Politics And The 1936 Olympics

The rules that govern Olympic Games clearly indicate that no political propaganda and their demonstrations are not allowed in the Games. However, Olympics Games have faced political wars over the years. Governments fight one another for a chance to host the games. Some governments have used their chance to host to Olympic Games to advance their political and sometimes personal agendas. Hosting the Games should benefit the citizens and athletes economically. However, not all governments are concerned with benefits to their nationals when fighting for their chance to host the games. The games have become a stage for nations to prove their might and stability to other nations at the expense of their citizens. This was the case in Berlin Olympic Games in 1936.

Politics and the 1936 Olympic Games

Many political analysts argue that the Olympics Games were awarded to Germany in 1936 as a demonstration that the country was back to the world community. Germany had lost this status after the First World War. The international Olympic committee awarded Germany the games before the Nazis came to power. Adolf Hitler, Nazis party leader took over power and used the Games as a perfect opportunity to propel his dictatorial rule. The German Olympic team was under pressure to train and win most if not all awards.

Hilter’s government banned Jewish athletes from participating in the 1936 Olympics. Since the Olympics started in Greece, Nazis used their power to show the world their capability as the heirs of the Greek culture. Hilter wanted to prove that the Nazis were superior in sports. Campaigns against Jews took centre stage as Germany prepared to host the games. Anti- Jewish posters were painted the streets. Western democracies threaten to boycott the Berlin Olympics if Nazis continued to discriminate Jews. Hilter’s government managed to convince the event organizers that there was no discrimination in Germany despite the issues raised by Jewish citizens.

Germany managed to retain their award and host the Games amidst the controversies. Even after the issues encountered during the 1936 Olympics, the Olympics Committee decided to award Germany another chance to host the games in 1940. Fortunately, Germany pulled out and the Games were cancelled.

Politics in the Olympics after 1936 Olympics

Nations seem not to have learned from the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Olympics Games hosts have continued to use the event to propagate different political agendas. Human rights groups have over the years fought against decisions by the International Olympics Committee to award to regimes they consider oppressive. Governments use their participation or boycott from the event to communicate their stand on some political issues. Athletes in such nations are disadvantaged, as they do not get a chance to compete and win international awards.

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