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Does the Olympics segregate countries by creating competitive environments or does it connect the world together in one event?

For years, I've been told that the Olympics bring people together for the ultimate celebration of achievement, athleticism, and patriotism. I've questioned whether or not it actually brings up other ideas such as segregation, negativity, and hatred. If In a society where we've been built up constantly succeed or you are considered a failure, which do you think is the answer? Perhaps a combination of both? Or maybe the Olympics were designed to initially celebrate top athletes, but has become something else entirely.

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    May 24 2014: I think the Olympics were meant to connect the world and give people something positive like sport to support their countries for instead of war. It's a way of rewarding athletes and acknowledging other people's talents because in our communities not everyone can have an office job. On a normal day the only athletes most of us acknowledge in our communities are mainstream like football players! The only unfortunate thing is the uneven distribution of wealth in the world becomes apparent. Not every country can participate in every sport and not every country has the environment for certain events (Like some in the winter Olympics this year).
    But I think they do more good than harm to the world overall. People usually seem more peaceful and are just eager to watch these talented individuals do what they're good at. People even go on to support other countries for events their countries aren't participating in or just respect people from other countries when they come first or even break records.
  • May 23 2014: Olympic in the current form should be abolished. Just handful of countries gets all the medals. These countries can afford to spend billions to train their athletes that most countries do not have.

    Olympic should be for Individual athlete without involvement of any directly or indirectly paid trainers. Members countries should put money in the one pot to meet the expenses of athletes travel, accommodation etc,

    Games that cost millions of dollars to set up should be eliminated since that will not have in participatory values for average person.
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    May 25 2014: It seems to me that the Olympics do little to make the world a more peaceful place. The competition is more between the countries than between the Athletes.
    If only the athletes would compete without their nationality being made known...
    Political conflicts between nations are always apparent during the games. The games should benefit human kind and earth as a whole.
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    May 23 2014: to me the Olympics is more about watching the performance of the great athletes, the country thing isn't too important. Well, the country thing is part of what creates a competitive atmosphere. But with all athletes, competition comes from groups identifying with different bases. For example, when two universities compete in football, the athletes on each team represent "their" university, and so you have a competition. Do you see hatred, segregation, and negativity there? When two professional baseball teams compete, each one "stands" for "their" city, for example, if the Los Angeles Dodgers play against the Houston Astros, it's like a competition between Los Angeles and Houston. Do you see hatred, segregation, and negativity there?
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    May 26 2014: I've traveled all over the world as an athlete and I can assure you that the Olympics (as well as the World Cup) are a HUGE motivation in even the poorest countries. The kids they inspire don't care in the least about the political ramifications. They just want to see the great performances, then go out and try the new sports. By getting involved with their local sporting groups they learn the life-long lessons of discipline, team work and dedication. Hanging out with the Sports wing of the Ghana Society of Disabled People was one of the highlights of my life!
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    May 26 2014: I would say 'extremely competitive'. The atheletes, their families, their supporters and/or sponsors are not there to win a humanitarian award. They do not train for years to learn 'how to make friends' and become culturally adept. They go to win a medal for their country. They go also because they think they can win. The coaches dont tell them that they cant, or that they are "out-classed" by a competitor. They tell them that they are the ones that can beat anybody, and that no one is better than them. In that, we see that everybody everywhere wants the same thing, and find that 'those people' are exactly the same as us. So to answer the question, i feel that if someone enters a competitive sports event and 'hates' those who beat them, they are missing the point of sports and should consider something less 'stressful' they can handle, and seek some remedial help.
  • May 25 2014: I tend to agree with Elijah, the purpose is to allow great athletes from all countries to compete on the world stage. The Olympics do bring a group of talented young people representing their countries together and give them a chance to meet each other and share a common interest. The personal sacrifice and hard work put into training to be the best at something deserves a venue to permit honest competition between people from all over the world.

    Athletes are going to go out and perform to the best of their ability and let the performance speak for them. They typically respect other athletes and superior performance. It is when politics, religions, cultural differences and opinions differ and become the focus that the Olympics becomes something less than pure amateur sport. To the extent that the athletes and media choose to focus on things other than sport that the Olympics become something else.

    There is a lot of focus on competition between countries, but I see nothing wrong with rooting for your country as an athlete or a fan. Unfortunately, terrorists have seen the Olympics as an opportune time to make a statement about an extreme position with violence or protest. This is unfortunate.

    As long at the focus remains on the athletes and the competition, I see the Olympics as a great opportunity and a spectacular event.

    As long as the focus of
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    May 25 2014: I think that it brings the world together. I say this because this is a special event in which we all or the people who are active and are the best of the best to represent their country and show the world what they got(no pun intended)! This is one event in which American and other countries can come and not fight or argue about resources but simply come and hopefully enjoy themselves, possibly make a new friend and compete and become the ultimate best in what they do.
  • May 23 2014: Alyssa

    Everything always becomes something else. There are no constants.
    As I understand the origin of the Olympics all participants were male and Greek, so I would think that our modern Olympics is quite diversified in gender, race, culture and nationality. Also the original Olympics were held, often, between warring Greek States, and yes patriotic pride was an integral part, as they are today.
    Everything can always bring up something to somebody. For those who are selfish non-achievers, I can understand how the Olympics would be a threat or for that matter any form of competition from the most benign to the Olympic stage. Therefore, to minimize such achievement or spectacle, it is quite possibly our own way of dismissing what we can not do, compete. I personally think the the Olympics is overblown. I would like to see an intellectual Olympics, absent academia. A spurring of intellectual achievement. This, I believe, more than the human physical prowess goes to the essence of who we are and it would be far more beneficial to Mankind.
    There are many forms of hatred, most of which serve only to mask our own insecurities.