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Given the article below about the the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, discuss its...

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meowththth | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted July 4, 2012 at 6:31 AM via web

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Given the article below about the the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, discuss its tone.

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http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/the-games-spirit-has-been-killed-20080817-3x15.html

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 4, 2012 at 7:49 AM (Answer #1)

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The tone in the article is one of hopeful reclamation of the spirit of Olympic competition.  The main contention of the author in the article is the idea that the Olympics have lost their fundamental purpose of being the premier showcase for athletic talent.  In the author's mind, the Olympics have become a grandstanding stage for nations to appear superior to others.  In the author's mind, the spirit of athletic competition is not nearly as essential as the needs for the host countries to "outdo" the other other nations and use the Olympics as a vehicle for nationalism.  This becomes the fundamental target in the author's mind:

The Olympics also encourage the very crudest form of loud, boasting, triumphalist nationalism. Individual achievement seems no longer to be the point: it is more a question of how many medals each country has won.

For the author, the collusion between nationalism and economic interests have effectively robbed the Olympics of its purpose to provide a stage for athletes to compete.  These ideas help to the author strive to reclaim the Olympic spirit from politics and economics, moving ito back into the realm of athletic pursuit of excellence:
We need at least to reinstate a proper, modest sporting ethos. The Games should be conducted on a small, human scale. Symbols and strutting should be eschewed in favour of the celebration of individual achievement. In short, this monster needs to become human again.
It is here where the somber and determined tone of the article, its attitude towards the dying spirit of the Olympics, becomes most evident.

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