S203_UT3 (A Grade)

Session - View Responses
Read the following article.
Why Obama owes his success to Owens by Chia Han Keong
my paper, Nov 10, 2008
Forgive us sports fanatics for being a tad nonplussed about last week's monumental event.
You know, the one where the United States elected its first black president. While the
political world went ga-ga over Mr Barack Obama's successful election, many sports fans
merely shrugged, and fervently discussed Formula One's first black winner Lewis Hamilton,
also crowned last week.
In truth, the race barrier has already been battered down many times over in sport, since
as early as the 1930s. Indeed, we are almost inclined to ask our friends in political circles:
"What took you so long?"
In 1936, Jesse Owens shot Adolf Hitler and his theory of Aryan supremacy to smithereens
at the Berlin Olympics, by winning four golds in front of the Fuhrer. Two years later, Joe
Louis became boxing's first black champion, ironically becoming the sport's "Great White
Hope" as he beat Germany's Max Schmeling during those war-torn times. Within a decade,
Jackie Robinson became the first black player in Major League Baseball. Within another 10
years, Althea Gibson stepped out of Harlem and into the tennis elite. Muhammad Ali then
became a hugely-divisive - and eventually unifying - sports figure in the 1960s and 70s, as
he raged against the Vietnam War and fought legendary battles against Joe Frazier and
George Foreman in the boxing ring. Recent breakthroughs include basketball great Michael
Jordan, golf's world No. 1 Tiger Woods and, of course, Hamilton.
It's not just the blacks. China came from nowhere in the 1980s to dominate badminton and
table tennis to such an extent that one would think that the country invented the two
games. (It was the Englishmen, not the Chinese.) Football? Hardly anyone bats an eyelid
when Brazil's Ronaldinho weaves his magical dribbles.
It may seem flippant to compare sports with politics, but the essence of success is actually
the same in these two public fields: If you're good enough, you're good enough. The record
speaks for itself. These racial breakthroughs in sport may very well have paved the way for
our acceptance of Mr Obama. So let this be a clarion call to anyone picking up sports in
Singapore. An Indian can play table tennis, a Chinese can play cricket, and a Malay can
swim for a gold medal.
The road to success may not be as easy, but it is never out of bounds. If you're good
enough, you're good enough.
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1) List the values of Olympism and discuss how the use of the Games as a means of advancing
political agenda is against the values of Olympism. (4 marks)
The original values of olympism doesn't have anything to do with political agendas. It talks about blending
sports with culture and education to make a way life based on doing your best, setting good example and
respect for ethical principles. There are also values such as doing your best, unconcerned about the medal
color or the position in the race. Olympism also promotes development and improvement of the athlete by
making use of the qualities of courage, self-discipline, self-direction, perseverance, self-esteem and personal
However, this views and values has been stained by the political agendas. Take for example how Hilter
wanted to use the 1936 games to show that his Aryan race is the greatest in the world. Of course, we know
that he failed badly, but we also see that instead of focusing on the sport and the values like232
your best,
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he was trying to make a political statement that his race is the best.
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Boycott is yet another way that countries has abused the games. When the political
countries are not good, instead of caring about the "respect for ethical principles" they rather focus on the
unrest between
the countries.
Like of
the US
to make(4
2) Using
TWO forms
in sports.
Eventually, it is the athlete as well as the games that suffer due to this political agenda.
Racial ideology is something of a social construct. They can be described as assumtions that people make
about a certain race and in this case, a race playing sports.
An obvious one would be how a certain race is biologically wired to perform well in a certain sport. Like how
African Americans are sprinters/runners or how the Chinese performs in table tennis or badmintion. Although
these are just simply myths and are not scientifically proven, are believed to be true due to the fact that it is
the trend around the world. Therefore, this racial ideology would make it hard for other races to participant in
the sport. This leads to a over or under representation of a minority.
Yet another one would be how sports is a "ticket" for a better life. For example, Blacks are thought
to be poor
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and would have trouble finding jobs. However, it is believe that they would make use of sports to launch them
into superstardom and fame. Take examples like Tiger Woods, who has a talent and he makes use of that to
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get his fame. This is a racial ideology that people have about minorities playing sports.
would be Usain Bolt who is from a poor country but is the fastest man alive.
