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Business, Management and Economics » "Globalization - Approaches to Diversity", book edited by Hector Cuadra-Montiel, ISBN 978-953-51-0709-5, Published: August 22, 2012 under CC BY 3.0 license. © The Author(s).

Globalization, Olympism, Sport and Multiculturality - Reality or Necessity

By Constantin Pehoiu and Gica Pehoiu
DOI: 10.5772/48572

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Overview

Figure 1. Funds allotted for the realization of the goals of the last three Olympic cycles (Source: OS reports)

Figure 2. The city brand hexagon: Potential, Pulse, People, Basic needs, Place, Presence

Figure 3. Olympism: a socio-human approach (adaptation after N. Postolache, 2004, p. 170)

Figure 4. Structure of the Olympic education forms (adaptation after N. Postolache, 2004, p. 191)

Globalization, Olympism, Sport and Multiculturality – Reality or Necessity

Constantin Pehoiu and Gica Pehoiu

1. Introduction

By means of our approach, we will try to bring to light the main demands and restrictions that have lain and will continue to lie at the basis of the evolution and of the confrontation, of the purpose and of the goals of the Olympic Movement, of sports in general, and their connection with the problems of mankind from the perspective of globalization. From this perspective, one of the premises of our approach starts from the fact that, by comparison to the past, mankind has reached the wall, this aspect being highlighted by the recent unprecedented population growth and by the inhabitation of the most unexpected Earth areas (recently, we have recorded 7 billion inhabitants). At the same time, given the existing means of communication and transport, namely given the compression of time and space, the human individual has become homo planetarium being present anywhere and anytime, in this way getting to reach the limits of any delimitation that man has ever wanted to know and to experiment professionally, emotionally or affectively. Yet, this phenomenon is nothing new. In 1955, A. Gregg stated, for instance, that “The Earth has cancer, and the cancer is man”; 19 years later, in Mankind at the Turning Point, J. Clifford stated that “suddenly…the world has found itself faced with a series of unprecedented crises… The intensity of the crisis appeared in the world’s global development… can only be solved in a global context". Then, we attained the concept of "organic growth", which later on became, after many transformations, the concept of “sustainable development”, concepts that are still evolving.

So, globalization is becoming a process of increased interdependence among societies and people on an economic, political, cultural and social level. Trade ties, battles, migration and culture have been present everywhere in mankind’s history. The recent globalization process has delivered from chains and brought independence to many people from different parts of the Globe.

Doubtlessly, the most important sports competitions, by the enthusiasm they generate, do promote a strong social, economic and educational interaction; sometimes the impact that sport events have may be stronger than all the texts of any political conventions. The friends of sports organize contests or participate in them as simple spectators, accepting without reserve democratic procedures, international treaties, rules and relations based on common goals and values.

The Olympic Games have been around for about 3000 years in the history of mankind. Now, it is hard to imagine the changes that have taken place in society, state, education, technology and even religion. Remarkable is the fact that the Olympic idea, a theory of certain ideals related to a certain lifestyle, has remained practically unchanged during all this incredible period, preserving the humanitarian goals expressed in values such as Freedom, Justice and Equality.

The Olympic competition supposes the mutual knowledge of one another’s history, and accepting others, a political concept of respect for the native country, which rejects any attempt of getting people to fuse. Today, this competition is a spectacular evidence of the physical, intellectual, economic, technological realizations of mankind on a global scale.

After the 15th edition, of 1952, from Helsinki, all the artistic actions, namely music, dancing, theatre shows and art exhibitions organized in the Olympic country and city, have represented attraction points for the hundreds of thousands of tourists arrived here, which proves that sports is an efficient instrument for combining culture and exercise with the desire to know new physical-geographic and historical areas, unknown up to that moment.

Often, on the agenda of the world’s official and unofficial institutions, it was possible to find the Olympic Movement issue, the aspects brought to light being rather those related to the organization and completion of the different editions of the Olympic Games. However, the Olympic contest has had a significant popularity, the offer for organizing the summer or winter Olympic competitions becoming increasingly generous and the administrative, economic, sportive, cultural and educative activities of the International Olympic Committee becoming more and more numerous. The aims of this world organization has benefited of the attention of other global organizations, namely UNO, UNESCO and UNICEF. The Olympic city has become an international one, and the Olympic competition, to which sportsmen, trainers, officials, journalists and other people of over 200 states take part (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008), has become a universal one, which, beside the above-mentioned details, constitutes as well a good opportunity of sustainable development of the tourist infrastructures and not only. This manner of advertising has determined the amendment of the Olympic Charter by the Olympic forum (IOC), out of the desire to complete it with principles related to ecology and to the preservation of the Earth’s biodiversity. So, the cities hosting the Olympic Games or other regional, European or world sports competitions are becoming development models, trying to produce no damaging effects on the environment.

At the same time, the financial policy of the international Olympic forum has got the cities of different sizes from countries all over the world, dreaming of the possibility of successfully hosting the Olympic Games and, on the other hand, has assured the required resources needed to support sports for all whenever that is necessary, giving an increased attention and assistance to the cultural programs, from which the sports activities proposed by the host cities are not missing.

The Larousse Encyclopedia (1995) defines culture as a term coming from the Latin cultura, which means general cultivation, especially of the human skills. Physical culture is defined by The Terminology of Physical Education and Sports (Terminologia educaţiei fizice şi sportului) (1974) as a domain of universal culture synthesizing the categories, the laws, the institutions and the material goods created for valorizing physical exercise, in order to complete man’s biological and, implicitly, spiritual potential. This notion has a more restrained circulation value, being used to highlight general effects of the concentric use of all the constituent elements.

The main sense attributed to sports culture by the same work is that, as an essential part of the universal culture, it synthesizes the categories, the laws, the institutions and the material goods created for an intensive valorization of the physical exercise in competition, the final goal being to obtain supremacy or a record, following man’s biological and spiritual improvement. We consider that, today, the interrelation sport-culture is beginning to no longer be considered an elitist phenomenon and, little by little, this relation is becoming general and accepted as an expression of cultural internationalization.

At the same time, for the media, the Olympic contest is becoming one of the best opportunities to test technological novelties, which proves the economic and communicational complexity of these modern social phenomena. Television represents one of the valuable revenue sources for the Olympic Movement but also for advertizing the country and city organizing the Olympic events, as well as their cultural and historical-geographic identity. We should approach this aspect from a longer temporal perspective, as the host country and especially city can become at any moment spots of tourist attraction: often those who participated as spectators feel the desire to return, often joined by other fellows willing to know the places where the best sportsmen in the world competed to obtain the Olympic crown. For a better perception of the phenomenon, of the desire to become Olympic hosts, in the table below, we shall present the list of the candidate and winner cities that prevailed in time in the contest for obtaining this status.

The data from Table 1 show that the obtaining of the status of host city for the modern Olympic competition has been constantly disputed, especially by cities from countries with a capitalist government. The only exception was Moscow in 1980, being the only metropolis situated on the other side of the iron curtain. The decision of organizing the 22nd edition on the territory of the former USSR was taken out of the desire to calm down the impetus of the political supremacy of the cold war period, which has amplified even more the pacifist ideal of the International Olympic Movement, demonstrating its apolitical character.

Table 1.

Candidate cities and winners of the status of host of the modern Summer Olympic Games

2. Globalization and Olympism - A possible incursion into the future through the past

Since the 16th-18th centuries until today, in the history of mankind, one can distinguish two major periods of huge changes, the Modern period, reaching up to the end of the First World War, and the Contemporary period, beginning with the year 1918. Industrialization and urbanization, alphabetization and the intensification of the social-cultural exchanges, the constitution of certain states oriented towards national development represent a few of the important features of this period of affirmation of the liberal capitalism.

Globalization constitutes the young top term of the moment, the most mediated and probably the least understood concept of this millennium. It could be just an accident, a transitory period on the scale of the future. Ecologists, human rights defenders, groups of farmers and third world citizens call this term at the encounters of the world powers’ elite, wherever they take place throughout the world. At the same time, economists and journalists specialized in business fill entire bookshelves and tomes proclaiming globalization as a historical inevitability. The phenomenon is much older, the great geographic discoveries being the ones that established it as a new chance, laying the foundations of the European imperialism, substantiated in an intense fight, as the English, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Belgians, the Germans and later on the Americans became possessors of lands that later on came to be known as the third world. So, colonialism has been considered the brand and the essence of the globalization phenomenon, namely the discovery of new lands allowing an easy access to raw matters and at the same time their exploitation through the cheap labor of the local people. At the same time, the colonies provided a dumping area for the excess of products obtained by their holders. During a ten year period, 1860-1870, the global trade exploded: the richness of the colonies was going towards the great metropolises of the then and of today’s world. The awareness of this reality was substantiated in the investments made for the construction of railroads, ports, roads or new towns, the globalization of those times, substantiated in the transfers of capital from north to south, being much more obvious towards the end of 1890 than at the end of 1990. The year 1913, the climax of the economic integration due to cheap transports, recorded a higher export ratio meant for the great metropolises compared to the exports that took place in 1999 (Ellwood, W. 2001). The two World Wars during which the European powers and Japan eroded each other from a human and material viewpoint constituted for the USA the key moment to take over the control and to universalize all the actions by imposing the American spirit, which is not equal to an American empire, but to a domination whose result is freedom of action and expression for all those who will democratically fill the Earth with "in God we trust". Under these circumstances, the Americans of European origin, and not just them, have returned to Europe and have entered Japan. Aware of the marketing principles, they have created a monopoly over low-cost transports and over the possibilities of efficient communication; in this sense, the immense market of the anticommunist block and the competition with the Soviet Block were a favorable environment.

