The XXXth Olympiad Games Begin!
The 2012 Olympic games are off to a spectacular start. The opening day ceremony showed glimpses of London as it evolved from hamlets and meadows through the industrial age to the vibrant city it is today. England brought out its finest athletes, musicians and authors.
However, the star of the show was none other than the Queen who is celebrating her silver jubilee this year. In her maiden acting role, the Queen entered the arena escorted from the Buckingham Palace by James Bond!
For athletes, the summer Olympic games are an ultimate test of their strength. They train to win and bring home a gold medal for their county. But, the Olympics represent even more than a chance to compete. It is a time every four years when the entire world is united because of a single event. Athletes come to represent their country and for nearly three weeks, the games unite over 200 countries around the world.
Once upon a time, there was a great civilization called Greece. The people of Greece loved to compete and were very athletic. So, one day they decided it would be fun to hold a competition in the Greek province of Olympia. They called this competition the Olympics and men from all over Greece came to participate in footraces. Whoever won was given a crown of olive branches and the honor of being the fastest runner in all of Greece. Now, (cue the sinister music) the villain enters our story. His name is Emperor Theodosius I and he takes Greece into his powerful empire of Rome. This new ruler abolishes the Olympics because he believes sports to be a Pagan event. And he is a very religious man.
It is not until 1894 that our hero comes to the rescue. His name is Baron Pierre de Coubertin and he is a Frenchman who revives the games and establishes the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In 1896 the first modern Olympic game is held in Athens, Greece. Since then, the Olympics have continued on with only a few interruptions. For example, games were postponed during WWII and in 1980; many countries boycotted the Moscow games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Women weren’t allowed to participate until 1900 and African Americans not until 1904. All in all, our story ends happily ever after, with the continuation of the Olympics as a world-uniting event. But, there is one question that continues to arise year after year…
Who Will Host the Next Olympics?
Whenever this question comes up, many countries bid to become the hosts of the next game. Still, this honor is not without its drawbacks . Let’s look at a few things host countries might consider before bidding.
- Job creation - More jobs are created in construction, maintenance, and hospitality.
- Publicity and Tourism - Imagine the influx of tourists in your country. This can be very good because when they go home to their own countries, they might encourage friends to visit your country.
.. And The Not-So-Positives
- Security - Hosting the games always poses threats.
- Cost - Think of everything that must be done in order to have successful games: the stadium, the Olympic village, etc. All these expenses add up to a very large total cost.
- Social implications - displacement of labor, influx of people into cities