankind in a much wider context.
Bsc Physical Education, Sports Science and Physics, Loughborough University
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