It is to the history of these periods recalled above that we shall attach the internationalization of the sports activities as well, namely of the Olympic Games, a process in line with that of global modernization, which began in the 18th century Western Europe. We cannot proceed without mentioning that, a century ago, great pedagogues such as Jan Amos Komenski (1592-1670) and John Locke (1632-1704) tried to apply the principles of an integral education, highlighting the beneficial role of physical education. In England, body exercises were promoted, becoming sports such as tennis, football, fight, boxing, running, etc. Visiting England in 1772, Voltaire (1694-1778) was surprised by the contests taking place there and exclaimed: “I was under the impression that I had been taken to Olympia.” (N. Postolache, 2004).

So, we can say that the promotion of sports and the modernization of the Olympic Games was and is a continual process, begun long before the period 1892-1896, reflecting the will to fulfill the needs of the new generation concerning this cultural act, namely the right of Modernism to be found as well in the area of Olympism and in the activities of physical education and sports.

So, the period from the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century marks as well the passage to the creation of some crystallized, multilaterally oriented physical education systems, in which one can notice the influence of the Greek gymnasium and the resuming, one way or another, of some of the activities of the Antique palaestra. From this perspective, several remarkable figures were Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), the creator of the Swedish gymnastics, and the Englishman Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), rector of the College of Rugby.

At the same time, the promotion of Olympism and the renaissance of the Olympic Games were given an impetus as well by the archeological researches undertaken in the area of Old Greece. In 1723 and then in 1726, there were proposals to carry out excavations on the bank of the Alpheios River, but they were not approved of. It was only in 1805 and 1807 that a few English archeologists, following some summary diggings, dug out the first remains of the sanctuary from Olympia, and were able to draw a sketch of Zeus’ temple. More thorough researches were carried out in 1829, yielding valuable results, despite their duration of just six weeks. The archeological diggings were resumed with proficiency by the team of the German archeologist Ernst Curtis, who, after six years of work (1875-1881), managed to bring to light a series of valuable objects related to the contests from Olympia.

In the meantime, however, the fascinating idea of organizing some modern Olympic Games won new supporters and set into motion significant material means. The first large action related to the Renaissance of the Old Games was carried out in 1859, following the initiative and the financial efforts of Evangelos Zappas (1800-1865). Born in Greece, Zappas had settled in Romania in 1833, being granted (on his demand) the Romanian citizenship in 1844. He became the owner of an estate and a cereal merchant, gathering a considerable fortune. His will, bearing the date of November 30, 1860, authenticated by the authorities from Broşteni, reads: “...All these revenues from my properties with houses and others, except for the 400 (four hundred) shares of the ship company, which I dedicated to the expenses for the quadrennial Olympics exhibition and which the Administration of Wills (Clirodotimaton) will take care to provide in time to be used wherever they are needed... [will go to my cousin Constantin Zappas] (translation from Romanian)"; the will goes on by mentioning: “He [Constantine Zappas, the executor of this will) has the responsibility to build the Olympics’ Establishment and its arena according to all the rules of the art and spacious, in agreement to the plan that I sent to Mr. Rangabi and to its copy which I have here ". Zappas had in view the construction of an exhibition complex called Zappeion, with multiple functions: market place, exhibitions, areas for cultural activities and sports. And so “...Evangelos Zappas leaves the life tenancy of his real estate to his cousin Constantin Zappas, and its legal ownership to an Administration from Greece meant to recreate the Olympic Games”(Bucur -Ionescu, Maria, coord. (2002).

The Games foreseen by Zappas were largely in accordance to the model of those of the Antiquity and were limited to a Greek participation, a fact shown clearly in his memo of 1858, addressed to the king of Greece, by which he proposed “the restoration of the Olympic Games, so as to be celebrated every four years, according to the teachings of the old Greeks, our ancestors". They were held in Athens in 1859, 1870, 1875, 1888 and 1889, comprising as well artistic contests or different exhibitions. The opinions of different researchers of the Olympic phenomenon are divided when they refer to the success of these Games (later on called “pan-Hellenic" or “pre-Olympic"), yet these opinions converge towards recognizing in Zappas their initiator and their supporter, as well as his contribution to the impetus needed for the renaissance of the modern Olympic Games (Zamarovsky, 1988).

Under these circumstances, in order for Olympism to become truly functional on an international scale, it was necessary for someone to get concretely involved in such a process; this historical responsibility was assumed by France, in agreement to its cultural tradition, whose specific feature is universality. Out of the people who wrote about the history of Olympism, few pondered on the difficulties encountered by France in its approach related to the management of the modernization and universalization of the Olympic Games; in exchange, they overcharged Pierre de Coubertin with initiatives and responsibilities, often starting their comments with certain statements from this Frenchman’s late works and especially with his declaration following the success of Ernst Curtis, which reads: “Germany found the material remains of Olympia; why couldn’t France resuscitate its spirit and its splendors?”.

Yet, beyond this declaration, we discover France’s discontent regarding the attitude of Greece, which had conceded the right to excavate at Olympia to Germany and not to France. So, we notice that the Olympism was bringing to light the French-German antagonism, which had not vanished completely by the end of the 1870 war. At the same time, trying to explain to ourselves the difficulties of the moment, we can state that the existence of the four Central and Eastern Europe empires (German, Austrian-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian), truly multinational states by their different development levels and external & cultural policies, did not provide favorable conditions for the resuming of the Olympic Games under the aegis of France.

At the same time, England, Greece, Germany, Romania, Sweden etc., which were states that had promoted an intense national Olympic movement within their boundaries until then, out of their desire to preserve their identity, were feeling justified in slowing down the process of universalization of the Olympic Games, being aware that, in order to become international, you necessarily have to go through the stage of being truly national. Even Greece, the mother-country of Olympism, which, by the honor granted to it, namely to organize the Olympic Games in 1896, also became part of the history of the modern universal civilization, went dramatically astray from this road, organizing once again in Athens, in the middle of an Olympiad (1906), its own Games, demonstrating once again that traditionalism remains a specifically modern historical phenomenon. This is why it was necessary for numerous intellectuals and for the liberal elites of these countries to support the consolidation of the road to the modernization and universalization of the Olympic Games, for the full integration of the Olympism in the modern European civilization (N. Postolache, 2004).

The founders of the Olympic Games from the end of the 19th century, who were actually very numerous, structured the Olympic type of Games according to the patterns to which they had assisted themselves until 1890, in Athens. In the harmonization of these forms, a certain role was played by the celebration, for the first time, beginning with 1890, of the day of Mai 1, as an international day celebrating workers’ solidarity, first in England, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Spain, and then, during the following years, also in France, Serbia, Greece etc. Three years later, in the summer of 1893, it was a century since Guts-Muths, in his work Gymnastics for Youth, launched the idea of the renaissance of the Olympic Games, which meant a reiteration of an older German proposition. In Bucharest, during the same period, Olympic festivities of gymnastics, running, canoeing etc. were organized as support and adhesion to the idea of renaissance of the Olympic Games. The glory of the German archeologists was to be matched by that of the French people through their actions undertaken in support of the reorganization of the modern international Olympic Games; yet, for this, it was necessary to go over the concept of distinctiveness that the Olympism had held until then and to definitively instate the unifying principles (Pehoiu C., 2006).

As a product of the liberalism characteristic for the end of the 19th century, Pierre de Frédi, Baron de Coubertin (1863-1937) brought to light the main historical values of Olympism, which he then passed on to the liberal humanism of his epoch: equality of chances, fair play, justice, respect for the other etc. To these, he added the values of mutual understanding, autonomy, perfection, rationality, in brief, universal values that the modern Olympic movement aims to cultivate as goods pertaining to the entire world. In this sense, beginning with November 1892, Coubertin’s spirit was to be conquered by the camp of those who, in Europe and in America, were thinking about the outline of the modem sports and of the Olympic movement. After the travels from England and Ireland (Edinburgh), 1883 and 1885-1887, dedicated to the study of their educative system, including that of physical education (J.P. Boulogre, p. 7-12), he gathered a very well documented material meant to lay at the basis of the reform of the French educative system. From here resulted his first books: L’Education en Angleterre (Education in England), Paris Hachette, 1888, and L’Education anglaise en France (English Education in France), appeared a year later. During the same year of his debut as an author, Coubertin founded in Paris the Commission for the promotion of physical exercises in education (Comité pour la Propagation des Exercises Physiques dans l’Education) whose general secretary he became (Norbert Müller, p. 23). He then visited numerous schools from France, disseminating the Anglo-Saxon experience that encouraged the creation of sports clubs in the educational institutions. During the autumn of 1889, Coubertin visited the universities from six American and two Canadian towns (Montreal and Toronto) and also took part to the Boston Congress on university sports as envoy of the French government.

