This morning Dr. Banks lectured on the Modern Olympics and how they differ from other modern sporting events as well as the ancient games. Big differences include that the Olympics occur much less frequently than average sporting events, and the value of mind/body perfection is much more emphasized in Olympic games. We also learned how the Winter Olympics evolved from increasing enthusiasm for winter sports during the “roaring 20’s”. The modern games, as we know them now, began in 1896, but have evolved greatly since then. The purpose of the modern day Olympics is to promote the practice of sport, as well as to learn about different cultures. The modern games are an attempt to bring those of different backgrounds together to form a peaceful bond.
There were originally 14 countries who participated, with a total of only 245 competing athletes. In the 2012 Olympics, 204 countries and territories were represented, with over 10,000 athletes from all over the world. The Modern Olympics began with far fewer events and competitions than the games we watch today. In order for a sport to be added to the Olympic program, it must be governed by an international federation that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, or IOC. The sport must have more than one discipline, and at least one event. In addition, the sport must agree to World Anti-Doping policies before being allowed to become an official Olympic competition. Political exploitation of the Olympic games was also discussed from the 1936 Nazi Olympics to the 1972 Munich terrorist games.
In the following lecture, we will hear from Eric Dugdale on Sport. And this afternoon we will be taking a field trip to the St. Peter Co-op to make a traditional Bavarian winter meal.
The image on the left is the opening ceremonies at the very first modern Olympics in Athens, 1896. The image in the middle is the opening ceremonies of the first winter Olympics, 1924. The image on the right is the opening ceremonies in London, 2012.
-Ashley Michalko, Bridget Gerards, Sarah Lundquist