Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

The Olympics: A Tale of Two Worlds

Written by on . Published in The olympics - a tale of two worlds

Olympic Rings in London / flickr user duncan c / CC-BY-NC-3.0
Olympic Rings in London / flickr user duncan c / CC-BY-NC-3.0

Olympic Rings in London / flickr user duncan c / CC-BY-NC-3.0 

In theory, the Olympics are a rare opportunity for athletes from every culture and every country to compete on a level playing field. But the equipment and support that is needed to develop Olympic-caliber athletes is only available to people from the world’s wealthiest countries. Do the Olympics highlight “free and fair” competition, or is it just one more scene in which the developing world’s disadvantages are starkly visible?

Future Challenges authors from around the world share their opinions on the fairness of the games. Take your pick from the Local Views on the right!

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Tom Fries Twitter: @tom_friesTom

Erstwhile neuroscientist ('97-'00), rowing coach ('99-'10), business student ('07-'09) and cupcake entrepreneur ('09). Now enjoying international work in the Germany and Washington offices of one of Germany's most prominent think tanks.

Most recent Local Views on ‘The olympics - a tale of two worlds’

  • Are Sports an Unfair Game for Women in India?

    Written by on August 30, 2012.

    “As an Indian woman of the 21st century, what I find disillusioning is the humiliating manner in which I was set up as bait in a ploy to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis.” Sania Mirza The two times Grand Slam champion and India’s number one […]

  • Wild Things: Amateurs and Wild Cards at the Olympics

    Written by on August 22, 2012.

      The mirage of unexpected excellence is something that has been animating the Olympic Games ever since their inception in the 1890s. As the chances of an amateur surpassing the reliable performance of a professionally groomed athlete grow slimmer and slimmer, this mirage becomes more potent than ever. But is […]

  • Sexism at the Olympics: A primer

    Written by on August 21, 2012.

    The 2012 London Olympic Games will be remembered as a turning point for female athletes. For the first time all 204 participating nations sent women, moreover, these are the first games in which medals were to women awarded in all sports, including boxing. However, the Games still reveal an inherent […]

  • Africa and the Great Olympic Myth

    Written by on August 19, 2012.

    The International Olympic Committee is certainly not bashful about proclaiming its lofty ideals. The Olympics, it says, is about placing sport – silver platter style – at the “service of humanity and to thereby promote peace”. The iconic Olympic rings themselves signify a kind of brotherhood or “union between men”. […]

  • How African Athletes Performed At Olympics 2012

    Written by on August 18, 2012.

      Writing a review of Africa’s participation in the Olympics has been harder than I imagined. With my country Ghana, the assessment was very simple and could be summed up with one word – flop. Looking at the continent as a whole the picture is more complex but it is […]

  • Creérnosla

    Written by on August 16, 2012.

    Abstract: Bolivia has never won an olimpic medal, not even one since 1936. It is then logical to ask ourselves why. Have we got no talent? Is it the ill famed altitude? Is it because we are a poor country? The obvious answer seems to be that since there are […]

  • Two Keys for Olympic Success in the Developing World

    Written by on August 12, 2012.

    Green, a rowing channel that radiated beauty during the 1968 Olympic games hosted by Mexico is today nothing more than a neglected, smelly, green water spot in the middle of Mexico City. Near the finish line, the screen where once people could watch the race from the stands is not […]