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The Olympic Games, a Stimulus to Sport

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  • Economics
  • Political Science


T H E O L Y M P I C G A M E S , A S T I M U L U S T O SPORT ORGANIZING THE OLYMPIC GAMES CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR MODERNIZATION THAT GIVE ROOM FOR OPTIMISM AS REGARDS THE LONG-OVERDUE DEFINITIVE SOLUTION TO CERTAIN ASPECTS OF SPORT, SUCH AS THE INSTALLATIONS, THE ADAPTATION OF URBAN SITES, OR THE RESTRUCTURING OF SPORTS EDUCATION POLICIES. o talk of Olympic spirit or the Olympic Games is, essentially, to talk of sport. Indeed, if we look closely at sport, we find it contains a host of social, economic and political impli- cations which force us to be obiective if we are to avoid slipping into a critica1 en- thusiasm or, on the contrary, into "ex- cessive" criticism. Today, any reflection on this sporting phe- nomenon has to take into account the contradictory variables which make the Games one of the most passionately analysed events of our time. From a Marxist standpoint, writers describe sport as a corporal activity which is increasingly hierarchical, centralized, codified and rationalized. It can be used as a means of domination and, in many cases, it is used to express class or group identity. It is also true that sport forms part of certain processes by which free reign is given to excessively violent behaviour and the individual is driven by his ances- tral aggression. Nevertheless, it is also true to say that sport can be looked at from a different point of view, as a means by MILAGROS GARClA I B O N A F E L E C T U R E R I N T H E T H E O R Y O F P H Y S l C A L E D U C A T I O N A N D S P O R T which the desire to play creates the op- portunity to break free from an increas- ingly structured universe. In this sense sport can be seen as another aspect of democratic culture, and in this case, it at- tempts to reconcile the two opposing forces in our society: the freedom of the individual and the rationalization of so- ciety. Sport also involves respect for rules and laws, and is a training for life and de- mocrac

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