In the world ofsports everyone has a specific role, for example, on a baseball team, thepitcher throws the ball, the catcher catches the pitch, outfielders catch flyballs. Everyone has to do their role and if somebody decides not to show upthat day, either mentally or physically, then it puts the team in a bind andthey can potential not play in the game or if somebody chooses not toparticipate in their position then the team will not function properly. This isa reflection of society because everyone has his or her job that contributes tothe society in a specific role. Whether you work at a college or a doctor’soffice your role is vital to keeping the society working in a positive way.
Thesaying that sports are a mirror reflection of society is a very accuratestatement.An example of asocial issue related to the Olympics was racism. This social issue was veryevident in the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. During these Games, Hitler was reigning in Germany. He disliked theJews, Gypsies, and African Americans. The great athlete of these games was JesseOwens, an African American, who represented Team USA.
He dominated these gameswinning four gold medals. However, when Owens received his medals, Hitlerrefused to shake his hand and congratulate him. This shows just how great thesocial issue racism was during this time, considering the behavior of the host.Hopefully, this issue will be mainly be resolved when it comes to the games becauseone of the core values of the Olympics is unity, so we should all keep this inmind. Ethics also play arole in the Olympic games, usually in a negative way.
For example the use ofperformance enhancing drugs have slowly entered in to the Games. The EastGermany government is well known for their doping scandals that involvedathletes. They are considered to be the inventors of dope. The appearance ofperformance enhancing drugs took place in the summer games of 1988 in Seoul. Inthe final 100M race, more then half of the athletes tested positive forperformance enhancing drug use. (Hall,Daily Mail Online) Ben Johnson, a Canadianathlete, took first place in this race, but a few days later was stripped ofhis medal and disqualified.
Doping was also involved in the 2014 winter gamesin Sochi. The Russian athletes tested positive for performance enhancing drugsduring these games. It has now become evident that the Russian government wasbehind this scheme. In result of the Russians actions, Russia athletes will beallowed to compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Games, if the athlete can prove theywere innocent of drug use. (Hobson, The Washington Post) Also during the 2018 Games, the IOC has banned theRussian flag and their national anthem, so if an athlete from Russia wins amedal, then the Olympic anthem will play, instead of the Russian nationalanthem. Gambling isanother ethical issue that the Olympics have been faced with.
The issue withgambling is that people get so caught up in winning the bet that they will dowhatever it takes to ensure they win. If people ensure they know whom winsbefore the competition begins then that takes away from the enjoyment andpureness of the game. Gambling was a serious problem during the sailing event,at the China games, in 2008. Peter O’Leary was an Irish sailor, who had madebets on who would win certain Olympic events, including the sailing event hewould later compete in. Sources claim that O’Leary had done nothing wrongbecause he had made the bets before the charter had added the gambling section.
(Sport, RTÉ) He bet on that the British boat would winand he was correct. O’Leary later went on and also participated at the 2012games as well, but he did not win any medals at either of the games. So, Iguess it is safe to say that cheaters never win. The Greek athlete,Voula Papachristou, is banned from the Olympics due to a racist tweet sheposted on Twitter. I think her punishment was a little harsh because everybodymakes poor choices, but she is a role model that people all around the worldlook up too, so she is held at higher standard. I do not agree with the IOC’schoice of punishment.
Papachristou has worked her whole life training andpreparing for the Olympics, therefore I think she deserved to be punishedenough to show that racism is not tolerated by the IOC, but not as far asbanning her from the Olympic Games.