By: Chriss W. Street
The ancient Olympic Games that ran from 776 B.C. to 394 A.D. were religious events used to glorify the relationships between Greek city-states. Once they resumed in 1896, the Olympics became a celebration of the nation-state, with athletes explicitly connected to national identity, and a way to win glory for one’s nation. The goal was to give an alternative for countries to showcase their national pride and compete for dominance without going to war.
Those who host the Olympics use the event as an opportunity to show their worth and shape global perceptions of their country. In 1936, Hitler used the games to advertise Germany’s achievements, and in 2008, China used them to show off its arrival as a modern nation. Now Russia is hosting the games, and it will surely try to keep the momentum of its past decade of success going. Continue reading