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A world without the Olympics?

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Just a question I thought about today....

Say the modern Olympics never existed, would the world be worse off?

What changes (positive or negative) do you think the Olympics have contributed to the global community?

What do you think things would be like without the Games?

I know some of this is hard to quantify, but I am just interested in your personal opinion.

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As Olympic fans I guess a lot of us would like to believe that the Games have a major impact on the world. The idea of peoples from all over the world coming together in a celebration of a social common denominator (sport) while the world itself is beset with divisiveness is certainly a noble one, but in reality, the world as it is goes on, even during the Olympic Games. I do not think their presence or absence makes a difference to the world at large. The IOC may like to think that the Games are a force for positive change but this is self-delusional (has China changed as a result of hosting the 2008 Games?). The Games are special, and they have impacted the lives of many individuals, but the whole uniting the world thing is overblown. They unite 11,000 athletes from around the world, but not the world itself. Wars rage on, persecution and discrimination continue unchecked, and poverty is abundant. No sporting event, no matter how special, will ever change that.

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Considering I consider the games a carnival and frippery rather than a world changing social movement, I don't think there'd be much difference at all. We'd still have wars, revolutions and financial crises. Just the world would be a lot less colourful every four years ... and I'd have found some other frippery to obsess over.

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What impact do you think the Games have had on sport? What would sport be like today if the modern Games were never revived?

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Hmmmmm. That's a bit harder.

I'd think a lot of the games higher profile sports, like athletics and swimming, and their athletes, wouldn't have anywhere near as high a profile as now. As for those sports that have the highest profile outside the games - like football and tennis and golf - well, those are precisely the ones many people have problems with them being in the games.

I'd a lost think that even if not as grand, some sort of regular multistory event would have evolved.

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Slightly off topic, just watching Everybody Loves Raymond and it's a flashback scene from the early 90's.

There's a Munich 1972 Poster on Raymond's room wall.

Raymond.jpg

munich_01a.jpg

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Slightly off topic, just watching Everybody Loves Raymond and it's a flashback scene from the early 90's.

There's a Munich 1972 Poster on Raymond's room wall.

Raymond.jpg

munich_01a.jpg

Wow thats pretty cool!

A world without the olympics would suck although i'd save money by not collecting ;) Commonwealth games would be a bigger deal i guess same with world games?

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I have to agree with what BTHarner posted the thing is that someone else see the world from another point of view. The Olympics is now a force of money. I know that many don't like what I put down but a lot of people don't care about the Olympics. The world has changed without the Olympics and it will keep on changing. I just got back from Asia they don't care about the Olympics in that part of the world, never have and never will. Walk the the streets of India and ask the people if they care? In mid Africa has the Olympics been a force of peace? All good things come to an end.

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It's a nice idea, well it was a nice idea, I'd have to agree with olympikfan they have now sold their soul to corporation's. The regulation's the IOC is forcing LOCOG and forced VANOC to implement, it's just a bastardization of the whole original idea of bringing people together through sports to peace. Guerilla marketing, copyright on photograph's taken in venue's, suing people who use the O word or the word games, or happen to mention a city name and the current year, it's all a big farce, the Olympics is all about big business now, so if it went away now, no real big loss.

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I have to agree with what BTHarner posted the thing is that someone else see the world from another point of view. The Olympics is now a force of money. I know that many don't like what I put down but a lot of people don't care about the Olympics. The world has changed without the Olympics and it will keep on changing. I just got back from Asia they don't care about the Olympics in that part of the world, never have and never will. Walk the the streets of India and ask the people if they care? In mid Africa has the Olympics been a force of peace? All good things come to an end.

Still desperate to "prove" the games are failing and in crisis, eh?

Why would they be excited now? There's no games on at the moment.

Have you ever watched a crowd gathering in a live site during a games in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to watch a badminton final?

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When I was in Mumbai they could care less about the Olympics. All of us share one thing our interest for the Olympics but majority of this world could care less. Its hard to look at people and seeing how hard their lives are and the Olympics will make it better. My out look is now way different after seeing parts of India

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When I was in Mumbai they could care less about the Olympics. All of us share one thing our interest for the Olympics but majority of this world could care less. Its hard to look at people and seeing how hard their lives are and the Olympics will make it better. My out look is now way different after seeing parts of India

Yeah, and they're not bidding. So how's it making their lives harder?

My out look is now way different after seeing parts of India

In what way? seems to me you're just as anti-Olympic and convinced they're in crisis now as you were a few months ago.

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Anyway, what's your solution? End all organised sports and sports events in the world so those who can't afford to host don't feel bad about not being able to? Even though you say nobody cares about such events anyway.

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Except us, Olympics' fanatics, no one is caring on a daily basis of the Games !!!!

For most of the world, this is a just a sport event, a sporting fest every 4 years, where they are pride to support the nation !

But, the Olympics have a real impact in term of sport development...

- by supporting the International Federations participation to the Olympics (yes, that is about money, the federations are receiving....)

- by supporting poor countries in their infrastructures' development and their athletes training ! Olympic Solidarity has a huge role that most of us here on GB from G20 countries could not imagine...

- by giving a global world governance to sport

And it is still an event that try to share values : peace, friendship / respect, equality (no doping), commitment / excellence, ...

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Well, there wouldn't be any Famesbids and my data usage would be lower.....

Seriously though, I agree with Swiss O and many others. The Olympics do not have the world-changing impact that they like to think they do. They do promote a nd elevate the level of sport.

Perhaps the most appealing thing about the Games is that by being so unnecessary, they somehow become needed. Nobody needs a glamorous international sports festival every 4 years, but the fact that one exists is wonderful. Every 4 years we get to soar above the banalities of daily life and marvel at something that is extravagantly delightful. Do we NEED ice cream sundaes? Strictly speaking, no. And yet there are times when we really, really do. They can brighten the day and make life eminently more livable. That's how I feel about the Olympics.

I also think its fair to say that the Games have the potential to inspire character. Consider Derek Redmond and his father, Kerri Strug and her one-legged vault, the 2004 Iraqi football team, Oksana Chusovitina competing for her child, Pyrros Dimas' perseverance, Dan Jansen's perseverance, Dara Torres perseverance, even those athletes who simply win and lose with equal grace. That is inspirational and character-building.

Similarly, consider cheats like Ben Johnson or Marion Jones, people willing to do anything to win like Tonya Harding or Svetlana Khorkina (who wanted a gold medal more than a child), sore losers like Evgeny Plushenko or Mary Decker Slaney, quitters like Paula Radcliffe in 2004 (I am not an elite marathoner, but it really looked like she gave up when she realized she couldn't win). These negative examples are also incredibly motivating.

So I think we do benefit from the Games. I'm just not convinced that benefit takes quite the shape that the IOC would like to think it does.

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