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Economic And Social Impacts Of The Olympics

1921 words - 8 pages

Every two years, millions of people around the world turn on their TV sets and watch the greatest athletes in the world compete for the greatest achievement any athlete can reach… The bronze, silver, and gold medals of the summer and winter Olympics. Those millions of people cheer mostly for their country and wear their favorite athlete’s jersey. They plan parties for their favorite events and make memories with every game. With all the hustle and bustle, people don’t stop to think about how the Olympics affect the town, city, state, and even world around it. How does it benefit? What does it cause? What does it leave behind? Who does it impact? So many questions can be thought up about how the Olympics impact the world. The two most talked about topics are the affects it has economically and socially. To find out where the entire hubbub began, one must travel back to the 6th century B.C. in ancient Greece.
What other culture to be the history of games where people compete athletically for medals in front of tons of people other than the Greeks and their magnificent gods? That’s right. The history of the Olympics is rumored to start with the famous Hercules and the mortal woman Alcmene founding the games. However, the first written records were in 776 B.C. when a cook won the 192 meter footrace and became the first Olympic champion. The games, known as the ancient Olympics, were held between August 6 and September 19 every four years while a religious festival was held honoring the great Zeus. The games became so popular that the people of Greece started measuring time by the four years between each Olympics. A set of the four years was called an Olympiad. The name “Olympics” came from the town that the games took place, which was called Olympia, located in the southern part of Greece near the west coast. During this era, women weren’t allowed to participate in the games and married women could not even attend the Olympics. The big events went on for about twelve centuries until A.D. 393, when a Christian emperor banned the festivals. They didn’t start back again until the 1890’s. Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France wanted to start up a modern Olympics and presented the idea to the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris. The games were approved, and the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 in none other than Athens, Greece (history.com staff). Since then, the games have grown and taken on a new form. With each year they become more advanced, more advertised, more… magical.
Thinking beyond the magic, one questions what it takes to make all this happen. To put the general cost into perspective, the television rights alone for the Sydney 2000 summer games rang up to a total of roughly $1.12 billion American dollars (Malfas, Theodoraki, and Houlihan 2). The overall cost is about $3.8 billion (Rishe). And as time goes by, the price placed on the games keeps growing and growing by great, big, giant leaps. In 1996, the Atlanta, GA summer games only...

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