His admiration for the future American president (1901-1909), the republican Theodore Roosevelt, and the friendship joining him to professor William Miligan Sloane, from the University of Princeton, were presented by Pierre de Coubertin, along with the results of his visit in the USA, in the book Universités transatlantiques, appeared in Paris in 1890. During the same year, the Union of the French Societies of Athletic Sports (Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques) was created in Paris, Coubertin being one of its main founders. A talented writer, Coubertin published, under the pseudonym of Georges Hohrod, the book Roman d’un Rallié, Paris, “Nouvelle Revue”, 1897, a novel whose action unfolds almost exclusively in the United States (Pehoiu C., 2006).

In October 1890, he was again in England, at Much Wenlock, as a guest of doctor William Penny Brookes, who, in his honor, organized at that point national Olympic Games, the last ones in England’s experience. As he had reached the age of 81, Brookes wanted to pass on the Olympic torch into the hand of France, by initiating Coubertin concerning this event (David Young, p. 79).

On November 25, 1892, when in the amphitheatre from Sorbonne everybody was celebrating five years since the creation of the Union whose leader he was, Pierre de Coubertin was ending his presentation entitled “Les exercices physiques dans le monde moderne” with the most optimistic thoughts: “We need to internationalize sports, we need to organize Olympic Games!” (Pierre de Coubertin, p. 75). It was the first time when this Frenchman of Italian origin, who had become the apostle of the Hellenism of the stadium, made public his proposition related to the renaissance of the Olympic Games.

Such propositions had been made before as well, yet not from such a high tribune as the amphitheatre of the famous Parisian university. It is here that the lack of unity that had dominated the Olympism until then, making its presence felt in national Olympic-style Games (at Rondeau-France, in some German cities, at Ramlosa-Sweden, Much Wenlock - Wales), Birmingham or Wellington - Great Britain, Bucharest - Romania, Athens - Greece) – until the 1890s – was to be brought to an end. The local, federal, national Olympic contests had done their job concerning the cultivation of the tradition instituted at Olympia. Yet, during this last phase, they risked turning into testimonies of the non-universalization of this civilizational element, menaced by petrification in the national molds and prescriptions. Even if such games were closer to the original ones, those of the Greeks, so of just one nation, Coubertin later explained that “he had considered necessary that the Olympic Games be resumed as a supreme consecration of the cult of sports practice, in the purest spirit of true sport”. The explanation is not satisfactory, that is why we need to add to it the results of the archeological excavations from Olympia, which were benefiting of a worldwide scientific echo during this period. They had important repercussions on the European Olympic movement, which aimed to reform the physical education and the sports of the Modern Era. But, this was happening not just in Europe and in the United States, where by virtue of certain events from their history, there were countries interwoven with the Western spirit, but also in the territories under the influence of two more great cultural traditions: India’s and China’s. Zikoro Kano, for instance, was the Asian homologue of Coubertin, yet the Japanese (who had become a member of the I.O.C.) was preaching at that time educative values that were considered nationalistic.

In direct relation to the economic modernization, a new pastime conception accompanied by an unprecedented population growth (especially in Europe and in the U.S.A.) and the development of the urban area and civilization, there appears a specific environment, which was absolutely necessary for the practice of sports and the organization of international contests.

France, England and Germany (the latter unified as well in 1871, one year after the unification of Italy) are the states that were most affected by industrialization and urbanization. During this period, the Asian civilizations took over many elements of the modern European lifestyle and philosophical and moral values. The Church receives a strong challenge from state institutions, scientific theories and ideological beliefs, but it will soon get adapted to the modernization process. It is only with capitalism or rather with its birth that art, culture, sports embraced larger and larger shares of the public, of any age and gender, which stimulated the tendency of the human nature towards competition and stating one’s primacy as a common human feature. The glory of the coronation on the stadium, as once at Olympia, a privilege of the old Greeks that had set them apart among the peoples of the Antiquity, was rediscovered, becoming an international gain.

Slowly but surely, the Olympism that had reached the modern period of the European civilization was to flow over the Atlantic, to the USA and Canada, its values and ideas of sacred peace, fair-play, humanism, individual freedom, honor etc. conquering the entire earth.

At least during the last two decennia of the 19th century, the ideas related to Olympism were under a continuous migration, leading to the gradual but permanent disappearance from the Olympic movement of any trace of political, economic, sportive, spiritual regionalism that could have prevented its globalization.

At the same time, the 1880s mark as well the beginning of the great European colonial expansion, which, by the end of the year 1914, led to the transformation of the South-East of Asia, of Oceania and of India into colonies. Other regions, such as Persia or China were divided into areas of influence as England, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Russia, and by the end of the 19th century the United States and Japan had become true empires or colonial powers. The consequences of this colonial expansion will be felt as well in the advertizing of sports but also in the organization of the modern Olympic Games, these countries being in fact the ones that organized the first editions of these contests in their capitals.

In front of the new challenges faced by mankind, namely the scientific impetus and the concept of long healthy living, the Olympic Movement had to adapt objectively, the need to add new elements being obvious. Among these elements, the universalization of the paradigms related to Olympism proved to be the way of no return. So, the period that we have referred to had the possibility to provide civilization with a model of Olympic Games, this time “not as a celebration of just one people, but of the sportsmen from all over the world” (V. Bănciulescu, p. 48). It is the moment when, through the organization and the development of these great periodical programmed international competitions, which were a means of mutual understanding and closeness, more active than the barriers separating them, the Olympic stadium and the sports activity in general were to meet the requirements of the value system for which they had been created.

So, globalization is the result of a deep economic and social restructuring of the world that used to be divided into three parts. So, more and more countries or groups of countries got to the point of being able to organize an edition of the Olympic Games, at least economically. So, globalization can be seen from the perspective of a dialectic process in which a tendency is always balanced by an antithetic countertendency: on the one hand, this possibility weakens the division of the tripartite world, and on the other hand, the differences continue to grow on a world scale. At the beginning of the 20th century, the periodical international Games, enriched with new features specific for the modern period, meant to annul the exclusive domination of a nation, of the male gender, of a single city etc., will truly become Olympic, comprising all the continents.

The transformations recorded worldwide have had and will continue to have a certain effect on the financial sources of the Olympic Games institution as well. Actually, they have become a sports event called the “Olympic Games Made in the World”. The role of one large national economy, as the unique basis for the organization and financing of the Olympic Games has begun to waver. Here, many people see a chance for cities from all the continents to host the Olympic Games and ask that the Games be urgently held in an African city, as the dream of organizing them in a South-American city has already been fulfilled (Table 1).

3. Globalization and sport-related activity

Globalization refers to a process of increased independence among societies and people on an economic, political, cultural and social level. Trade connections, fights, migration and culture are present everywhere in the history of mankind. The recent globalization process has determined new links in the interdependence chains that have always connected people all over the world.

So, today mankind is experiencing an intensification of the ongoing globalization process, which increases the speed of time and diminishes the space, giving it a higher degree of interdependence and increasing the world’s significance as a whole.

The actions accompanying man in time, related to his existential needs, were naturally joined by the desire of physiological relaxation and at the same time by the aspiration to obtain a victory in the confrontation with his fellows. This idea was later on called by the Englishmen, sport (through the nominalization of the Latin verb disportare, which meant to relax, to have fun).

Modern sport is connected to this global network of interdependent relations and can only be understood regarded in this context. First of all, it exhorts us to adopt a historical and comparative approach, to appreciate the context in which the global sports model is situated. Here are five associated dimensions of the domains under analysis in the context of globalization :

• people's international mobility (sportsmen, trainers etc.);

• technological optimization and efficiency increase (equipment and facilities);

• economic problems (prizes in money, approvals, marketing);

• mass-media contribution ( promoting transnational sports personalities);

• ideological dimension (ideas transcending the national, regional or international ideologies, such as Olympism).

A complex contradictory multidimensional process, globalization seems to be the main feature of the present development, as it refers to the spatial extension of the relations, processes and structures of any nature. This is why, the increasing globalization of the financial resources meant to promote sports and Olympism and the organization and deployment of regional, continental or worldwide competitions is substantiated by spatial, quantitative, qualitative and intensity changes; the first refer to the spectators, TV spectators of sports shows from different world regions, which highlights as well the increase of the number of participant nations as well as the number of the countries in which the Olympic competition is broadcasted on TV. At the same time, the spatial character of sports globalization and of the Olympic Movement is also brought to light by the fact that more and more developed geographic regions have the financial possibility and the desire and political support to enroll in the contest for obtaining the status of organizer of the Olympic Games or of the World Championships.

