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Commercialism In The Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee has become a corporation-like entity incurring in commercialism and contradicting the Hellenic Ideal of Justice. After stating our thesis it is important for us to be aware of the definition of the two main concepts under analysis.

The ideal of Justice: The ideal of justice is based in three principles: equality, impartiality, and moral reciprocity. Where individuals should be treated as equals under the same set of rules or guidelines, as well as requiring members to regard each other as having the same moral standing. (Reid)

Commercialism: The tendency within capitalism to try to turn everything in life into objects and services that are sold for the purpose of generating profit; commercialization, where the value of everything, including such intangible things as happiness, health and beauty become measured in purely commercial, materialistic terms, and where public services are being privatized or outsourced to private companies. (Wikipedia)

Commercialism is a term that is touched on in several instances of the Olympic Charter. We must first refer to IOC’s mission and role where they explicitly oppose the political and commercial abuse of sport and athletes. At the same time we can see that in other instances the Olympic Charter contradicts its initial position when it mentions that they have the exclusive rights to valuable profit resources. Accordingly to the contradiction mentioned above, Garry Whannel from the Roehampton Institute stated his view in this matter by saying “It is no surprise that the concept of amateurism has been rendered redundant, irrelevant and laughable. It has become untenable to allow agencies, corporations and networks to profit, whilst at the heart of the spectacle, sportsmen and women are supposed to remain hermetically sealed away from commercial reward.” (Whannel)

We must understand that there is not only a contradiction between what the IOC states in the Olympic Charter regarding their actions and limitation but also those of the athletes who are to abide to certain guidelines that limit them from profiting from their sporting activities. If according to the IOC, they are not searching economical profit, why is it that this event moves so much money?

With the intention to further comprehend this matter and for the purpose of this analysis we will first shift our focus to broadcasting rights of the Olympic Games. In the verge of a technological boom in television broadcasting of sporting events in the 1950s and 1960s, the IOC modified their stance in regards commercialism as we can appreciate in the statements made by Avery Brundage, president of the IOC. "I am not sure that we should ever get into business, but on the other hand we should not give millions of dollars away." (Barney) This statement was made

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