The history of the Olympic Games has always been about much more than purely sports. When I started to get interested in the Games, politics were dominating the sporting event. It was in 1980 and 1984, when the boycotts of first Moscow and then Los Angeles seemed to ruin the very heart and soul of the Games. But it was also the time, when private enterprise started to revitalize them - with all the good and bad things that came along with it in the following decades.
Since then, the Olympic Games have never let me go. Besides following them on TV every four or two years, I read as much as I could about them, watched the pictures and films of the days gone by and tried to get a picture as all-encompassing as possible about this fascinating phenomenon. I also had the luck to be able to write my master thesis in history at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz about this topic. It was an in-depth look at the notorious 1936 Games and their political and propagandistic effects on the United States.
In this blog, I would like to share my personal thoughts, ideas and memories about the Olympic Games from the beginnings up to the 2000 Sydney Summer Games, which many people consider to have been the famous "best Games ever". As you will see in one of my next posts, I don't share this view. But I truly believe that since the turn of the century the Games have gone in a direction that is highly problematic. The demons of modern sports - drugs, cheating, corruption, media overkill - are also a threat to the Games - combined with a tendency for chosing politically questionable host cities. These are not the same Games anymore as they were in the 20th century.
So let's look back - not in anger, not in nostalgia, but keeping in mind how the Olympics shaped the world and the world shaped them. I hope for pleasant and interesting reading and are always happy for feedback.