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Diversity in the Olympics

This paper cored me a whopping 56% at an online school named Rasmussen College in Florida. The school sample paper degrade heavy people in airline travel insulting their weight because they did not fit in the seat, the bathroom and should lose weight to save on gas. I think this school was very degrading and the dean was a grad of Northwestern Univ. who supported the teacher. ACamfield_Module11Final_121910 (alternate)

Since the Ancient Olympics in Greece, the modern day Olympics has expanded from only Grecian people who spoke Greek to worldwide competition from diverse cultures around the world in which each country’s participant vies for their country’s honor and glory. Today, we even have the Special Olympics for challenged persons who want to compete in some of the same events. Whether you enjoy sports or not, the Olympics is one of the most interesting and publicized events in the world today; both Games holding summer and winter competitions. Some of the first events in Greece were Javelin, Jump, Discus and Chariot Race.

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I have been watching the Olympics since I was a child. My favorite sports are in the winter time, even though I love swimming. Watching the Olympics, you have the opportunity to see all different types of people from various countries around the world competing in a sport they have trained in for years, probably a lifetime. One of the most popular favorites is Figure Skating, whether you like singles or Ice Dancing doubles, there is guaranteed excitement waiting for the competitors to hit the ice. Even though some of the names are familiar to me, it is very difficult to keep track of the Games and their respective winners.

Therefore, I did some research on the topic. The first thing I found was that the Ice Dancing event became an Olympic competition in 1968 at the Grenoble Olympics when two Americans named Jim Sladky and Judy Schwomeyer danced their way to a dream by performing their Ice Dancing demonstration and making history by making their competition become an Olympic event. Two Americans in Russia during the 60’s initiating an Olympic event during the Vietnam War (1954-1975) while Communist countries like China and Russia were supporting Northern Vietnamese forces. In 1973, the Vietnam War ended when Henry Kissinger and Democratic Vietnamese leader Lee

Docteau signed the Paris Conference Peace Treaty, causing the release of prisoners of war, some of whom were prisoners for more than eight years. # You can watch the video of President Nixon giving the speech on Britannica. com. There are various other video links to watch. I will attach some in my bibliography; “Learn About the Vietnam War” mentions 1968 during this specific time period. Another mentions how the war started as a training exercise to support southern Vietnam forces, escalating without warning into a full scale war. We went through three presidents during the Vietnam War and two other Olympic Games.

In the -2- 1964, the Winter Games were held in Austria while the Summer Games were held in Japan. My memories of skating history are Sonja Henie, who won three gold medals in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics, long before pairs became an event. She eventually made a career out of her efforts and training like most athletes. Personally, I remember the Ice Capades and more recently, Disney on Ice. The 1932 Olympic Games (both Summer and Winter) were held during the Great Depression in California, with a severe decline in attendance due to the economy, according to “Olympic. rg”. Only six other Olympic Games were hosted by the United States. The intensive training that Communist countries are noted and rumored for has not prevents other countries prevent from winning medals. In today’s Olympics, some of my favorite events are the downhill slalom, SuperG and Freestyle skiing competitions. In this past 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Vermont local Hannah Kearney took home the gold beating fellow American Jenn Heil, who won the silver. They are now going down in history with such famous names as Franz Klamer, Jean Claude-Killy and more recently Italian Alberto Tomba.

In speed skating, it was Gunda Neimen; male figure skating greats Hamilton and Johnson and female skating notoriety, Dorothy Hamil. Hamil as famous for the Hamil’s Camel, a figure skating move, and girls went on to emulate her hair. She eventually went on to use her Olympic career to skate professionally for the Ice Capades. In Swimming, it is Mark Spitz and more recently, Greg Louganis in diving. Mr. Phelps, in 2010 took home the gold even though there was some controversy over smoking marijuana after the event. Mark Hamel went on to win almost every gold imaginable in speed skating and triathalon.

Another more recent favorite, although they didn’t win, was the Jamaican bobsled team who had never even seen snow. The woman’s bobsled team made history when one of their competitors became the first African American athlete to win the gold in a sporting event. Fortunately, the Freestyle Olympic ski event for Hannah Kearney and Jenn Heil didn’t go down in history like the highly publicized duel between Tanja Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. My next search for information, led me to this little tidbit of information; a list of Olympic Events.

