Modern Olympics: Games or Agons?
symbol of Olympic Agons 2004: the ancient KOTINOS, the prize made of olive tree branches The word 'Game' reminds me more of a casino rather than what olympism is all about. The greek word 'agon' (AΓΩN) means labour, strife, endeavour, effort, attempt. The olympic spirit as described by the modern greek poet Kostis Palamas in his Olympic Hymn (the olympic anthem), is buried under today's super-game commercialism. It has often been argued that also in ancient times, olympionicae (olympic winners) were indeed worshipped, offered much much more except an olive-tree branch (the kotinos). But the ancient mentality of olympism is parasangs away from the modern attitude which is either romantic or cynically commercial. The distortion started during the roman times. Today's inequalities on athletes' preparation are huge, unprecedented and totally unacceptable. Professionals and amateurs are thrown into the same arena. Olympics are now a commercial bazaar: money, 'gifts', artificial preparation, 'sponsors', television battles for the broadcasting...

Would it be better to let the olympics 'sleep' for a couple of centuries, and perhaps revive them again later?
Still... The OLYMPIAD is the sole common activity of all humans. We have no other. It will always reflect the ecumenical cultural status. It is our mirror. If we do not like what we see, that is still our true image. Maybe, in the future, homines from all planets will be coming together every 4 years... they will not remember why, but they will still do so.

When the olympics returned to Greece in 2004, I gladly became an olympic volunteer. To honour the non-professional athletes that came here from hundreds of countries all over the Earth, to this feast of mankind. One day, they will be telling their grandchildren: I was there!!!
It is a great honour and a symbolic moment for the turn of history that the tiny Greece gave the olympic relay to the great China.
Katerina Sarri, Athens, 14 SEP 2007

Olympic links
www.olympic.org International Olympic Committee - Musée Olympique, Lausanne, SWITZERLAND
the ones that call themselves: 'immortal', ha.
www.hoc.gr Hellenic Olympic Committee
www.athens.olympic.org Athens 2004 in english and greek GREECE
en.beijing2008.com Beijing Olympics 2008 in chinese, english and french
Cultural Olympiads
International Olympic Academy
Olympic Truce.org: obsolete
Olympics through time FHW GREECE
Ancient Greek Olympic Games by M Lachanas
Ancient Olympics by PERSEUS project USA Site was written for the 1996 Atlanta USA olympics.
Articles on Olympics' problems, flaws, why to oppose by Brian Martin of AUSTRALIA
Very interesting views on commercialism etc.
Brief History of the Olympic Games Myths ancient events modern highlights by nostos.com
Mr. Donn's Ancient Greek Olympics in the Classroom! by Lin and Don Donn in
For children, for teachers, for parents. Also links for teacher preparation included.
Ancient Olympics @ Pennsylvania Museum in USA
The commercialistic view on the olympics, through a USA look on things.
SANTIAGO CALATRAVA (1951-) Our olympic architect! I know he is spanish, but doesn't he build in a white simple greek way?
Calatrava by wikipedia
Santiago Calatrava Website

links checked 14 SEP 2007