Olympism is best described as a life philosophy which is characterized by the creation of an equilibrium between the body, will, and mind. Olympism was founded on the incorporation of sport with learning also as culture, and during this way, the general result was a way of joy in one’s efforts, and mutual respect experienced within the ethical principles. intrinsically one among the first principles propagated by Olympism is humanism. However, within the times , the spirit of Olympism has been marred especially by the commercialization of the events during a term referred to as gigantization. Reducing costs and therefore the number of events would allow the present Olympic movement to deal appropriately with the challenge of commercialization while at the same time upholding the virtue of humanism (Mallon, Ian, and Jeroen 10).
Olympism is traced from the past games held in Greece, and it is known to have significant impacts on the lives of the participants and the audience as well. As such, the festival exalted the reflective elements of peace, mutual respect, voluntary participation and most of all, igniting a spirit of multiculturalism. All these aspects encouraged the development and sustenance of the virtue of humanism. The serene gathering of individuals representing their regions and cultures proved to be an indication that despite the possibility of war, diverse people can come together voluntarily and participate in a shared ground with the guidance of the standard rules. The celebrations also acknowledged the diversity of humanity and the fact that harmony can be achieved amidst the personal and cultural differences. Simply put, humanism was promoted by fair play, friendship among the participants and the lack of enmity and hatred based on politics or racial obstacles. The Olympic movement is a course that one decides to take concerning how they live. This principle is almost extinct especially in the modern Olympic Games (Poeta 89).
The most serious issue in the contemporary Olympics is not even doping but rather commercialization by creating enormous volume of events, laws, regulations, participants and cost (Papanikolaou 3). This phenomenon, also termed as gigantization has caused the rise of extreme behaviors including doping, lack of moderation and has also led to events being intertwined. Specifically, the fact that nations and athletes and organizations enter into the games solely for the purpose of generating revenue works against humanism by making money and rewards the central element for motivation and participation (Poeta 11). The discarding of humanism destabilized the aspect of peaceful and meaningful gathering by commercializing games hence overwhelming the fundamental forces of socialism. The games have now become a battle for commercial supremacy rather than a means of appreciating each other. As such, even the athletes accepted this change and respect, fairness and friendship among themselves are not regarded as important as the ultimate reward of winning. To the ancients, a victory surmounted to a visit from the goddess Nike who personified victory in the peaceful competition. On the contrary, modern Olympics, fuelled by commercialization, envisions success as having more medals and huge financial rewards instead of emphasizing on the potential value and goodness of people. Athletes are blessed with money and the represented country with medals and a status. It is no longer an issue of philosophical ideals of humanism to take part in the games but rather rivalry for economic supremacy.
The strength of ancient Olympism is embedded in its ideas especially that of peace. However, the ideologies and beliefs of the Western world have led to changes that no longer recognize these values. It is paramount for all people to understand that humanism is a universal ideal that important in today’s world. For this reason, Olympism being an idealist in nature cannot serve its purpose if people abuse it to propagate political affairs, attain self-desire and rewards as it is in the modern movement.
Chatziefstathiou, Dikaia and Norbert Müller. Olympism, Olympic Education and Learning Legacies. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014.
Mallon, Bill, Ian Buchanan, and Jeroen Heijmans. Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2012. Print.
Papanikolaou, Panagiota. “The Spirit of the Olympics vs. Commercial Success: A Critical Examination of the Strategic Position of the Olympic Movement.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science (2012): 1-5.
Poeta, Dana Anne. “Olympism, Ethics and The Rio 2016 Olympic.” Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (2014): 1-114.