Olympic Values in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

August 10, 2016

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The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil opened on August 5. In total, over 10,000 athletes representing 200+ countries will compete and billions of people will follow the events. The Olympic movement and games highlight the central role of universal values: excellence, friendship, and respect and from ancient history the games have highlighted, through the idea of the Olympic Truce, the promotion of peace. Recent games have emphasized the role of sport in building social cohesion and breaking down barriers, such as cultural gender norms. However, the games and large scale sporting events also court controversies, with links to world politics and current affairs.

The Berkley Forum asks contributors to evaluate the significance of the 2016 Summer Olympics at this pivotal moment in world affairs. How do the messages conveyed through the Olympic values relate to the challenges of social inclusion and human rights? How have we seen—or not seen—these values manifest in the 2016 Olympics (e.g., the refugee team, Russia ban)? To what extent does the host nation and its society reflect Olympic values? How do Olympic values relate to the global challenges of peace and cooperation and how might these Olympics impact international relations? What could be a positive legacy of the historic Rio de Janeiro games?

related | WFDD and Berkley Center resources on past sporting events

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