When the first occurrence of the modern Summer Olympics was held in Athens in 1896, the Games’ organizers intended the Olympics to bring the people of the world together and promote ethics and goodwill amongst mankind. The Olympic Games wasn’t put together by a marketing firm or television network. It didn’t answer to shareholders. Throughout its history (perhaps most notably in 1936 and 1968), it has helped raise awareness of social issues not by premade PSA TV spots, but by athletes taking hard stands against oppression.
(Every 4 years, the world’s elite athletes converge…)
Those days are of course long gone, if they ever truly existed. Between political protest (1980 and 1984), commercialism (the Games have been a majorly profitable enterprise since 1984), and the everpresent steroids issue, the Olympics have become nothing more than an overproduced commercial product designed to maximize TV ratings and profits. How else could you explain the International Olympic Committee’s decision to consider adding golf to the 2016 (Chicago!) Summer Olympics?