The Olympic Games
Mr. P. Leighton
Today’s Session will look at…
• The Establishment of the modern Olympic
games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
• The Key people involved.
• The principles behind the Olympics.
• The BOA and the IOC.
• London 2012.
• The Olympics as a vehicle for nation
Baron Pierre De Coubertin.
• Believed that sport was the ideal way to
educate young people and bring together
people in an “International Understanding”
• His work enabled the first “Modern
Olympic Games” to take place in 1896
where 211 male athletes came from 14
countries to compete in 43 events.
• But where did the Olympics begin?
The Ancient Olympics…
• These Olympics involved the trio of…
• This helped inspire the “Modern Day
Olympics” as we know it today…but where
else did the inspiration come from?
1600: The Cotswold Olympics.
• Robert Dover founded this
version of the Olympic Games
after his studies of Ancient
Greece at Cambridge University.
• These games were also known
as the “Dover Olympics”.
• They were stopped in 1852 due
to the rowdiness and dangerous
• 1980- Revived and are
celebrated annually in Chipping
Campden: Close to Coopers Hill
where Cheese Rolling is done!
The “Modern Olympics”: A Start…
• William Penny Brookes invited De
Coubertin to the Much Wenlock Games in
• Brookes, A Doctor who devoted his life to
the people of Much Wenlock, founded the
“Promote the moral, physical and intellectual
improvement of the town and
neighbourhood of Wenlock”.
• During his trip De Coubertin visited the
Public Schools… What did he see?
• De Coubertin saw “Sport Obsessed”
youngsters; learning through sport and
developing towards leadership roles in
• De Coubertin wanted this for the French
and the rest of the world!
• After experiencing the Wenlock
games; which included an opening
ceremony, athletics, football and
cricket as well as rural country games
Brookes and De Coubertin discussed
the re-invention of the Olympic
• Brookes died at the age of 86, 4
months before the realisation of their
dream: a modern Olympics.
• The Wenlock Olympics still survive
The Principles, aims and
philosophy of the Olympics.
• The IOC (International Olympic Committee) and
the BOA (British Olympic Association) have
• Read these extracts on page 313-14.
• The “Olympic Creed” also tells us that…
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is
not to win but to take part, just as the most
important thing in life is not the triumph but the
struggle. The essential thing is not to have
conquered but to have fought well”.
The Aims of the Olympics…
• Baron De Coubertin himself explained himself
that his restoration of the Olympics was…
• To enable and strengthen sports.
• To ensure their independence and duration.
• To Enable and fulfill the educational role of sport
in the modern world.
• To glorify the individual athlete.
• To maintain the general spirit of competition.
The Philosophy of the Olympic
• The “Olympism” philosophy promotes…
– The balance of body, mind and will
– Effort: And the joy it can bring.
– Role Modeling to educate and inspire others.
– Tolerance, generosity, unity, friendship, non-
discrimination and respect for others.
What does the Olympic Symbol
• 5 interlocking rings: bringing together 5
• White background: Peace.
• Founded in Paris, June 23rd 1894.
• Now based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
• It is an international, non-governmental,
non-profit organisation and receives no
• It is funded from marketing and TV rights.
• Athletes, Lawyers and Journalists are
• Members are ambassadors.
The IOC continued…
• The IOC’s main responsibility is to
supervise toe organisation of the Games.
• It tries to ensure that the
commercialisation of the games is well
managed and does not exploit events to
the detriment of the whole games.
• It decides locations i.e. London 2012.
• It owns all rights to its symbols.
• The rest are on pg 316: read it!
• Part of the IOC.
• The pivot around which Team GB revolves
before and during the Olympic Games.
• The BOA, like the IOC receives no funding
and gains monies from international
sponsorship i.e. Lucozade, View From etc.
The Commercialisation of the
• Los Angeles 1984, the first games to be
seriously involved with commercialism.
• A crucial turning point in marketing and
sponsorship that of what is now a giant
media and commercial spectacle.
• So what changed?
• Amateurism and fair play was
synonymous with the Olympics: from the
beginning when practicing and training
was seen as cheating- you were an
amateur for the love of the game not for
• Amateurism in the modern Olympics,
however, caused serious problems.
