Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympics and Globalisation

Olympic Rings (source)
“In recent years, the Olympic Games have developed into one of the most significant mega-international sporting events” (Malfas, Theodoraki and Houliha, 2004). 
I still remember when the Olympics was hosted in Sydney in 2000. I had family living in NSW and we travelled up to see the arena’s that had been built for the events and walk around the Olympic village with my uncle who was a volunteer. It was a mind-blowing experience, even for a ten year old who knew very little about the Olympic Games.

Whether travelling to the games in London, sitting on couch at 4am, or catching the highlights on your mobile, everyone is involved. The work conversations “Did you see Usain Bolt win the 100m?” and even the controversies “Australia hasn’t performed as well as they should have” it’s unavoidable.
London 2012 Opening Ceremony (source)

Many countries fight to host the games as they are are put on the world stage and get an opportunity to show off their country, their resources and their overall dedication towards the event. Cities, like London, essentially shut down normal operation during the games and as far as I know, there is no other global event that has the same impact. Malfas, at al. (2004) suggest that ‘the increasing investments in Olympic bids to host the games, demonstrates just how securing such an event is seen as an opportunity to improve economic and social aspects of a city or region.’ The ability to watch countries from all over the world competing for a medal and ‘Olympic glory’, I think many people would agree that it is a truly globalising event.


Malfas M, Theodoraki E & Houlihan B., 2004, Impacts of the Olympic Games as mega-events, Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer, vol 157, 3, pp: 209 –220.

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