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As another chapter of the Summer Olympic Games unfold today in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, the question now begs, why does the world love the Olympics? We offer you some reasons.
1. The Olympics is one of the greatest shows on earth.
It showcases the best that the sporting world could offer and everybody just loves winners. There is never a dull moment in each event because it is just intense and competitive.
2. The Olympics is full of Drama.
As the games are so competitive, the Olympics reveals the extreme emotions humans can carry under intense pressure. Take the case of swimming. The 100m Men’s butterfly final arguably is one of the most dramatic finishes in the Olympics where Michael Phelps of the United States beat Milorad Cavic of Serbia by one hundredth of a second (0.01) with his 50.58 seconds finish setting a new Olympic record against Cavic’s 50.59. It is a personification of the age old adage “every second counts” as pundits will say.
3. The Olympics is occassionally rocked by scandals.
Part of the Olympic drama are the scandals that rock every Olympics the most common of which are cheating and doping. One of the most scandalous results in the Olympics happened in the 1988 Seoul Olympics where Roy Jones, Jr. who dominated South Korean Boxer Park Si Hun for a 3-2 result despite domination the former landing 86 punches against only 32 for the South Korean. It was found in the investigation later on that the judges were treated by the host country that pressured them to produce a gold medal.
More recently, the evils of doping have rocked the Olympics. The use of performance enhancing drugs has proliferated and as a result, results have to be reversed and medals withdrawn.
4. The Olympics has also become a venue for politics and raising several issues.
The cold war caused the United States and its allies to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest of the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. Returning the “favor”, the Soviet Union and fourteen of its allies boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics allegedly because of security reasons for their athletes. The political flavor also produced a tragedy when in the 1972 Munich Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes and officials were held hostage and killed by members of the Palestinian Terrorist group Black September.
This year, even as games have not yet started in Rio, there are already controversies like the sub-standard Olympic Village which is causing an early outcry from the athletes and officials. Add to this the Zika Virus and some security issues in Brazil.
Regardless of the issues and controversies, the world is still in love with the Olympics, waiting for the next great finish because every drama that the games magnify, mirrors the drama that every ordinary citizen encounters in his or her daily life. We can’t wait to witness all those drama.
So now, let the games begin!
Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony Fireworks