Olympics are demonstration of peaceful nations

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Megan Watts

The Olympics is a tradition that has roots dating all the way back to Ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks used to compete for glory and honor for their city-states. Over time, the Olympics have become a global event with involvement from a plethora of nations. It has evolved into an event the international community can take part in.
Recently, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have raised a lot of questions. Is the preparation for the Olympics damaging for the host city and it’s inhabitants? The intense construction needed to build stadiums suitable for the size and necessities of the Olympics is extremely expensive. In addition, other efforts to make the city suitable for the international games, like getting rid of overpopulated strays or certain health concerns, put a strain on the city’s budget and the citizens well being.
Since the Olympic Games essentially pool all the greatest athletes in one place, the specifications regarding health concerns are very complicated and require adherence from the host city. The citizens’ daily routines and daily life become interrupted.
How big of a security risk are Olympic events? Hosting such a high profile event that contains important national figures makes any location an appealing target for acts of violence. Should this deter the planning and fulfillment of the competition? With all this to consider, and a myriad of other concerns, do the Olympics seem worth having anymore?
While it may initially seem that the Olympics are just a show of splendor, wealth and athletic ability, they are so much more than that. The Olympics engage the international community in a collaborative event in which, at least for a time, all the countries involved are working towards similar goals. It provides a healthy outlet in which nations who are rivals, or even consider themselves enemies, can compete and earn prestige.
Its function and purpose goes so far beyond the physicality of it. Competing in a peaceful and nonviolent way, along with collaborating with other countries to make the event possible, makes the Olympics itself evolve into a gesture of goodwill, an essential handshake between countries.
This goes beyond simply winning an event or earning glory for one’s home nation. This is necessary for our political world in general, but it is even more essential for these current times. The last few years have been wracked with revolutions, wars, large-scale violence and a tense international political climate. The pros outweigh the cons.
If there was ever a time to recommit to an event that helps solidify a feeling of goodwill in the relationships between nations, that time would be now. The Olympics are most definitely still worth planning, having and sustaining as a world tradition.

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