The Olympic Games of Modern Times…

…go back to the French philosopher and politician Coubertin who wanted young sportswomen and men from all over the world to come together every four years in order to compete with each other in different non-professional sports with the beginning of 1896 in Athens / Greece.
Of course, those world-famous and most popular events can never get separated from characteristic cultural, economic, political and sociological processes of historic development, so many things have changed not only within the last century but also since the millennium has started.

The platform of the Olympic Games has often been used or even misused politically – by the Nazis in 1936, e.g., when they had succeeded in presenting a perfectly working country, even the French Olympic Committee showed humble signs of respect towards the Nazi regime, the racist „Stürmer“, e.g., was not sold on the market of Printed Media by the Nazis‘ agencies in those weeks during the Games.

Hitler, however, left the Olympic Stadium in Berlin furiously full of anger and disappointment when the „Black Hero“ of the Summer Games, Jesse Owens, had won his last of four gold medals.
On the whole, the Nazis had successfully deceived big parts of the so-called democratic world having hidden and denied their real bloody Second World War strategies with more than 6 million Jewish people to get murdered by the order of the regime.

In times of Cold War between communism and capitalism, e.g., both the USSR and the USA used the Games of 1980 in Moscow, banned by the U.S. Olympic Committee -and Los Angeles in 1984, banned by the Soviets Olympic Committee, to demonstrate political power and dominance. The problem of terrorist attacks for transporting Palaestinian interests onto the field of sports was launched by Near East fundamendalists to disturb the peaceful Summer Games of Munich in 1972.

Black Power, on the other hand, was demonstrated by coloured gold medal winners when the national U.S. anthem was played to honour the sports idols in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium in 1968.

And could there ever be Olympic Games of Modern Times without the elites of the stadiums getting immensely sponsored and promoted by world famous enterprises far away from any non-professional status? Can anybody be a winner without getting doped?
Coubertin, at least, could not be able to accept all those proclaimed and practiced inevitable processes of development since the beginning of the new Olympic idea.

Walter Leder