From a quantitative perspective, the changes appear outside the area of the financial resources, in the increase of the sums of money meant for financing the Olympic competition directed to the organizing city, which sums come from all over the world, as a result of TV rights and sponsoring, Olympic programs, ticket sales, tourism, trade etc. Along with this aspect, we can notice the manifestation of the professional quality of the Olympic Movement, in direct relation to a growing efficiency, better development conditions from one edition to the next, all of these being the result of the easier information and goods exchange among the host cities.

Starting from the fact that the promotion of globalization has the purpose of sharing economic and social benefits among countries and their populations, by acting in this sense, the sports and Olympic movement – as supporters of globalization – have obtained enviable results. On an international level, the two movements generally have an important role in the approaches carried out in the sense of keeping the world peace, maintaining the sustainability of the relations among nations, facilitating the promotion of the sportive and cultural international ideal. By the extension they acquired beginning with the year 1896, the year when the Olympic Games were resumed, sport has progressed significantly in the area of knowledge as well as in the social, financial, political and economic areas, which happened, among others, because of the existence of an efficient management system, whose results have improved from one year to the next.

 Spatial changes Quantitative changes more TV broadcastsmore tickets sold more global financing more participant countries more efficiency by means of exchangesservice quality growthincrease of the informational technology flow - more communication more Olympic tourists from all the countries more potential host countries more money circulating among the continents

Table 2.

Spatial and quantitative changes with a global impact

So, we can notice that through the promotion of new governance models in sports, applied by one country or the other, a rapid and sustainable success of the domain under discussion has been assured. From this perspective, in time, two categories of governance methods have been delineated: an interventionist one (Romania, France, Italy, Croatia, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia etc.) and, at the opposite pole, a model with non-interventionist features (England, Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, USA etc.), the differences between them being given by the presence of different structures and of certain demands and criteria for granting the funds imposed by a certain specific legislation, the last one assuring a greater flexibility (requiring no modifications in the sense of an adaptation at the appearance or adoption of new sports branches and contests), a rapid financing and a rearrangement of the sports organizations. At the same time, the sportive movement can be controlled by a governance or the other through the facilitation of public financing, without neglecting the private one, a behavior adopted by most European countries and supported, on the one hand, by the European Sport Charter, art. 12, and, on the other hand, by the awareness concerning the state’s role in the recognition of sports values as components of the national traditions and culture, in the shaping of a healthy lifestyle and the increase of the quality of the citizens’ life.

As far as the financing of the Olympic Movement is concerned, an important role in this sense goes to the Olympic Solidarity. Founded in 1961, this structure of the International Olympic Committee (CIO) has the mission to manage the sums obtained from the share of TV rights for the retransmission of the Olympic Games, directing them towards the National Olympic Committees (NOC), its responsibilities being truly in agreement with the specific technical and financial assistance programs built and approved by the commission of the world Olympic forum for the Olympic Solidarity and taking place every four years in order to promote sports.

The strategy approached in this sense by the above-mentioned structure relies on the principles of decentralization and autonomy of the Continental Associations in the context of the respect for the development of continental programs, for the minimal demands set by the Olympic Solidarity Commission, concerning the acceptance of the yearly financial audit, the realization and presentation of yearly reports. At the same time, beside the things mentioned above, an important concern is to maintain the content of the world Programs, at least on the level of the previous year, namely to increase the financial aid given to the National Olympic Committees. The Olympic programs represent a projection of the organization and development of the Olympic Games in the future; they are specific to each edition, yet substantiated by the permanence of the following general goals: promoting the main principles of the Olympic Movement; developing and completing the sportsmen’s and trainers’ technical knowledge by means of scholarships granted to them; training and instructing sports administrators; supporting the sportsmen’s training for the participation in the Olympic Games, women’s participation etc.

These programs are part of a consolidated budget, approved for a four-year period, which becomes the main means by which the world development of sports is assured. The programs carried out by the Olympic Solidarity during the last decennia of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, on a global and national level, are acknowledged for the high-quality management module applied to the management of the financial means.

Figure 1.

Funds allotted for the realization of the goals of the last three Olympic cycles (Source: OS reports)

So, for the realization of the goals of the last three Olympic cycles, the budget of the Olympic Solidarity was of $121. 9 millions for the period 1997-2000, the Sydney Program; 1.7 times more for the Athens Program, namely$209.48 millions, during the interval 2001-2004, while the budget sums planned to be spent within the Beijing Program, 2005-2008 rose to the value of $244. 0 millions, which represents a 16.48% growth compared to the previous one and twice as much as the sum corresponding to the years 1997-2000. (Fig. 1). Important sums from the last consolidated budget were spent on the implementation of the Continental Program, these sums being increased by 28.67%, while for the direct support of the National Olympic Committees, the sums increased by just 8.8 % for the same interval by comparison with the previous one (Table 3). As far as the allotment of resources for the realization of the continental programs, the existing data from the Olympic Solidarity report for the periods under analysis show the fact that Africa was supported with a substantial sum, namely$15 290 thousands, representing 24.35% of the total of the funds, of which about 12% was directed to be administered by the National Olympic Committees, 12.3% was dedicated to reunions, 9.8% to continental activities, 10.4% to the organization of continental and regional games, the rest of 55.7% being allotted to other specific activities undertaken by the national Olympic forums.

At the same time, Europe benefited of a financing whose value was of $14,384 thousands, The National Olympic Committees using 53.4 % for the activities undertaken by them and 21.44% for the organization of reunions on different topics. In their turn, the continents Asia and America, for their specific programs, were granted respectively 20.4% and 19.4% of the total of the financial assistance meant for the continental programs. The smallest financial and technical aid for the same kind of activities went to Oceania, namely$8,200 thousands or 13.6%, low but consistent compared to other programs managed by the Olympic Solidarity.

 TYPE OF PROGRAMS Allotted budget - $2005-2008 compared to2001-2004($) 2005-2008 compared to2001-2004(%) Athens 2001-2004 program Bejing2005-2008 program World programs 99 800 000 110 500 000 10 700 000 10.72% Continental programs 69 944 000 90 000 000 20 056 000 28.67% Direct NOC Assistance 31 240 000 34 000 000 2 760 000 8.83% Management and communication 8 500 000 9 500 000 1 000 000 11.76% Total OS budget 209 484 000 244 000 000 34 516 000 16.48% BUDGET VALUE ON CONTINENTS AND SPECIFIC PROGRAMS ANOCA – Africa (53 NOC) 15 290 000 19 675 000 4 385 000 28.68% COE – Europe (48 NOC) 14 384 000 18 508 000 4 124 000 28.67% OCA - Asia ( 44 NOC) 12 760 000 16 419 000 3 659 000 28.68% PASO – America (42 NOC) 12 170 000 15 660 000 3 490 000 28.68% ONOC – Oceania (15 NOC) 8 200 000 10 474 000 2 274 000 27.73% ANOC 7140000 9 264 000 2 124 000 29.75% Total budget 69 944 000 90 000 000 20 056 000 28.67% WORLD BUDGET VALUE ON SPECIFIC PROGRAMS Programs for sportsmen 43 500 000 47 500 000 4 000 000 9.20% Programs for enterprisers 23 000 000 24 000 000 1 000 000 4.35% Programs for NOC administration 20 500 000 25 500 000 5 000 000 24.39% Promoting the Olympic values 12 800 000 13 500 000 700 000 5.47% Total budget 99 800 000 110 500 000 10 700 000 10.72%

Table 3.

From the perspective of the spatial and quantitative changes entailed, globalization affects sports and the Olympic phenomenon at least in four directions:

4. Supremacy over the markets

The selling of the TV broadcasting rights for the European or world sports competitions as well as the increasingly diversified and sophisticated services coming from sponsors constitute essential financial sources for the organization and development of these events. The international cooperation between the world Olympic forum, local, regional or continental sports organizations and sponsors who act without any boundaries is motivated and determined by the fact that this event represents a platform for advertisements on a global scale. For instance, the introduction of the “Olympic Program” after Los Angeles 1984 has subsequently provided a possibility for the international corporations to use the Olympic symbols, the sports competitions at all levels on a global scale.

The geographic setting of the host city has a strong influence on the origin of the financial sources, the analysis made from this perspective on all the editions of the Games, from Munich 1972 to Athens 2004 showing a substantial increase of the sources of global financing. The USA editions were financed less than those from other countries from this perspective, as the main share of the financial sources still come from this geographic area.

By comparison to the municipal marketing which means improving the city’s image using measurable assets concerning its physical infrastructure, its nature, its public services and the level of its taxes, the host cities of large competitions like the Olympic one have adopted branding as a method for promoting their image. This more recent and distinctive phenomenon, which means adding an emotional level to the image of the city, as well as highlighting its intangible qualities, such as its “soul” or its values, as well as the impressions that a person experiences when he/she visits a certain urban area. The success of a city brand competing for the status of organizer of the Olympic Games is represented by everything that expresses thoughts, feelings, expectations, associations coming into people’s minds when the name, the logo, the products, the services or the events specific for this urban area are brought to the forefront (fig. 2).