The list of events may change as some events occasionally were not held for some reason or another. Here is the first list I found on Olympic. org, the official site of the Olympic Games, related only to Gymnastics; Artistic Gymnastics which -3- includes such events as the Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars, Floor Competition, Balance Beam, Horizonal Bars, Vault and Rings. Some competitions are predominately for men such as the Rings due to strength and agility.

You should watch Olga Korbett from the USSR in the 1972 Olympics performing a back flip on the uneven parallel bars. Eventually, that flip was never performed again and Olga Korbutt went on to win the silver in that specific event and the golds in three other gymnastic events. Later, in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, Olga Korbut went on to win a gold and a silver. During the same 1972 Summer Games in Munich where Ms. Korbut stole the spotlight, Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinian terrorists in retaliation for the release of some prisoners, only delaying the competition for a few days.

Another famous name you might remember is Nadia Comaneci from Romania in the 1976 Olympics who scored an unheard of perfect “10” to capture the gold in the uneven parallel bars. By the end of the Games, she had won three gold medals, one bronze and one silver, scoring an unprecedented seven perfect tens. In the next Olympic Games in Moscow 1980, she went on to win two gold medals and two silver. She eventually went on to marry an American gymnast named Bart Conner. She is heavily involved in the Special Olympics International and runs a business with her husband named, “Boomers Building a Better America. You can find them on Facebook where they promote fundraising to help in underprivileged communities. Her husband Bart Conner participated in the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics, winning two gold medals in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics while overcoming previous training injuries. Like his future wife, he also scored a perfect ten on the parallel bars. Both Olympians used their Olympic fame to help in future non-for profit endeavors, helping to build better communities. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter announced the United States would boycott the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics because of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Eventually, the American Hockey Team went on to beat the Russians in what was dubbed, “the Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games. This is something I remember, even though I am not a big fan of hockey, even as a young teenager. The memory has stuck with me as the anticipation of world events influenced a sporting competition between two opposing countries and the threat of war. The 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid museum has the never released film of the hockey historical event.

At that time, the Iron Curtain was still very prevalent and influential, possibly leading to its -4- demise in 1990. During World War I, Germany was supposed to host the Olympics, but it was cancelled due to the war. On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill gave his “Sinews of Peace” speech at Westminster in regards to the Iron Curtain and Russia’s occupation of Germany. According to Churchill’s speech, many countries including Poland, Germany, Turkey, and Persia were dominated by Russian Communist interference.

Greece was the only country (with the exception of Czechoslovakia) “…free to decide it’s future at an election under British, American and French observation. “# At that time in history, Jewish people had pretty much been annihilated by Hitler and his forces through attempted genocide. The Russian Revolution (1917- 1945) which started with Lenin during World War I promoting socialism and separation of church and state, ended with Stalin invading Germany in 1945 and killing Hitler, was an almost welcome site virtually ending World War II.

During World War II, Britian and France fought Germany, Polish people fought Germans, Italians fought against Americans and the Japanese fought against Australians. New Zealand, Canada and So. Africa joined in. By the end of World War II, more than 60 million people lost their lives and most of Europe and parts Asia were destroyed. Although Stalin was notorious for killing his own Generals when he thought they would turn on him, killing Catholic priests and destroying their religious art, he had stopped Hitler and his forces finally ending the war. I have a book with photographs of pictures from the genocide of World War II.

They are much different than the Olympic photos. You should compare the photos of war with the Olympic sporting competition events to get a real feel for what political power and hatred and do, especially when related to religion. In the days of Ancient Greece, it was the Christians. Helsinki Finland in 1952, Germany and Japan were allowed to compete again in the Olympics or the first time since World War II. The Soviet Union also returned after a 40 year absence, previously invading Finland during World War II. Italy1956, the USSR competes in it’s first Winter Olympics.

