The Olympic Games are a world sports event that attracts the attention of hundreds of millions of people around the world. They have become one of the most watched games and are a prestigious cultural event, the biggest and highest sporting event in the world, which is the dream of every athlete. This theme is important because it is currently very up-to-date and discussed due to the onset of the start of the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. We are athletes and sports enthusiasts, and that is why we are very close to this topic and we are so interested in the fact that we have decided to process it and bring it closer to our current international relations, taking into account the cultural and political differences between the countries. This essay will tell you the evolution of the Olympic Games in terms of history and will familiarise you with the essence of the Winter Olympics.
The Olympic Games were held for the first time in 776 BC. The Olympic Games were of great importance because they consolidated the national unity of the Greeks who were divided into a number of tribes. Games have been held every 4 or 5 years in conjunction with the most important Olympia’s holiday, that is, the celebrations of God Dia.
Before the Olympics, the Olympiacos invited to participate the whole of ancient Greece, announcing the exact date of the games and proclaiming God’s peace. “It is hard for us to exaggerate how important the Olympics were for the Greeks,” Paul Christesen, Professor of Ancient Greek History at Dartmouth College, USA, said. (Olympic, O. W, 2018)
Modern Olympics are a top international multi-sport event taking place every two years in the form of the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics. Winter Olympics are games in sports that are grown on snow or ice. “The term internationalism is interpreted and used in many specific contexts. It has gained importance of political, social or philosophical scopes and scientific disciplines with diverse reference groups, such as societies, states, cultures, organisations, athletes or spectators.” (Preuss, H., & Liese, K., 2011) The Olympic symbol of five intertwined circles, which represents five continents, is one of the world’s most famous. Therefore, it shows positive connection between different nations. It is a symbol of good relationships between different countries. The Olympic rings are part of the Olympic Flag, which has a white background and has five Olympic circles in its centre. The Olympic Flag is also the Olympic Flag of Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger).
The Winter Olympics 2018 will officially start on February 9, 2018, when the opening ceremony is on schedule. However, the first athletes will be present in the action one day earlier. WO 2018 ends on February 25, 2018. Another symbol of strong relations is the white tiger. It is the official mascot WO 2018, called Soohorang. The white tiger represents a mythological figure in the culture of the Republic of Korea. In the Korean folk fairy tale, it is known as a symbol of trust, protection and strength. “‘Sooho’ means to protect in Korean language, as it will protect athletes, spectators and all participants,” says the official statement of the organising committee of ZOH and Paralympic Games 2018.
The second part of the name ‘rang’ comes from the word ‘horangi’, which means tiger. Tigers in South Korea consider themselves a sacred animal-and the Korean Peninsula itself is likened to a tiger’s body.
In my opinion, considering these cultural symbols, it is well understandable that Olympic Games hold a strong prestige within the culture and ethics. It is not only about the winning, but also about participating, bringing different cultures together, even it today’s busy and mainstream world. The International Olympic Committee says it aims to “contribute to building a peaceful and better world,” but throughout history there have been serious repercussions when sport and politics meet head-on. (News, Fox 43, 2018)
“The war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in recent months has virtually drowned out the voice of South Korea, which has an existential stake in the avoidance of full-blown conflict on the Korean peninsula.” Such a big event as Olympic Games may bring a positive contributors to the country itself, but also it may be an opportunity how to attract other countries or politicians. In the end it is important to understand the difference between the game itself and international affairs created for attraction of attention.