Figure 2.

The city brand hexagon: Potential, Pulse, People, Basic needs, Place, Presence

According to Simon Anholt, a specialist in the phenomenon under discussion, what delineates a city’s brand are the following aspects: presence, potential, pulse, place, people, basic needs, elements that all together form the City Brand Hexagon, targeting mainly the international status of the city and the people’s degree of familiarization to certain cities, their desire to visit them or the fact that they visited them, the reasons why certain cities are famous worldwide, the contribution of these cities to the international development of science and culture during the last 30 years.

Based on this hexagon, in 2005, the same author elaborated the report “Anholt City Brand Index” whose content refers to a hierarchization of the world city brands in agreement to their perception among 17.502 people (man and women), aged between 18 and 64, from countries such as: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Holland, New Zeeland, Poland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, USA.

The criteria that substantiated this study were related to culture, population, work place, life quality, international status, and, following its application by means of questions addressed by phone, the top 10 world towns, in a descending order, are: London, Paris, Sydney, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Madrid and Berlin. We can notice that eight of them had in time the status of hosts of the Olympic competition, while the other two (New York and Madrid) did not have this honor, although they have candidated in this sense. The report showed the fact that the towns hosting the Olympic Games fully benefit of the greatness of the moment, which significantly improves the city’s image and brand. Certainly, everybody will have their eyes on London this year, during the development of the Olympic Games. A strong brand can also create false impressions, for instance people are so delighted by London, yet they do not realize how expensive life is in such a metropolis. This aspect has been seized by another recent study, as UBS appreciates that the capital of England is the most expensive city in the world, while the Anholt study situates it on the 7th place from this perspective. From a different perspective, the Anholt report estimates that Paris represents love, Milano - style, New York - energy, Washington - power, Tokyo - modernity, Lagos - corruption, Barcelona - culture, Rio - fun. They are all city brands, being inseparably related to the history and destiny of each geographic area.

Closely connected to the statements above are two examples of concrete cases that had an unexpected outcome:

1. Richard Daley, the mayor of the American city Chicago, who competed for the right to host the 31st edition of the Olympic Games, programmed for 2016, declared at the time that Beijing deserved a gold medal for its administration of the Olympic funds it got hold of from different sources for the Olympic contest of 2008, while his metropolis had not settled for such a trophy. The American city’s official was referring to the 40 billion dollars investment (the equivalent of 27 billion euro), which China used in order to assure the infrastructure of the 2008 Games. He underlined the fact that for the 2016 edition, his city’s administration would not use the taxes coming from the citizens, as for this purpose would be used only money from the private sector and from the federal government. The plans of Chicago city include several permanent or temporary sports bases, most of them already present, the cost of their reconditioning and readaptation being estimated to 900 million dollars. At the same time, 1 billion dollars is previewed for the realization of the Olympic Village, the funds being public-private (for the 2012 edition, London was announcing on the date of its designation that it would spend 18 billion dollars in this sense). For the organization of the 2016 Olympic Games, the other candidates, along with Chicago, were Tokio, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, the last one being declared winner.

2. Italy has not been able to assure, during s period of crisis like the present one, the financial support for the organization of the Summer Olympic Games of 2020, the Italian government announcing that it would not support in this sense the authorities of Rome, which gave up showing up with an offer for the organization at the IOC just a day before the deadline, as the cost of the organization of this edition was estimated at 12.5 billion euro. The cities still competing for the organization of the 2020 Olympic Games are: Madrid, Tokyo, Istanbul, Doha and Baku, the winner being due to be announced in September 2013.

The information and transport systems have a capital importance in the organization and the deployment of large sports events. Today, the informational system facilitates the increase of the knowledge on sports competitions worldwide, and the transport system reduces the spatial barriers between nations, the result being reflected in the participation of over two hundreds of National Olympic Committees to the Olympic Games, leading, among other things, to the dynamization of the international tourism, as well as to the establishment of new worldwide economic relations.

During each edition of the interwar Olympic Games, a novelty, a premiere was introduced: the Olympic flag[1] - and the Olympic oath at Anvers (1920); the arrangement of the Olympic village during the Summer Olympic Games from the capital of France in 1924, a year when the first edition of the Winter Olympic Games was organized (the one from Chamonix); the lighting of the Olympic flame by means of a ceremony at Olympia and then its transportation by a relay race to the host city (Amsterdam 1928); the use of the film at the 1936 Olympic Games from Berlin.

The first trajectory of the Olympic flame, starting from Olympia, went through the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Dresden and then Berlin. In order to commemorate this event, in Tageu, in Arcadia, not far from Olympia, since 1936, there is a marble plate marking the first lighting of the Olympic flame during the era of the modern Olympic Games.

For the Olympic Games of 1956, in Australia, the flame was lit in Olympia and transported to Athens; then, it landed on the Australian land at Cairns, brought over by plane. From here to Melbourne, 2,830 sportsmen carried it on foot, a mile each. The last relay shift was the junior athlete Ron Clarke, who by the end of 1963 was to break down, for the first time, the world record in the 10,000 m race.

For the Olympic Games from Tokyo, the Olympic flame covered a distance of about 25,000 km, being carried by a number of about 100,000 people. The last shift of the Olympic relay was the student Yoshinori Sakai, aged 19, born in Hiroshima on the morning of the day of August 6, 1945, when the city was hit by the ordeal of the atomic bomb.

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame was lit in Mexico by a woman, the young Mexican athlete Enriqueta Basilio. Before reaching the stadium, the Olympic flame covered 14,000 km by ship, from Europe to Mexico.

For the Olympic Games of 1976, the Olympic flame was lit by satellite, with laser rays, from Olympia in Greece directly into a Québec square, Quebec being the then capital of Canada.

During the 1980s, the revenues of the organization committees of the host cities from the sales of the television rights strongly depended on the negotiations with the American TV channels. Today, these negotiations are only the responsibility of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The strong competition among the American TV networks, which began around the 1970s, led to a stronger position of the US for this financing source. The US channels would easily overbid, because the American corporations were ready to pay even higher prices for commercial TV spots. Until the end of the 1980s, when the prices for TV rights in the US were adjusted on demand, the increasing privatization of the TV channels caused a strong increase of the revenues in Europe.

6. A new consumer behavior

The intensification of the global communications is related to the increased exchanges, significances and cultural identities on a global scale. By the end of the last millennium, people talked about the increase and the juxtaposition of the “mediascapes” (world news broadcasting) and “ideoscapes” (key concepts and values of the world enlightenment problems, such as freedom, democracy or other human rights); together they have brought about a trend of world consumption and media models, which have grown together and have interacted. The global presence of certain products, strongly influenced and dominated by the West, serves to highlight this point. Today, capitalism dominates the world economy, promoting a different way of exchange organization, which favors cultural relations and understanding among people from different countries. So, one can state that the occidentalization and the globalization of the consumers’ behavior, regardless of the products, are the main factors responsible for the perception of the Olympic competition as something special, spectacular, created by the Western world. People are developing a demand for the Games and for sports products and broadcasts. This, however, does not mean a cultural homogenization process in the hand of some easily identifiable nations or ideologies, but the fusion of different legends (ex.: consumerism, cult of technology).

7. New competitional management dimensions

This aspect refers to the appearance of expert systems for organizing worldwide sports competitions. They rely on the learning of an efficient management and communication using the new technologies. Information sharing and exchange is a crucial element of the global Olympic system on a scale unprecedented before.

The main sense of the sports culture is that, as an essential part of the universal culture, it synthesizes the categories, the laws, the institutions and the material goods created for the intensive valorization of the physical exercise within the contest, with the final goal of obtaining supremacy or a record, following man’s biological and spiritual optimization. We think that, in this way, nowadays, the interrelation sport-culture begins to no longer be considered an elitist phenomenon and, little by little, this relation tends to be generalized and accepted as mass culture.

Moreover, to the ancestral dilemma, often present in the world of the antique thinkers as well, namely whether man should rather cultivate the astuteness of his mind or the strength of his body, the Greeks of the Antiquity replied by what we have inherited from them as kalokagathia, and the Latin people of those times by the well known maxim Mens sana in corpore sano.

In the year 776 B.C., was held the first edition of the Olympic Games documented during the Antiquity. If we were to return to the contemporary period, in 1989, the world witnessed, for instance, the longest pedestrian contest ever organized in the world, from Paris to Beijing (about 18,000 km). The participants marched through 12 countries on two continents, celebrating in this way the bicentennial of the French Revolution of 1789 and 40 years since the foundation of the Popular Republic of China. The arrival in Beijing took place on July 14, 1989. In the year 2000, the last Olympic Games of the second millennium took place, and, in 2004, the first ones of the third millennium.

Between the first major event of the Antiquity and the other three belonging to the modern world, there were respectively 2765, 2775 and 2780 years of human history but also of sports history. Throughout all these years the idea of contest for getting better, higher, stronger (“Citius, altius, fortius”), has kept its sense – with few exceptions – a fact demonstrated not just by legends, but also by historical accounts, which attest that the first protagonists of the great organized competitions were not the best sportsman in the world.