• Athletes from the USA were college
scholarship funded whilst the athletes from
the Soviet Union were heavily backed by
• British athletes were starting to struggle.
• In order to compete they needed to
commit more time to training which was
• Commercialisation soon followed!
• The IOC eventually accepted commercialism.
• Other cities such as Montreal nearly went
bankrupt due to the strain.
• Peter Uberroth was appointed to make the 1984
Olympics both possible and practical for LA and
• TV was building a huge global audience which
was also attractive to sponsors and individuals.
• The “Shop Window Effect” was born!
What did Uberroth do?
• Charged huge sums of money for rights to
advertise products at the games.
• Persuaded private companies to build
• Invited sponsors to invest; this allowed
companies then and now to become…
– Official Sponsors.
– Official Suppliers.
– Official Licensees.
The “Top” Programme…
• Allows major products to use the Olympic
logos when advertising their products.
• Gives worldwide marketing opportunities.
• Gives major companies first choice in
• Companies include…
The problems however…
• The amount of professional athletes,
wealthy investors, keen sponsors, large
venues and thousands of spectators
involved now mean that the smooth
running of the Olympics is a huge
challenge for host cities.
• More money must be invested in sport at
every level if we are to successfully host
the games and compete realistically.
• Money from UK Sport and the UKSI
centres will directly benefit our athletes.
• Funding is also needed to build world
class competition and administrative
• Throughout Britain facilities will be
improved or build as training camps,
which will be left as a legacy to the
• Which country is based at LSV?
So what are the benefits to Britain?
• Health- Massive opportunity to improve
physical and mental wellbeing- get more
people involved in sport at all levels.
• Media Coverage- special features,
children’s TV campaigns etc- Role models
to inspire sport and clean living.
• Feel Good Factor- a carnival atmosphere
which could inspire podium success.
Commitments to 2012.
• Britain promised to improve public
transport and communication systems
• This will allow competitors, judges, officials
and spectators to move around safely.
• Facilities can make or break the visit!
• FACT: The Olympic Park is being serviced
by trains running every 15 seconds!
Impacts on the UK…
• Tourism should be huge throughout the
summer- money to the economy.
• The Paralympic Games should raise the
profile of UK Disability sport and enhance
attitudes towards it.
• There are opportunities to improve the
NHS system, both in London and in the
regional “purpose build” camps.
Benefits and Drawbacks…
Benefits: see diagram.
– Soaring costs of the facilities could leave us in a
situation like Montreal 1976.
– Council Tax rises.
– Lack of long term job opportunities.
– Increased housing and rental prices in the local area.
– Elitism Vs. Participation.
– London is centre stage- regional areas will receive
little if any benefits i.e. Cornwall, Lakes.
– Nationalism can result in Discrimination.
Showcasing and politics…
• “The shop window effect?”
• When the games have been in Athens or
Sydney they could be described as grand
spectacles- when they were in political
nations such as Tokyo (1964) Seoul
(1988) and Beijing (2008) did they have
Beijing 2008: China.
• 1 party Communist state.
• Sport is controlled, funded and encouraged by the
• This is to increase morale and improve sporting prestige
in the workforce.
• However- human rights are a sticking point in China.
• International opinion was split.
– Those who thought the event would help reforms in
– Those who thought the games legitimised
• Sport is not universally recognised as being linked to
• Eastern block countries in the 70’s and 80’s exploited
this: with both functional and dysfunctional outcomes.
• In Communist Russia the entire population was tested-
talented children were coached, fed and even given
drugs to ensure international success and political
• Athletes were given token jobs so they could train
• In this system the minority prospered while the majority
The Olympics Political History…
• Berlin 1936: Hitler and Jesse Owens.
• Helsinki 1952: Cold War begins.
• Mexico City 1968: Black Power salute.
• Munich 1972- 11 Israeli athletes killed.
• Moscow 1980- countries boycott due to
the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
• L.A. 1984- Soviet Union boycotts.
• Seoul 1988- public demonstrations help
bring about democracy in Korea.
• Use your text book when preparing- the
examiners need to be fair as this is the
first new style exam.
• Try and read the exam tip boxes as they
give you information regarding the exam.
• Use your time wisely- I’m available most
days for a chat or a tutorial.
• Don’t panic- well done!