O/T Berlin Olympics 1936 - IS COMPETITION HEALTHY?
drugs may have played a part... germany has always been further advanced in the sciences than most other countries... infusing the masses with emotions, causing nationalism to surge to peak levels... is what supposedly Hitler had become good at... getting the hormones working in the blood streams of so many ... it is supposed that this could be analogous to the masses, in general, being on drugs...
‘We now have to face the reality that the Olympics constitute not only an athletic
event but a political event’ Peter Ueberroth, Former president of the Los Angeles
Olympic Organizing Committee (1984)
"Governments have many reasons to be involved in sport.
The first reason is to maintain and protect public order. The government enforces the law, defends liberties and prohibits illegal acts. During sporting events with high risk or overcrowded stadiums, the police is present to calm passions, secure access to the stadium
and to prevent tensions between both camps of supporters.
- The second reason is to promote sport facilities to diminish health problems among the population. In industrial countries, there is a high rate of people suffering from overweight. This policy of sport contribute to improve citizen’s fitness and to reduce health problems and medical costs.
- The third reason is to promote the prestige of a group, a community or a Nation. Many governments have understood the power and the prestige of a medal won in the Olympics, giving them financial helps to encourage their efforts. Local governments underline the victories of local team to promote the advantages of their regions or towns.
- The fourth reason is to promote a sense of identity, belonging and unity. Emotional unity is created during sport events, making the different members of the society closer. Regional sport events bring people together, they can meet, exchange feelings and thought about their teams, federating them behind one team. The people seem to belong to the same group, sharing an emotional unity, during the time of a game. These common values are used to unify the region rather than promote cultural diversity of minorities. [It is called building nationalism.]
- The fifth reason is to develop values within dominant political ideology. The elite sport is sponsored by some governments to develop the values these states want to promote to the citizen such as discipline, loyalty, (etc..). The Soviet Union developed the values of collectivism, teamwork, common aims and comradeships.
- The last reason is to increase citizen support of political leaders and government itself. The sport is used to create support and associate politicians to victory. The affection of citizen increased with politician interested in sport, making them closer to the population. Politicians often congratulate winners of major sport events. Former president Reagan always associated his image with winners of Olympics."
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was dominated by the French and they did not allow Germany to participate in the 1920 and the 1924 Olympics ‘after being held responsible for starting the war’ (Krüger in Arnaud & Riordan 1998, p.81). Germany was excluded from the international scene until 1925-6, and having been banned from having its own military and losing its borders with the neighbours.
The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin had become a huge propaganda coup for Hitler. The siting of the games had been agreed in 1931 as a way of bringing Germany back into the international community following its defeat in the First World War. Little did the French know that Hitler would soon become chancelor of Germany.
The fact that no army could be trained gave ideas to the German government. The democratic Germany state used sports to increase mass participation and to training people and gave public facilities to sport increase mass participation and to training people and gave public facilities to sport championships. This effort of sport training gave good results, a second place in the rank medals at the Amsterdam Olympics: ‘After so many years of isolation this seemed to be quite a surprise to many, but it should not be overlooked that Germany sent the largest team, had large crowd support and a well-organized sports system’ (Ibid p.83).
Sports organisations were financed and controlled by the Nazi Party. Until the
end of the peace period and at the beginning of the war, German teams were having
international meetings sports to ‘maintain an air of normality’. Hitler started the war and he wanted to see if the ‘system of physical education’ was efficient in the preparation of German soldiers. Von Tschammer, the Nazi leader of the sport organisation, ordered that German should continue to do sport: ‘being an indispensable condition for the education of youth for military readiness’ 72 (cited in Arnaud & Riordan 1998, p.90)."