The level attained by the practice of the physical exercise during the actual stage of development of our society is the consequence of multiple determining factors, of which we consider it necessary to highlight, because of their importance, a number of four:

1. Taking over the generous idea of the Pan-Hellenic games, the founders of the modern Olympic Games enriched them with new features, first of all conferring them the quality of universality, by inviting young people from all the countries in the world, to a loyal competition, without any discrimination. In the modern world, the Olympic Games convey, along with the Olympic flame, the noble message of peace and harmony all over the world, a harmony dreamed of, a few millennia ago, by Plato, the visionary of the antique Greece.

2. the continual development of the formal and informal education, a fact that has determined the inclusion of an increasingly larger share of the young population within the sphere of action of the institutionalized physical education;

3. the creation of leisure time, as a permanent social reality, has constituted and will continue to be a premise for drawing adults towards the practice of physical exercises;

4. the intense circulation and transformation of the values specific to this phenomenon, supported by the contemporary conditions of our civilization, have changed and developed the role of physical education, structured as sport, adapting it to man’s needs, in the sense of understanding it in relation to the work process, turning it into a means of training the individual for work and at the same time into an alternative to a brutalizing work.

The combative and pacifist character of the Greek culture, its symmetry, harmony and measure in everything, its thirst for knowledge and its power of synthesis – elements that played an important role in the protection of the Greek people’s interests – have gradually been embraced by the whole mankind, by its entire culture and civilization. These gifts of the Mediterranean world, diminished for a while during the Middle Ages, have attained the actual period as values included in one phenomenon: Olyimpism.

The evolution, from national to global, of at least four financing sources of the Olympic Movement, namely TV broadcasts, sponsorships, ticket sales, the commercialization of certain symbols related to the Olympic competition (coins, stamps) is closely connected to the four directions of the global spatial and quantitative changes presented above. In brief, the effects of globalization as a process on the above-mentioned sources are:

1. The globalization of the media and of the consumers’ behavior has led to a worldwide interest for the Olympic sports and for the Games. The revenues come from selling broadcasting rights to TV networks from all over the world. So far, the revenues of the US, which is still the most important market for broadcasting rights, after the 1984 edition, have remained vast, yet the revenues won by other continents have been growing as well. Atlanta realized 3000 hours of broadcasting for a number of worldwide spectators that went over the one of the previous edition by 3 billion people. The substantial increase of the revenues for the 2000 Olympic competition was caused by an unbalanced distribution by the international Olympic forum, which finally managed a $2.35 billion total, which was paid to the organization committees for broadcasts until 2008. At present, it is clear that the cities of Athens and Beijing, hosts of the 2004 and 2008 contests, have considered a constant or even a slight decrease of the revenues coming from the sale of the broadcasting rights to the US, according to the inflation. The rights for broadcasting the event represent the most important source of revenue for Athens; its value was$1.5 billion, and the IOC benefited of a part of it.

2. The globalization of the market turns today’s multinational corporations into virtual networks with strong connections in the worldwide advertizing. The top revenues come especially from the USA, where there are numerous specialized international corporations. In contrast, the revenues from the “partners” of the respective Olympic Games come especially from the host country. The Sydney edition generated up to 6.1 billion dollars revenues from advertizing, and over 6 billion dollars were spent by its 1.6 billion visitors during the year 2001. The Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau recorded between 1993 and the year of the Games, a number of 210 events, attracting over 250,000 delegates and investing over a billion dollars of the city’s economy. The coming of over 110.000 international visitors during the Games led to a substantial improvement of the perception on Australia as far as its services, quality, value and trust are concerned.

 Partners’ origin 1985-1988 program 1988 partner 1989-1992 program 1992 partner 1993-1996 program 1996 partner 1997-2000 program 2000 partner 9 15 12 9 10 10 11 13 USA 78% 27% 75% 22% 90% 90% 82% 8% From outside the SUA 22% 73% 25% 78% 10% 10% 18% 92% From the host country 0% 60% 0% 56% 90% 90% 0% 84% From outside the host country 100% 40% 100% 44% 10% 10% 100% 16%

Table 4.

Sponsors of the Seoul to Sidney Olympics, according to the country of origin - sources: Seoul OCOG (1988, p.233) / Barcelona OCOG (1992, p. 376) / Patterson (1994) / Hill (1996) / N.N. (Nov. 6, 1996, p. 21) / lOC (1996b, p. 7) / IOC (1996a, p. 15) / Landiy / Yerless (1996, p. 179) / IOC (1997b, p. S-10)

The analysis of the data presented in the table above gives us the possibility to state that most of the corporations supporting the marketing programs meant to promote the Olympic Games come from the US (81%), an aspect that could explain why the Los Angeles 1984 and Atlanta 1996 editions did not benefit of a substantial international financing compared to other countries that hosted such events. In exchange, the marketing activities of the corporations from the host country of the Olympic Games are limited to the respective area, their involvement in the Organization of the Games being substantial (73%). Although the 1952 Helsinki edition occasioned the first international marketing program (IOC, July 5, 1996, p. 22/ Landry / Yerles 1996, p. 370), sponsoring has not evolved in the direction of becoming a global financing source until the IOC assumed the role of leader, and the market and the technology have not attained globalization. So, instead of individually buying the rights of the Olympic circles from the national committees, the global corporations can now obtain exclusive rights from the International Olympic Committee in exchange for just one contribution.

In the future, the intensive market globalization, as well as the increase of the number of global corporations will determine the appearance of an increasingly strong competition for exclusive marketing rights with a view to using the Olympic symbols. It can be noticed that the majority of the corporations taking part in the TOP marketing program come from the USA (81%). For this reason, and because of the very significant revenues earned from selling the broadcasting rights, the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Games did not enjoy a similarly large financing as the Olympic Games hosted in other countries. For the “partners” and the “sponsors” of the Games, the situation is the other way round. Since their marketing activities are limited to the host country, many corporations from the respective country got involved (73%).

Although at Helsinki in 1952 took place the first international marketing program (IOC, July 5, 1996, p. 22/ Landry / Yerles 1996, p. 370), sponsoring did not develop into a global financing source until the IOC assumed its role of leader, and the market and the technology reached globalization, instead of individually buying the Olympic circles’ rights from the National Olympic Committees. The global corporations can now obtain exclusive rights from the IOC with just one contribution.

In the future, the increasing market globalization and the growth of the number of global corporations will lead to a fierce competition for exclusive marketing rights to use the Olympic circles’ symbol. On the one hand, this situation will assure an increase of the Olympic circles’ value, which will improve the chance of sports financing. On the other hand, an essential problem will appear due to the fact that, generally, the large global corporations provide a large array of products. Since TOP relies on granting exclusiveness for product categories, there is a possibility of occurrence of a conflict of interests. For instance, a corporation expects exclusiveness for Olympic advertising, but the consumer will not be able to acknowledge its “exclusive” category if one of the TOP sponsors offer products from a category guaranteed by another TOP sponsor.

1. The globalization of the technology reduces the previous barriers that used to exist between the host city and the spectators. The number of tickets sold abroad is dictated more and more by the accommodation thresholds of the host city and by the stadiums’ extent, rather than by the transport problems, which are becoming realities. For instance, the centennial edition of Atlanta (1996), generated the increase of the number of drivers and cars that had to be borrowed from other cities and the critical number of hotels necessary for different organizational locations and press and communication stations, which were concentrated in a very compact area of the commercial city. Unfortunately, most of the Americans’ transport problems were substantiated rather in the difficulties encountered by the media representatives. Because of the unprecedented number of spectators and visitors who came to assist to the Games, the organizers focused their attention too much on the planning of the enormous mass of people and did not give enough attention to the specific needs of the media representatives.

Moreover, initially it was believed that it would be efficient to concentrate the 21 locations hosting the contests, the Olympic Village, the International Radio Broadcast Center and the main Press Center in the commercial area of the city. Trying to satisfy the unprecedented demands, the organizers were not always able to manage as they would have wanted. At the same time, they learnt that transport, especially the transport of the press representatives, can be solved more operatively if they are accommodated in a more compact area than if they are scattered throughout the city. These are lessons that have already been kept in mind by the future organizational committees and candidate cities.

