Topic 80: Do you think that international sports events like the Olympic Games would continue or gradually lose their momentum?
The Olympics, known as the world's largest event, appeal to global audiences with displaying athletic skills and competitive spirit. Pageantry, keen rivalry, and high level of competition are the striking attractions of the Olympic Games. When many people are concerned about the forces that drive this event forward, there are fears about their sustainability. In my opinion, the Olympic torch will be carried by relay runners on and on and would never be extinguished.
Reasons why the Olympics would continue are many. First, people, especially young males, are in need of some form of outlet for their energy and emotion related with sports. The Olympics, as well as other international sports events, are ideal for them. Meanwhile, leisure activities are valued today, as economic conditions continue to improve. As part of the growing leisure industries, sport and sporting contests will become increasingly important. Moreover, the Olympics are of commercial values and of broad interest to mass media organisations, advertisers, sponsors and business managers. Because of those business opportunities, cities will not cease to compete to host sporting events. Needless to say, they can thus achieve or maintain world class status.
Apart from those tangible benefits, the Olympics possess other values. For example, the Olympics allow nearly all nations in the world to compete in the event rather than require any of them to meet the strict political requirements set by other worldwide organisations, such as the United Nations on sovereignty. The political, social and economic conflicts between countries and regions are disregarded in the face of Olympic spirit. Audiences are so engrossed bythe grace, endurance and fortitudeshown by athletes that they pay little attention to their nations of origin, cultural and language differences.
Despite those elements in favour of sustaining this international event, the Olympics ere facing many challenges today. The expenditures are one of the biggest. So many services and facilities are required for serving athletes, media and spectatorsthat up to present, only those cities from industrialised countries are capable of and interested in hosting such events. The Olympics are meanwhile the hotbed of various scandals. Temptedby the prospect of large financial rewards, many athletes take proscribedperformance-enhancing drugs, a stain on the sportsmanship pursued by the Olympics. Critics also view international sporting events as a substitute for war, ritualisingand formalisingthe conflicts between countries. What's more, the Games draw criticism for embracing commercialism. The Olympic torch, for example, an important symbol of the Olympics, has been used popularly in the commodity market.
As shown above, humankind's passion for competing in and watching games, the special appeals of the Olympic Games, and economic and non-economic benefits brought to the host city all make the immediate demise of the games unlikely. However, in the pursuit of those high ideals, the Olympics are meanwhile at the risk of being the instruments of commercialism and nationalism.
1. extinguish = put out = quench
2. host = provide facilities for
3. sovereignty = autonomy = independence
4. engrossed by = occupied by = absorbed in = immersed in