Justice is one of the most essential ideals of the Olympic Games. Without justice, many competitors at the cutting-edge Olympic Games would have no chance of participating in the games. There has been a marked enchancment in fairness in the Olympic Games. Justice is nowadays spreading in everyone’s favor, specifically women rights. Justice must be applied in every aspect of our lifestyles regardless of the field: work, school, hospitals and our own homes. Unfortunately, justice hasn’t always been applied in the Olympic Games, and it is still not being utilized in some aspects of Olympic Games.
A lot of the information that we agree with we understand about the Olympics is founded on legends, writers, celebratory figures and urns. Although the beginning of the Olympics was contentious, the principle of equal opportunity at the ancient Olympic Games was essential to the Greeks in their athletic competition. Each and every free male Greek was allowed to take part in the ancient Olympic Games, irrespectively of their position in the society. However, justice wasn’t applied to its full potential. For instance, females weren’t allowed to participate physically at the Olympic Games. Married women were not allowed to participate in or watch the ancient Olympic Games. However, unmarried women could attend the competition. “Originally, women were not allowed to compete or view the Games. (The women would eventually create their own games and dedicate them to the Goddess Hera, sister-wife of Zeus. These games were held at a time separate from the male Olympics)” (Delaney and Madigan 53). There are a number of reasons for this. Women were treated as second class citizens similar to foreign people. The male Olympic participants took part naked and it would have been undesirable for reputable women to take part at the same Olympic Games naked, too. Also, it was a prerequisite for the contestants to exercise in readiness for the games for a period of approximately 10 months, a duration that many of the married or widowed women could not afford to be away. In this era, it was also humiliating and shameful to be defeated by a woman. Hence, we can ultimately say that ancient Olympics were just for the male gender.
The role of women from being docile to active was made possible by the end of the 19th century by industrial development of nations and the influence of societal changes owing to the women’s movement. This transformation was gradually creeping into sports. We find women of every race, age, and religion participating at the modern Olympic Games and seeking gender equality in sport. Women participating in the Olympics are taking the lead and winning gold medals for themselves and for their country. Women are now dominant in many sports including gymnastics, swimming, basketball, rowing, and water polo. Johnson proves this in her book where she writes about winning gold for gymnastics in the “2008 Olympic balance team” (133). Moreover, there has been a swift reduction in the gender gaps in sports events with both men and women as participants. We have many communities supporting women to participate in all sports in the Olympic Games. For example, we have the International Olympics Committee (IOC). The committee has put so much effort in increasing women’s participation in the Olympic Games. “The IOC also recognizes that gender equality is a critical component of effective sports administration and continues to support the promotion of women and girls in sport at all levels and structures” (Satpal 48).
Age, gender, country and religion should not be a barrier and thus, prevent people from participating in the Olympics. All competitors have the right to participate regardless of their nationality as long as they have the physical potential to participate. Another factor being seen nowadays in the Olympics is political power. This is common when it comes to bidding to host the games. “The contest to procure the Olympic Games is a large-scale political campaign, much like any other, being, in effect, a completion between several highly resourced and well-connected publicity machines” (Wagg 30). We see the stronger countries have more competitors than some poor countries; to mention that if the country does not have the approval of the International Olympics Committee’s it is not able to participate in the Olympics. In the modern society, justice has prevailed in most of the countries. Age, gender or race is no longer the hindering factor. One is able to achieve his or her goals providing they have the talent and the commitment. Any person that tries to hinder one from participating is faced with the rule of law.
In conclusion, the participation of women in the Olympic Games has steadily increased. Freeman mentions that many organizations are encouraging and supporting the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures, with implementing the principle of equality of men and women (190). This will ensure that gender equality is highly looked into and that no party is looked down upon. Therefore, all the athletes are given equal opportunities to showcase their skills and talents at the international level.
Delaney, Tim, and Tim Madigan. The Sociology of Sports. 2nd ed. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland &Company, 2015. Print.
Freeman, William H. Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science in a Changing Society. 8th ed. N.p.: Jones & Bartlett, 2013. Print.
Johnson, Shawn Machel. Winning Balance. N.p.: Tyndale House, 2012. Print.
Kaur, Satpal. Glimpse of Women in Sport. 1st ed. N.p.: Laxmi Book, 2015. Print.
Wagg, Stephen. The London Olympics of 2012: Politics, Promises and Legacy. N.p.: Springer, 2016. Print.