1. The globalization of the technology favors the collecting of coins, stamps and commemorative adornments. Despite the general decline of the money domain, the sale of commemorative coins got to become a financing source for the Olympic contests. From the perspective of the gathering of Olympic coins and stamps, we are witnessing a growth of their popularity among those interested, beginning with 1952; it became more intense after 1992. If for the 1984 Los Angeles edition we can notice a decrease of the quantity of commemorative coins, on the one hand due to the small series produced by the US, on a world scale we can notice the increase of the issuing countries in the 1970s, when even the smallest nations began to forge their own Olympic coins. As far as the Olympic stamps are concerned, the number of the issuing countries continued to grow as well. Anyway, after Munich 1972, the total number of marked stamps decreased worldwide. The small number of countries that issued Olympic stamps in 1980 can be explained by the fact that many western nations boycotted the Games from Moscow. As non-participating countries, they did not have any reason to issue commemorative stamps. Anyway, one cannot say the same thing about the following counter-boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics by countries from the Eastern Block. For 1984, the number of the countries that nevertheless issued Olympic stamps reached 152. Another possible explanation for this large number of stamps for Los Angeles can be explained by the leadership role of the US in the sports world, especially in the developing countries. The global relations can be at the same time connected to three phenomena concerning stamp emission and pattern collection. The first phenomenon refers to the fact that the stamps’ drawings frequently contain images of the athletes of the nation with the largest collection market. The second phenomenon is brought to light by the issuing of the dates for the stamps, since they are launched during the pre-Olympic years, the patterns reflecting a growing intensification of the world relations. Third, one can notice that if initially only the host countries used to issue stamps, later on, the participant countries began to issue Olympic stamps as well. Moreover, even countries that are not represented at these contests issue this type of documents, which defines both a strong spatial globalization (the number of issuing countries) and a quantitative globalization (intensification of the exchanges among different object collectors).

However, if the organization committees and the authorities do not know how to fully take advantage of such events, there can be unpleasant outcomes, as in the case of the city of Montreal, which, after the organization of the 1976 edition recorded a deficit of a billion dollars. A careful management of these events can bring profit to its organizers, as it happened in the case of the Games hosted by Los Angeles, in 1984, when the plus was of 250 billion dollars, although the American government did not get involved, not even with a penny, and in the case of the Games from Seoul in 1988, when the South Koreans recorded a $300 billion dollar gain. Four years later, in 1992, Barcelona obtained a profit of just five million dollars; and, in 1996, at Atlanta, the organizers announced a plus of just 10 millions. All this approach seems to show that the most profitable situation was that of the Australians, who won the most after Sydney, 2000, as the organizers announced a record gain of$1.756 billion. An entirely different situation occurred in the case of the Greeks, who organized the most expensive edition until then, the Greek budget deficit being estimated at 5.3% in 2005, the year that followed the Games, because of a 7 billion euro fiscal burden.

8. Olympism - A universal social philosophy

For most people, we suppose, the word “Olympic” will evoke images of the Olympic Games, be they antique or modern. The philosophy of the French baron Pierre de Coubertin, an aristocrat strongly influenced by the British School sports-related traditions in education, concerns directly not just the elite athletes, but everybody, and not just for a short while, but for their whole life, not just for competition and winning, but also for the values of participation and cooperation, not just for the sport as an activity, but also in order to influence the training and development of the individual personality in agreement to the demands of the social life. So, this will accentuate the role of sports in: world development, peaceful coexistence, moral and civic education, promotion of justice, respect for people, understanding and reason, autonomy and perfection. These are the values of the Olympic history, although some people may interpret things differently at different moments. They are, basically, the main values of the liberal humanism.

We would like to draw the readers’ attention to the relations between the Olympic movement, UN and UNESCO, three global organizations facing similar problems in point of universality and particularity. The general problem is how we should act on a global level seeing that apparently there are so many insoluble differences on a particular level. Some try to solve such differences talking about sport as a universal language, but we think that the problem seems to be underestimated. Not just sport, but also Olympism endeavors to be universal by means of its values: mutual recognition and respect, tolerance, solidarity, equity, antidiscrimination, peace, multiculturalism etc. This is a set of specific values that are at a certain moment a set of general universal principles, but which also need a different interpretation across different cultures - defined in general terms, but interpreted in particular.

This search for a universal representation on the interpersonal and political level of our common mankind seems to be the essence of the optimism and of the hope of Olympism and of other forms of humanism and internationalism. In front of the recent events from Europe and from other parts of the world, it seems a dear hope and naïve optimism, yet we will continue to find arguments for working on a promising future and we still see a strong plea for sports as a way of attaining these ideals. We think that sport has been an enormous contribution to the modern society for over 100 years and that is why the philosophy of Olympism has been the most coherent systematization of the ethic and political values, supporting the sport practice up to where it is today.

Figure 3.

Olympism: a socio-human approach (adaptation after N. Postolache, 2004, p. 170)

Figure 4.

Structure of the Olympic education forms (adaptation after N. Postolache, 2004, p. 191)

8. Multiculturalism and Olympic education

In the specialized literature, it is suggested that we have reached “the end of history”, that the liberal democracy has won the battle for global political hegemony. Whether this is true or not, it is argued that the attention given to such multicultural ideas – as for instance respect, recognition and equal status for all cultures – has become increasingly important. Multiculturalism, according to certain authors, “needs a political society able to admit the equal status of all the stable and viable communities existing in the society”. An example of multiculturalism is the recognition of both English and French as official languages of the International Olympic Committee. In terms of promotion of its target of international understanding and multiculturalism, it is very important for the Olympic phenomenon to continue its existence for a coherent universal representation of itself – a concept of Olympism to which each nation should be able to dedicate itself sincerely, finding at the same time the general idea of the form of expression (a conception) that is unique, generated by its own culture, localization, history, tradition and future pursued.

We think that assuring a multicultural education in and for the modern democracies is a new and urgent task and it has to be made to function if we want to assure a functional political heritage for the future generations. In the global political context, this means promoting international understanding and mutual respect and a determination in favor of a peaceful solution to all the conflicts, which are all goals that Olympism and sport have been promoting. All the “fine” values for which the regulatory structures in sports have been longing, their acceptance by all the participants constitute premises for the continuation of the existence of the sports competitions, which supports such political efforts on an educational and cultural level. The Olympic education perpetuates the fundamental social values based on which one can realize the essence and the image of Olympism as a worldwide phenomenon. For the young people’s education, and not only, mankind has always been in need of this complex civilizing factor, continually opposed to the degenerative effects of the actual civilization.

The Olympic education harmonizes the values of the general education with the ideals of Olympism, in order to create both a type of man, a psychological-physical Olympic greatness, and a balanced modern lifestyle, based on the joy of effort and of the prolonged perseverance, able to produce and to convey - at any moment - a message, a positive example of behavior, enduring, and carrying universal ethic principles.

The projection of these paradigms with their demands on our world makes it appear that Olympism seems to remain a problematization, a possible yet not a real world, which has set itself as a goal a new world order based on new economic relations, explosion of information, knowledge, a new educational approach, a challenge for the thought, in order to find out the meanings and the future ways of a society full of older or newer manners.

9. The Olympic movement and sports – Their role in promoting globalization

With the political, economic, social, military organization of the human communities, the variety and the significance of the undertaken activities – influenced by the geographic and historical factors – have acquired new meanings. Politics turns sports into a more organized, more interesting and more attractive activity, pursuing certain specific interests, but also the development and progress of this domain. The advantages related to sports are intuited by and represent an attraction for politics: investments, projects, plans, which come to satisfy the potential interest of politics and politicians. Sports and politics interact increasingly often on different levels: local, European, global. On a global scale, the interaction between these domains is represented by legislations, provisions, laws or regulations concerning sports. On a regional or local level, politics tends to organize or to influence sports in order to meet its own interests.

In this context, as we have mentioned before, the domain of physical education and sports has a well determined place. Today we are talking about Pan-American Games, Pan-Arabic Games, Mediterranean Games, Balkan Games, Commonwealth Games, World and European Championships. Looking at today’s map of the Olympic cities, at the number of the participant countries, which has grown during the last 110 years from 13 (Athens 1896) to 197 (Atlanta, 1996) respectively 204 at Beijing in the year 2004, we cannot help noticing the universal character of this social institution, but also the dangers overshadowing it: gigantism, professionalism, commercialization, naturalization etc.

All these are meant to accelerate the identification and continuation of certain cultural and spiritual traditions specific for each regional, continental or global unit. Their promotion determines other hierarchies than those promoted by the chanceries of the modern world, hierarchies accepted through peoples’ mutual harmony with the sports arenas.

This thing has to take into account the fact that the world is not a laboratory, and a context will never be identical to another, such as for instance the future London Olympics (2012), declared ecological and which makes us think about man’s return towards his own energies, and about their promotion in the context of a healthy natural environment.

At the same time, we must recall the fact that the involvement of some great powers in the conflicts that may occur on a local level or in regional and continental ones may lead to the deterioration of the Olympic ideals. Edifying in this sense is the harmful content of the theories related to vital space, racism and neo-Malthusianism, which were at the basis of the absence of three editions of the Olympic Games during the period between the Two World Wars (the editions of 1916, 1940 and 1944), the assault during the Munich edition in 1972, the boycott of the competitions of Moscow, in 1980, and Los Angeles, in 1984, and the recent – we could say – assault from the American edition of Atlanta, in 1996.