They dominated the field of speed skating and relieved Canada of it’s Hockey throne. 1972 in Sapporo Japan, East and West Germany sent separate teams until the 1988. -5- From 1956 to 1964, East and West Germany competed n the United Team of Germany (EAU). In 1992, they competed as one nation Seoul Olympic Stadium 1988, Cuba and Ethiopia avoided the Olympics in support of North Korea who also refused to attend. Americans, Florence Griffith-Joyner and her cousin Jackie Joyner-Kersee took home medals and Carl Lewis was given back the gold after Canadian Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids.

East German athlete Christa Rothenburger became the first athlete to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Games, also competing in Calgary (track cycling and speed skating). In 1990, the Iron Curtain fell, changing the face of Communism. No country is omitted from the competition unless they are disqualified for drugs or unsportsmanlike behavior, sometimes not due to their own mistakes. A recent example of this at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games was Sven Kramer, a Dutch speed skater who incorrectly changed lanes in a 25 lap race. Even though it was his coach’s istake, he paid for it and was disqualified. The disqualification took precedence over the Netherland’s military presense in Afghanistan by actually knocking the story off the headlines. Some other examples of disqualification are; the 2010 Korean women’s short track skater who was disqualified by the same Australian judge who DQ’d a Korean male skater in the 2002 Olympics for blocking Apolo Ohno in the 1,500m speed skating event. In turn, Ohno was disqualified in the Vancouver 2010 500 meter for bumping a Canadian, causing him to crash.

Korea took the silver in the men’s 2010 while the Korean women lost to China in the Vancouver 2010 Games. In the 2010 Equestrian Event, Amy Tryon was disqualified for being “separated from her horse” by falling off Poggio II, a supposed repeat performance that cost a previous horse it’s life. In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, a Taiwanese baseball player was disqualified for testing positive to substances in his body that were eventually deemed as fertility drugs. Even though this seems outrageous and acceptable to myself, he was banned from the Olympics, noticeably missing from the bench.

When searching for disqualifications for the Special Olympics, I couldn’t find any information. What I did find was that Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a summer day camp in June 1962 for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in a variety of sports and physical activities. In 1971, the Olympic Committee gave the approval for the Special Olympics to be one of the only two organizations to use the word “Olympics” -6- in the U. S..

In September 1986, the United Nations in New York City initiated the International Year of Special Olympics under “Special Olympics-Uniting the World”. As a now partially disabled person who has participated in sports their entire life, I see the Special Olympics in a different light. When you can not compete with people who are considered “able bodied”, at this time you can compete in events that professional athletes are respected and envied for, making you part of the norm. All this because of a woman who volunteered to help people with disabilities, making the Special Olympics as big a competition as the Olympic Games.

You can become a coach, volunteer or help with fundraising, giving you a rewarding experience of a lifetime. I once had the opportunity to help coach a Special Olympic ski program, but felt as though my skills weren’t good enough. I now realise what an opportunity I had lost to help someone else fulfill their dream of becoming an athlete. Now that I am partially disabled, I see athletic ability, stamina and persistence differently than I did before. What I had to give was a gift that most people never have the opportunity to enjoy or even participate in.

You might have what it takes to help someone else fulfill their dream. In 2011, Athens, Greece the site of the original Olympics will be hosting the 2011 Summer Special Olympic Games. Between June 25th and July 4th, the 13th Special Olympic World Summer Games will include approximately 7,000 athletes from 180 countries, 3,000 coaches and officials, 25,000 volunteers, 40,000 family members and just as many spectators, as well as hundreds of journalists who will document the efforts and achievements of the athletes#.

Their efforts and achievements are somewhat different than those of the Olympic Games athletes as they are overcoming challenges that might prevent them from participating in everyday activities to compete in some of the same events as promising worldwide Olympic athletes. Athens, the site of the original Olympic Games is hosting the World Games for those of various degrees of challenging disability in their lives, just like the Olympic athletes who train for years to compete for their specific country of origin.

In conclusion, the Olympics, even though it is considered a “peaceful” international competition, may involve political interests and possible unrest within the competing nations. Countries and their athletes as well as their leaders push themselves, striving for excellence, hoping to win; Sometimes regardless of the cost to personal and -7- professional lives along with political investment.