3) Using examples, illustrate how racial ideology can be broken down in Singapore in order to have
racial and ethnic diversity in sports. (4 marks)
Racial ideology, as mentioned, is a social construct. It is something that was created by the whites when they
were colonizing the world and they thought that whoever is not of their skin color are driven by mindless
emotions. That is the start of racial ideology.
Therefore, we have to look at the mentality of the people before we change this racial ideology. Education of
the people is the first step that has to be done. In the Let's play advertisement, different races are coming
together to play football on the carpark rooftop. This is one way to breakdown these walls of racial ideology.
The government has to make use of the media to show that these are just myths and the ideology is not true.
Another way would be give opportunities for people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds to enjoy sports
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together. Take football for example in Singapore. Seemingly, only the malays play it. However, there might
be a few chinese who are interested in playing the sport, but due to the racial ideology that only malay play
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the sport, they would find it hard to "fit" in. Therefore the government has to give them
organising tournaments with mix races in the same team.
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In the 1936 Berlin Games, Adolf Hitler used the Olympics as a platform for propagating his beliefs.
Examine how the 1968 Mexico Games and the 1972 Munich Games were similarly used as a
platform to advance political agendas. (4 marks)
In the Mexico Games, two black American sprinters won Gold and Bronze medals. However, when they
collected their medals, they went shoesless and only wore black socks on their feet. This was a way of
showing how proverty of the Blacks. Smith (Gold medal winner) wore a black scarf around his neck to
represent black pride while Carlos (bronze) wore beads which he described "were for those individuals that
were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. This was a way to show their
political purpose which is to bring awareness of how the blacks are being treated in america. At that time, the
racism in America was extremely strong and therefore, this act of deviance was a way to telling and showing
the world how the blacks are suffer and hopefully, gather support for them. Smith later said "If I win, I am
American, not a black American. But if I did something bad, then they would say I am a Negro. We are black
and we are proud of being black. Black America will understand what we did tonight.“
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In the 1972 games, eight Palestinian terrorists took eleven Israeli athletes from the olympic village to make a
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Marks breaking
statement. At that time, the political situation between Israel and Palestine was reaching
point. The
terrorist wanted to show the Israelis the lenghts that would go to make their statement and how much they
hate Israeli.
Although what
they did was
the political
that staging
they made
huge as(4
5) From
a functionalist
for the
the very
Firstly, everyone competes. It is a game for all and therefore, everyone is about to enjoy the sport together.
Anyone can play. If you are good enough, you are good enough.
Secondly, it gives all countries a equal plateform to showcase their talent and what they have to offer in
sports to the world. There are no special treatment for one country over the other. It is not like the Americans
would get better training venues while the Chinese don't get the train.
Rules are the same for all as well. There isn't a race that is is favourred and therefore get an advantage over
the others.
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Finally, from the olympic values, we can also see that it is about trying your best instead of who finishes first
second or third.
1 out of 4.
Marks :
1) The Olympics had been criticised as being too commercialised as major international
corporations are often sponsors for the Games. Analyse the effect that commercialisation has
on the Games, providing examples where necessary. (5 marks)
Its values has been forgotten, but instead, the need to win becomes very strong. This is because only the
best of the best will get sponsorships. As a result, people wouldn't mind taking performance enhancing drugs
in order the finish first. This is a result of commercialisation and the fact that athletes are so money driven.
So firstly, the athletes are affected.
Secondly, the games itself is affected greatly. There are times when the IOC makes their decision based on
if the host country is able to make a "beautiful" games with big stadium and state of the art facilities. The
money factor is required to make their decision. When this is done, other values of the games such as
"setting a good example", is forgotten, but instead, the one with the most money will get the bid. It can be
seen when the IOC as held in Singapore and the countries presented their "beautiful" bids and the one with
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the most elabrate concept wins.
Finally, everything has to be done for the sponsors. Sponsors controls the way the show is being run. For
example, Macdonald was a sponsor for the Beijing Olympic games. I doubt athletes would stuff their faces
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Marks :
4 out of 5.
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