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Sport and the Olympics

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					Sport and the Olympics

“Sport”
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The definition of sport is the exercise of an everyday physical skill recreationally. What does that really mean? Another definition, conforming to a set of rules for the activity while aiming to attain excellence.

Measuring excellence
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How can you measure excellence? Previous benchmarks Performance of the other team World records Time measurements Any others?

How did sports develop?
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Any thoughts? The first written accounts of the Olympics are from 776 BC. There was only one competition at that time, any guesses? The stadion race, a 190 meter race which was reportedly the size of Hercules feet

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The “Olympics” were originally held in Olympia, which was a place for worshipping the Greek gods In Olympia, there was a 12 M high statue of ivory and gold of Zeus The Olympics were held every four years

Olympics
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Over the years, other events were added: boxing, chariot racing, several other running events and the pentathlon (wrestling, stadion, long jump, javelin throw and discus throw {the last three were not separate events}

Olympics
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With the additional events, the festival grew from 1 day to 5, with 3 days for the events, and 2 days for religious rituals. The winner was awarded an olive branch, and would be honored in his hometown, sometimes even having sculptures of themselves done.

Olympics
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If the Olympics were held during times of war, soldiers (who often participated in the games) were allowed safe passage through enemy territory. The Olympics were abandoned in 394 AD because the Roman emperor thought they were too savage.

Olympics reborn
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The modern Olympics were founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin who was born in 1863 to an affluent and artistic family. He founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1884 (which still exists today)

Olympics reborn
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Baron created the Olympics to occur every four years, with the first successful Olympics occurring in 1896 in London. Women were not allowed to participate until 1900, with medals not being awarded to any winners until the 1908 games in London

The Olympic motto
citius - altius - fortius  swifter - higher - stronger
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Olympic Oath
The Olympic Oath, instituted in 1920 and updated in 2000, is taken on behalf of all athletes by a member of the host team.  While holding a corner of his national flag, the athlete proclaims from the rostrum (podium), the following:
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“In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams."

Olympic Flag
The five interlaced rings represent the five continents of the world and the six colors are those that appeared on all the national flags of the world at the present time.  The Olympic flag was first flown at the Antwerp Olympic stadium in 1920.
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Paralympics
The idea for the Paralympic Games was developed from the work of Sir Ludwig Guttman who, in 1948, organized a competition in Stoke Mandeville (UK) for Second World War veterans with spinal injuries.  The success of this competition meant that by 1960 an Olympic-style Games with international participation had evolved.
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Nowadays, athletes compete in one of six (6) categories: spinal cord injury; amputee; visually impaired; cerebral palsy; mentally handicapped; and les duties (athletes with motor disability).  Disabilities are graded by severity, and individuals compete against those with a similar degree of impairment.
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In 1952, only two countries and 130 athletes took part.  In Athens Greece in 2004, 3,806 athletes participated.
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Although there has always been close ties between the Olympics and Paralympics, in 2001 an agreement between IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) ensured that from 2012 onwards the city chosen to host the Olympic Games will also be obliged to host the Paralympics.

Impact of politics on the games
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1948 London - The first Olympics since the war and Europe was still recovering from the devastation. Food shortages meant that each country was asked to bring food for its own athletes. Neither Japan nor Germany was invited.

1952 Helsinki
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USSR rejoined the Games, having absented itself since 1912 due to the capitalist nature of the Games. A cold-war atmosphere dominated the games as the Soviets set up a rival Olympic village for Eastern Bloc countries.

1964 Tokyo
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South Africa was banned by the IOC from taking part due to its oppressive apartheid regime. This ban lasted until 1992.

1968 Mexico City
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10 days before the Olympics began, students protesting against the government were surrounded by the army who opened fire, killing 267 and injuring more than 1,000. During the Games, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos were expelled for raising their fists in a "black power" salute on the winners' podium.

1972 Munich
 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists "Black September", to protest against the holding of 234 Palestinian prisoners in Israel.  The terrorists murdered two of their captives, then, as the result of a bungled rescue attempt by the authorities, the remaining nine captives were killed alongside three of their captors.

1976 Montreal
 26 African countries boycotted the Games in response to New Zealand's inclusion.  Earlier that year the Kiwis had undertaken a three-month rugby tour of segregated South Africa, but the IOC refused to ban them.

1980 Moscow
 The biggest boycott in Olympic history blighted the Games when 62 countries including USA, West Germany and Japan refused to attend in protest at the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan.  The USSR won 195 medals, but allegations of cheating tainted this astonishing result.

1984 Los Angeles
 14 countries, including the USSR, boycotted the Games in what was widely seen as revenge for the Moscow Games four years earlier.  Ironically, China chose this year to return to the Games after a 32-year absence.

1988 Seoul
 After failing to be recognized as cohost of the Games, North Korea (which was still technically at war with the South) boycotted the event, taking Cuba and Ethiopia with it.

1992 Barcelona
 A rare Olympic games with no boycotts.  The Soviet Union had broken up, and the new Russian republics competed under one banner.  The Berlin Wall had been torn down - so East and West Germany competed together as a united country.  South Africa returned to the Games after the end of apartheid and 32 years of sporting isolation.

1996: Bomb rocks Atlanta Olympics
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A bomb exploded at a crowded concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Two people killed and 111 people are injured. Eric Rudolph was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to 4 life terms for this and several other bombings.


				
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