According to the CIA Worldbook there are 192 independent states and 70 dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, and other miscellaneous entities. The IOC recognizes 201 national Olympic committees (NOC) so there is a difference of 61 between the two figures. However the 201 NOC's are spread onto all five continents and in that sense the Summer Olympics are truly global. However the Winter Olympics are marginally less global due to the sports that are included are somewhat more localized to colder areas of the World. However efforts are being made to bring the Winter Olympics to a wider audience (it was at one stage part of the Summer Olympics) - the most notable being Jamaica, a country in the Caribbean, who has a bobsleigh team that regularly competes (a film was made about their first Olympics - Cool Running) - Jamaica has no or very very little snow and no bobsleigh track. To answer the question in a slightly different way - the global TV audience is in excess of one billion (and this doesn't include the Internet viewers or other forms of media).
To what extent are the winter and summer Olympic Games truly global events?
The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
The Olympic Movement is based around the sporting events held every 4 years in differing locations throughout the world and aims to be the pinnacle of competition for athletes from every corner of the globe.
The Olympic Games aims to be global event in helping build a better world through participation, allowing anyone in the world with enough talent to have an equal chance of success. The Olympic Games can also be seen by a range of spectators throughout the world, both in stadia and through extensive media coverage. The Olympic Movement therefore encourages sport to bridge gaps and heal rifts within communities, this is recognized as the ï¿½Olympic spirit.
An investigation to whether this is valid will take into account: Locations Participation Success of various participants. The involvement of media Business Politics. The extent to which the Olympic Games can be considered global can only be determined every 2 years when they occur, and the evidence we use can only come from past events or the planning of future events.
The Olympic Games has historically been held in the worlds most developed countries, the Winter Games in particular has been restricted to the countries with enough snow and alpine territory to host the sports of the Winter Games. Ten out of the eighteen Winter Olympics have taken place in the European Alps, with just Sarajevo the surprise hosts of 1984, an obvious anomaly. The Summer Games has very few limiting factors on where they can take place, but still more economically developed countries (MEDCs) have had the lion's share of hosting (Figure 1). No less economically developed country (LEDC) has ever hosted the Games, however a few recently industrialized countries have been able to finance the hosting post war such as South Korea and Mexico. Seoul 1988 was not just important economically for South Korea, it also highlighted the success of the democrat South Korea compared to the Communist regime of North Korea. By the 2000 Sydney Olympics the two nations of Korea entered under one flag.
The next Winter Olympic Games, 2006, are also to be held in the European Alps in Turin and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be hosted by Canada for the second time. The 2008 Summer Olympics will be in China for the first time in Beijing. For China the 2008 Olympics will be a showcase to demonstrate their emergence as an economically prosperous country and ï¿½about 745,000 job opportunities will be created. Between 2004 and 2013, the most popular specialties in Beijing will be Urban Construction and Administration, Information Technology and Management, etc. Information specialized talents and journalism talents possessing comprehensive qualities on flat media, TV media and network media will be urgently needed by Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Even after the 2008 Olympic Games, those Olympic-related specialties such as Public Service Administration, Hotel Management, and Environmental Science will still have very wide development space in China.ï¿½
However this hosting of Summer Games by the most prosperous nations looks set to continue with Paris, London and Madrid the frontrunners in the race for the 2012 Olympics.
The IOC tries to promote a better world and influence politics. The IOC have encouraged China to attain a minimum standard of human rights for China by 2006, although if they do not the IOC has little political power to apply sanctions. The IOC wish to celebrate the fact that the 2008 Olympic Games are taking place in a reforming China. For this to be true, the following minimum standards need to be achieved by August 2006 and, where applicable, continue to be maintained until the time of the 2008 Olympic Games. These minimum standards includes guaranteed democracy in Hong Kong moratorium on the death penalty, open talks with the Tibetan government-in-exile, and abolition of the Laogai / Laojiao torture camps.
The nature of sport should allow an equal chance of success. However, the medals tables of Olympics rarely reflect the size of country. Obviously a country with a tropical climate that never sees snow is very unlikely to gain medals at the Winter Olympics but most countries should be able to compete equally in Summer Olympic events, most notably athletics. In Athens 2004, India, with 19% of the worlds population only managed one medal, while Cuba, with a population of 11 million managed 27 medals (Figure 2). This is because India has a quarter of its population living below the poverty line and the Indian government not focusing investment on sporting endeavor. On the other hand in Cuba, Fidel Castro wants to win medals to enhance Cuba's worldwide reputation, Winning boosts a nations image and unifies internal enemies with Cuban boxers in particular not being allowed to turn professional so they can compete in the Olympic Games.