As the war lasted for four years, the First World War did not allow the sportsmen to prepare for the Olympic Games of 1920, except after it ended, in the autumn of 1918. On the occasion of the 7th edition of the Games, namely that from Anvers, the Belgian Olympic forum decided not to invite, on the one hand, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, which had fought against the Entente and, on the other hand, Russia, a country in which the communists were creating a new kind of state, a federal state which, beginning with 1922, received the name of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). After 1918, pacifism was to become an important political trend, assuring a durable universal peace and the mutual understanding of the nations was supported by the entire interwar Olympic Movement.

The territorial changes occurred following the Versailles system and especially the reorganization of Central Europe and of the Balkans and the appearance either of unitary states (Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania) or of federative states (Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia) brought those tensioned topics to the Olympic stadium as well.

The International Olympic Committee, just like the whole Olympic Movement, felt all these tensions, increased by Germany’s idea of revenge, by the less developed level of the East European countries, where Finland and the Baltic States became independent in 1920, by the Anglo-French interests in the Middle East[2] - , by the unhealthy activity of the Communist International (Komintern), created by Moscow in 1919, by the closeness of Germany and the Soviet Union - both isolated and faced with the alliance of the winning peoples which later on became part of the League of Nations. These problems, and first of all those of an ideological nature, the fascist and communist extremism, not only did not protect but they also disturbed, intensely and for many years, the activity of the interwar Olympic Movement, which activity was challenged as well by the Great Economic Crisis of 1929-1933 and by the frontier revision policy, which became more aggressive after Hitler’s arrival to power in Germany (January 1933).

The participants to the IOC Congress, which took place in Barcelona in 1931, decided that the Olympic Games of 1936 should be organized in the capital of Germany. They were not able to foresee that the Olympic peace and the Games would be shadowed by the annexation of Ethiopia by the fascist Italy, by the reoccupation of the demilitarized Renan area by Hitler’s Germany and by the Japanese expansion in the Extreme Orient (1932-1939). Back then, at the time of the Congress, the flag with a swastika was not fluttering above Germany; this happened two years later, when Hitler came to power. Unfortunately, it was impossible to move the Olympic Games to another country. The representatives of those times saw in their completion an opportunity to show the world the power of the Third Reich. That is why they gave them an ostentatious support[3] - The photographs with the Fuehrer’s image disgusted by the athletic successes of Josse Owens were caught on the films of the foreign television news teams. But the event was broadcasted live on television, to the Berliners gathered around the TV sets situated in the public markets of the city, as Barry Fox wrote in the “New Scientist” (London, vol. 103, no. 1415) of August 2, 1984, p. 19..

The revisionism and the degradation of the international relations interrupted the interwar Olympic peace a quarter of a century since the resuming of the Games; they were suspended again in the years 1940 and 1944.

After the conclusion of the peace of May 9, 1945, the new historical epoch came with its specifics, with its right to its own culture and civilization, and also with its duty to preserve and to increase these goods. On the background of the deterioration of the US-USSR relations, which marked the beginning of the world’s bipolarization and almost immediately of the Cold War, the Olympic Games were about to disappear from history.

In 1965, after several years of negotiations, the IOC decided to allow the German Democratic Republic to participate to the Games of Mexico City with its own team. To avoid any subsequent conflict, the GDR (German Democratic Republic) and the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) wore the same colors, had the same national hymn (a fragment from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony), and their flags had for an emblem the five Olympic rings. This problem was solved for good after the reunification of the two German countries, at the Olympic Games from Barcelona, where a common team came, without any mediation from the IOC.

In December 1966, 32 African countries created the “Supreme Council for Sport”. Their representatives were determined to use all the possible means to exclude South Africa from among the sports associations, international federations and the Olympic Movement, unless the country agreed to comply with the principles of the International Olympic Committee, putting an end to its apartheid policy. The common demand of the African countries, addressed to the IOC was not to allow the South-African regime to send sportsmen to the Olympic Games of Mexico, as long as it did not respect the principle of equality for all its citizens.

After the negotiations, the IOC first accepted the participation of South Africa, yet on condition that the Olympic team should be made up of black and white sportsmen selected in agreement to their performances, and not by means of eliminatory tests with a joined participation of the black and white competitors.

After the IOC decision of February 1968, 32 countries of the African Union announced that they would not take part in the Olympic Games of Mexico, being supported by the Islamic and communist countries as well. This situation determined the IOC to revoke, in April 1968, the invitation made to the South African National Olympic Committee to take part in the Games.

The students’ revolts and the social turmoil in Mexico City, as well as the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia represent two more political events the IOC had to take into account just before the Olympic Games of Mexico. The exclusion of Emil Zatopek from the National Olympic Committee of Czechoslovakia caused tensions on the level of the relations between the IOC and the communist government of this country.

In 1972, in order to wipe away the memory of the Olympic Games from Berlin (1936), the Committees for the Organization of the Olympic Games prepared the Games of Munich with a particular care and sensitivity. The Olympic bases, especially the extremely modern stadium and the Olympic village were the best proof of the realizations of modern Germany. Although the Cold War between the East and the West was in full development, it was convened, however, that the GDR would participate for the first time to the Games with its own equipment, flag and national hymn. Yet, these games were not spared from political problems either. The terrorist attack and the assassination of 11 Israeli athletes stigmatized for good the Olympic Games of Munich.

During the Olympic Games of Montreal, on a political level, the participation of the People’s Republic of China and of Taiwan was not possible, despite the IOC efforts. On the other hand, a rugby match between New Zeeland and South Africa, shortly before the beginning of the Games, caused the departure of 28 African NOCs. The issue of South Africa was solved in 1991, when the government put an end to the apartheid regime, by a series of radical reforms, and the IOC allowed the South-African Olympic Committee to send a mission to the future Olympic Games.

The mingling of politics in sports and in the Olympic Games continued during the following decennium. The Winter Games from Lake Placid (1980) took place in the shadow of the political events that followed the penetration of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan and the call of the US president to the sportsmen not to participate in the Summer Olympic Games from Moscow. The Winter Games from Lake Placid, where China participated for the first time after the Second World War, took place without major problems. Yet, not the same thing happened with the Summer Olympic Games of 1980. Despite the opposition of numerous sportsmen, who considered that the Olympic Games and their participation was a decision that belonged only to themselves, and not to their countries’ governments, 62 National Olympic Committees, submitting themselves to the order of their government, did not show up to the Olympic Games of Moscow. Among the 81 countries that took part in the Games, there was Great Britain, whose NOC, despite the objections of the British Government, decided to send sportsmen to Moscow.

At the Olympic Games from Seoul (1988), after a quite long period, the threat of non-participation finally ceased, and the Games took place with the participation of sportsmen from both blocks - West and East. The Games from Seoul marked the beginning of a new era for the Olympic Movement. The Universality of the Olympic Games became even more obvious at the following Olympic Games.

Certainly, the explosion of a bomb in the Centennial Central Park during the Games was a meaningless act of terrorism, which shocked us all and left a whole world in awe. While we are still mourning the two dead and the wounded who were victims of this awful event, we keep in mind the undeletable memory of the Olympic spirit which came to light following this cowardly gesture. Out of this tragedy, there appeared a feeling of community and an engagement that cannot be threatened, intimidated or defeated.

10. Conclusions

The rapid changes in technology and logistics combined with the developing globalization, certainly affects the sports and Olympic activity. These shifts have generated, on the one hand, transformations in the sense of assuring the necessary financing sources for the organization and development of the great competitions, and, on the other hand, as far as the costs of the Olympic contests’ elements were concerned, through the delineation of obvious actions of improvement and increased efficiency in the funds management, assured by a much more professional approach. During the Antiquity, the Olympic competitions were hosted in the same location every four years, while, during the last 116 years, they were hosted in different countries of the world, each time assisting to a new projection for the future of their organization and development, based on a mix of Modernity and Antiquity. Despite the globalization of the sportive movement and the promotion of the Olympic ideal, there is a growing gap between the areas belonging to the technologically developed world and those of the marginalized and closed, poor and underdeveloped world. Even the intensifying global inter-relations do not always trigger globalization. The regional centers with the structural capacity of organizing Olympic contests or world championships are still developing distinctly. Sports glorify democracy, equal chances, and the autonomy of the social domains. Politics is a public domain, just as sports. In politics, just as in sports, there are preferences, candidates, leaders and led people. But the essence of the two domains is: competition, democracy, fair-play, liberty and prominence of the best; all these things will truly become reality when cities will develop on all the continents, which will bring with it the possibility to organize the great sports events on all the continents of the world.

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Notes

[1] - The flag was now bearing the inscription Citius - Altius - Fortius, which will become the Olympic slogan. The three exhortations (faster - higher - stronger) were formulated by Henri Didon, the director of the secondary school from Arcueil, a friend of Coubertin’s.

[2] - In this area, France created the Lebanon and Syria, and England the Iraq, Jordan and Palestine.

[3] - Television made its Olympic debut on the occasion of the Berlin Games in 1936. Those who state that the Olympic Games have become only recently a political platform probably forget that Hitler used this event exactly in this sense, despite the menaces of boycott from the USA and Great Britain.