Although the Iron Curtain has fallen, memories of the Cold War remain in such games as the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics when socialist and capitalist systems were struggling for supremecy. Winning and participating in the Olympics during these controversial times does not make up for lives lost during or before competition due to wars or control of political interests or power. But it does represent the spirit of each individual athlete striving for it’s independence and their own personal freedom by competing and completing their dream for themselves and their country.

As they say, history repeats itself and events that have happened in history repeatedly happen due to both human initiative and hatred. A country like Bosnia comes to mind. Bibliography: The New York Times: “Disqualified Dutch Speedskater Kramer Grabs the Headlines at Home”, http://www. nytimes. com/2010/02/25/sports/olympics/25kramer. html? _r=1 EuroSport/UK & Ireland: “Winter Olympics: China Win Gold After Disqualification”, http://www. uk. eurosport. yahoo. com/25022010/58/winter-olympics-china-win-gold-disqualication. html Merinews. om: “Olympics: Tryon’s Disqualification and Disgrace”, http://www. merinews. com/article/olympics-tryons-disqualification/139361. html Sport Illustrated. com: “Thrown Out”, http://www. sportsillustrated. cnn. com/olympics/2002/speed_skating/news/2002/02/21/south-korea-lawsuit_ap/ Fertility Clinics: “Olympic Disqualification For Fertility Drugs? ”, http://www. fertilityclinics. com/olympic-disqualification-for-fertility-drugs. html The New York Daily News: “Despite Apolo Ohno’s Disqualification, TeamUSA Pulls in Two More Olympic Medals at Vancouver”, http://www. ydailynews. com/sports/winter_olympics/2010/2010/02/27/2010-02-27_despite_ohno_dq_two_more_medals. html Special Olympics: “The History of Special Olympics”,http://www. specialolympics. org/history. aspx BookRags: “Olympics and Cold War”, Http://http:bookrags. com/history/olympics-and-cold-war-aaw-04 About. com: http://www. figureskating. about. com/od/famousicedancers/a/sladky. htm http://www. gymnastics. about. com/od/majorcompetitions/tp/greatestmoments. html Answers. com: http://www. answers. com/topic/vietnam-war with video by Britannica Studios http://www. ideo. answers. com/the-beginning-of-the-vietnam-war-13554477 http://www. video. answers. com/learn-about-vietnam-war-1959-1975-117521629 http://www. video. answers. com/learn-about-the-vietnam-war-1959-1975-map-117517574 Olympic. org: http://www. olympic. org/en/content/Olympic-Games/All-Past-Olympic-Games/Winter/Innsbruck-1964 Olga Corbett. com: http://www. olgakorbut. com/korbut. html BartandNadia. com: http://www. bartandnadia. com/bios/49-nadias-bio Facebook: Elations, “Bommers Building a Better America”.

Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech: “Sinews of Peace” http://www. historyguide. org/europe/churchill. html Russian Revolution: http://www. rationalrevolution. net/war/russian_revolution. html http://www. marxist. org/archive/lenin/works/1905/dec/03. htm http://www. worldwar-2. net http://www. factmonster. com/ipka/A0115111. html, A0114572. html Olympic Ballparks. com: http://www. olympic. ballparks. com/1988Seoul/index. htm Top End Sports: “Germany at the Olympics”, http://www. topendsports. com/events/summer/countries/germany. tm Genocide: The Jews in Europe 1939-1945 : Ballantine’s Illustrated History of a Violent Century; Human Conflict No. 4; Ward Rutherford Tufts University Library; http://www. perseus. tifts. edu/Olympic/sports. html http://www. perseus. tufts. edu/Olympics/pentatholon. html Lake Placid Olympic Museum: http://www. whitface. com/summer/activities/museum. php The National Archives: http://www. archives. com: Studienfart 1934, Griechenland 2 http://loc. gov. pictures/item/2005678768 Questia. com: http://www. questia. com The Valley News: February 13, 2010: Sports Section B: “A Clash in Canada” by Eddie Pells.

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