With the recent arrival of the Olympic games upon our television screens and its infiltration within our newspapers, many ignore the global significance that comes with them. An important question to ask ourselves is, is the Olympics an example of a global event? In other words, are these games built towards displaying the best athletes from around the world, bringing them together and lowering the boarders that divide them? Or is it simply a soapbox for global companies to showcase their products and first world countries rather than all?
In order to wrap your head around this thought, the concept of what is a global event needs to be explored. To myself, global events such as the Olympics, movie premiers and product launches reflect globalization with their traits- the crossing of international boarders and the convergence of nationalities and cultures. Many would argue against the idea of the Olympics being a global event. The coverage of the London 2012 Games as caused a public uproar, which Channel 9 focused mainly on events such as swimming and the many mistakes endured by our Aussie athletes. This got me thinking, is this issue ongoing in all competing countries? Therefore, the game should not be considered to be global- as televised events focus on local rather than global countries. There is also the issue of the unspoken pressure that is added upon well-known athletes and first world countries to perform well.
The power of the media is also highly influential in the process of global events, as Stevens (2003) states ‘ the media companies play important economic and symbolic roles in most modern states’. In terms of global events and in particular, the Olympics media companies such as McDonalds and Coca Cola depend heavily on branding and sponsorship throughout the duration. This raises the question of, is the Olympics all for good sportsmanship and the showing of elite athletes compete or a business opportunity for first world countries?
Resource: Steven P, 2003, The no nonsense guide to the global media, New Internationalist, Oxford, pp 37-59.