Politics and Its Affect on the Olympics

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Politics is the art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs. The Olympic Games is an event held every 4 years, which includes a variety of sport activities in which different countries compete against one another. "Sport is frequently a tool of diplomacy. By sending delegations of athletes abroad, states can establish a first basis for diplomatic relations or can more effectively maintain such relations" (Espy 3). One might think that politics and the Olympics have nothing to do with each other, but in fact they do have a lot in common. How did politics affect the Olympic Games in 1936, 1968 and 1972?

In 1934, the death of President Hindenburg of Germany removed the last remaining obstacle for Adolf Hitler to assume power. Soon thereafter, he declared himself President and Fuehrer, which means "supreme leader". That was just the beginning of what would almost 12 years of Jewish persecution in Germany, mainly because of Hitler's hatred towards the Jews. It is difficult to doubt that Hitler genuinely feared and hated Jews. His whole existence was driven by an obsessive loathing of them (Hart-Davis 14). In 1935, the U.S. decided to attend the ‘36 Berlin games, even though the United States knew how Hitler was persecuting the Jews. By July 1933, at least 27,000 people had been placed in what Hitler liked to call "detention camps" (Hart-Davis 16). In early 1932 at an IOC meeting in Barcelona, the committee decided to grant Germany the right to the 1936 Olympic Games, which allowed Germany to restore their athletic reputation that they lost because of the outbreak of World War I. All over the world, there was an outcry to boycott or at least change the location of the ‘36 Olympics. The IOC's first response was that they had granted Germany the Olympic site before the Nazis' came to power. All over Germany before the Olympic Games...
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