Exploring the Olympics

Exploring the Olympics

Exploring the Olympics

The Olympic games, in two four-year cycles, host athletes from all over the world in an ever-growing 67 events. However, the games encompass much beyond the sport competitions; they show and often advance worldly phenomena.

First, the International Olympic Committee or IOC is a global organization that oversees the Olympics. They organize both the Winter and Summer variations of the games. The committee seeks legitimate leadership especially by example to the athletes and the world at large. 

While watching the Olympics, especially in sports like hockey and basketball that are popular outside of the games, many viewers are left wondering how the athlete they watched compete in one country is playing for another. Especially in the age of social media, an athlete’s profile and home country is available one touch away. 

The answer lies in the Olympic Charter, updated in early August 2021. In it’s 41st rule, the IOC outlines rules regarding nationality:

“Any competitor in the Olympic Games must be a national of the country of the

NOC which is entering such a competitor. A competitor who is a national of two or more countries at the same time may represent either one of them, as he may elect”

Therefore, competitors with dual nationality can be “recruited” by different countries. Notably, national superpowers like the United States where athletes constantly travel tend to have such dual citizenships in athletes. 

However, this illustrates an issue far beyond the Olympics; power strongholds like this characterize everyday affairs. Similarly to the notion that “you need to have money to make money,” entities that are already successful are the ones able to garner the most success. 

In the business world, this is true in the fiscal notion. In the diplomatic world, countries with the most power are the ones able to advance their powers. Even in the schooling world, schools with the most resources attract even more resources. 

And similarly to a government, the IOC comes to controversial and sometimes contradictory conclusions. For example, team USA athlete Sha’Carri Richardson was disqualified from the summer Olympics after testing positive for THC, or the active ingredient in marijuana. 

Yet in the winter Olympics, Kamila Valieva had her suspension removed after testing positive for trimetazidine, a heart drug that can help with endurance. As in real life, spectators of these 

Olympics stood up for their respective opinions of the position. 

For over 3,000 years, the Olympics have been a fun activity for people around the world to escape their reality and watch, yet the games are not so different from life outside of them.