In the world of
sports everyone has a specific role, for example, on a baseball team, the
pitcher throws the ball, the catcher catches the pitch, outfielders catch fly
balls. Everyone has to do their role and if somebody decides not to show up
that day, either mentally or physically, then it puts the team in a bind and
they can potential not play in the game or if somebody chooses not to
participate in their position then the team will not function properly. This is
a reflection of society because everyone has his or her job that contributes to
the society in a specific role. Whether you work at a college or a doctor’s
office your role is vital to keeping the society working in a positive way. The
saying that sports are a mirror reflection of society is a very accurate

An example of a
social issue related to the Olympics was racism. This social issue was very
evident in the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. 
During these Games, Hitler was reigning in Germany. He disliked the
Jews, Gypsies, and African Americans. The great athlete of these games was Jesse
Owens, an African American, who represented Team USA. He dominated these games
winning four gold medals. However, when Owens received his medals, Hitler
refused to shake his hand and congratulate him. This shows just how great the
social 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 because
one of the core values of the Olympics is unity, so we should all keep this in

Ethics also play a
role in the Olympic games, usually in a negative way. For example the use of
performance enhancing drugs have slowly entered in to the Games. The East
Germany government is well known for their doping scandals that involved
athletes. They are considered to be the inventors of dope. The appearance of
performance enhancing drugs took place in the summer games of 1988 in Seoul. In
the final 100M race, more then half of the athletes tested positive for
performance enhancing drug use. (Hall,
Daily Mail Online) Ben Johnson, a Canadian
athlete, took first place in this race, but a few days later was stripped of
his medal and disqualified. Doping was also involved in the 2014 winter games
in Sochi. The Russian athletes tested positive for performance enhancing drugs
during these games. It has now become evident that the Russian government was
behind this scheme. In result of the Russians actions, Russia athletes will be
allowed to compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Games, if the athlete can prove they
were innocent of drug use. (Hobson, The Washington Post) Also during the 2018 Games, the IOC has banned the
Russian flag and their national anthem, so if an athlete from Russia wins a
medal, then the Olympic anthem will play, instead of the Russian national

Gambling is
another ethical issue that the Olympics have been faced with. The issue with
gambling is that people get so caught up in winning the bet that they will do
whatever it takes to ensure they win. If people ensure they know whom wins
before the competition begins then that takes away from the enjoyment and
pureness 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 made
bets on who would win certain Olympic events, including the sailing event he
would later compete in. Sources claim that O’Leary had done nothing wrong
because he had made the bets before the charter had added the gambling section.
(Sport, RTÉ)  He bet on that the British boat would win
and he was correct. O’Leary later went on and also participated at the 2012
games as well, but he did not win any medals at either of the games. So, I
guess it is safe to say that cheaters never win.

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The Greek athlete,
Voula Papachristou, is banned from the Olympics due to a racist tweet she
posted on Twitter. I think her punishment was a little harsh because everybody
makes poor choices, but she is a role model that people all around the world
look up too, so she is held at higher standard. I do not agree with the IOC’s
choice of punishment. Papachristou has worked her whole life training and
preparing for the Olympics, therefore I think she deserved to be punished
enough to show that racism is not tolerated by the IOC, but not as far as
banning her from the Olympic Games.


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