Figure 2 Select Countries from final medal Table, Athens 2004Rankby Gold NOC NOC Name
Tot. Rank by Total1 USA United States 35 39 29 103 111 CUB Cuba 9 7 11 27 1166 IND India 0 1 0 1 =64
The IOC state that sport is human rights, however, the concept of sport would be out of reach for many people across the globe, with 20% of the globe living on less than a dollar a day, leisure pursuits are socially unavailable with living the major concern.
The Olympic Games have been used by others to highlight political controversies across the globe. The Moscow Olympics of 1980 were boycotted by over 50 nations in protest against the Soviet Union communist government, including the USA, who had finished third in the medals table 4 years earlier. The 1972 Munich Games were overshadowed by the murder of 11 Israeli members of their Olympic team by the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This was still an issue in 2000 when the Palestinian Olympic team threatened to boycott the Games in protest against a minute silence in memory of the 1972 murders. More recently, the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 were marred by a bomb explosion on the Olympic site by an anti-abortion fanatic. The current president of the IOC states the importance of sponsorship and businesses,"Without the support of the business community, without its technology, expertise, people, services, products, telecommunications, itï¿½s financing ï¿½ the Olympic Games could not and cannot happen. Without this support, the athletes cannot compete and achieve their very best in the worlds best sporting event." 52% of IOC revenue is from broadcasting rights, this would suggest that the Olympic Games could be seen by a large range of spectators as an increasing amount of rights are being bought (Figure 3), but we cannot tell whether the fees are increasing as well. The Olympic Games broadcast rights make up 52% of the IOC revenue . US broadcasters have contributed over $1 900 million dollars for rights to the last three Summer Olympics, this is approximately $150 million more than broadcasters from the rest of the world. This has lead to fears of an American bias in coverage and scheduling of the Olympic Games, with American orientated sports such as baseball, softball and basketball being allowed to be scheduled alone.
Top 14 Official Sponsors of the 2004 Olympic Games (in order of amount given to IOC) Company Country of Origin:
Alpha Bank Greece, Coca-Cola, USA Hellenic, Telecommunications Greece, Heineken Netherlands, Hyundai South Korea, Delta Airlines USA, Kodak USA, McDonald's USA, Samsung Korea, Visa USA, Swatch Switzerland, Panasonic Japan, Xerox USA Sponsorship, list broadcasting falls mainly in the hands of the US. Despite regularly hosting the Games, Europe has very few major sponsors of the Olympics.
"In a world like ours today, which watches with horror the armed conflicts, ethnic cleansing, terrorism and drug trafficking closely linked with hard-to-solve problems like hunger, unemployment and repeated violations of human rights, sport must transform itself into a tool to help resolve these problems." This view by a UN member, which as an organization has partnered the IOC in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is shared by the IOC itself. The IOC states as the fifth Fundamental Principle of Olympics that any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement. However this principle has been debated in recent years, with Afghanistan not being allowed entry to the Sydney Games of 2000 whilst under the Taliban regime, but Mugabe's Zimbabwe being allowed to compete at the 2004 Athens Olympics despite the view of the government of Zimbabwe as corrupt and racist.
The Olympic Games strives to be a truly global event through giving equal opportunities to everyone in hosting, participating, viewing and sponsoring the event.The host cities for both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have invariably been in MEDCs, however, the IOC has to award the hosting of the Games to more prosperous countries as LEDCs would very rarely meet a high standard of government support, public opinion, general infrastructure, security, venues, accommodation and transportation needed from a prospective host city. This is an indication that the event is related very much to business. It is not just a privilege to host the Olympic Games.
In terms of participants and chance of winning it is really an event dominated by MEDCs. This is also the case in terms of the viewers with the ideas of sport and competition beyond many of the worlds poorest people, the Olympic Games a only viewed by 1in 6 people worldwide . The potential political use of the Games is often exercised by MEDC nations attempting to highlight an issue that is important. In all, the Olympic Games could be described as a truly global event for MEDC nations. The Winter Olympics in particular is even more MEDC orientated with snow sports being the pastime of the economically developed nations with a climate with snow and terrain with slopes.
However the Summer Olympics...
The Olympic Games is the most widely participated sporting event in the world. At the Sydney games, 10,651 athletes from 199 nations participated. In Salt Lake City, 2,399 athletes represented 77 nations for the Winter Games.
While the FIFA World Cup Finals is the largest, most publicized sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games is the foremost respected venue for the global sporting community. Although I agree that the Olympic games are a global event, there are some aspects of it which mean not everyone gets to participate. For example, apart from Mexico there have been no other LEDCs which could afford to host the games. This is understandable as money is needed to host such an event. Also, some countries do not allow women to participate in the games for religious reasons. So although it involves a lot of the world, it does exclude some. It is up to the governments whether there country should compete in the Olympics. Although this is not particularly fair if the government is unstable or the country is suffering from conflict.