Carter also advocated permanently relocating the Olympics to Greece to avoid the politicization of the Games' hosting, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected this notion. Instead, they decided to host only one summer Olympics in 2000 and no Olympics thereafter until 2024 when the event will be held in Paris.
During the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, there was considerable debate about whether or not the United States should participate at all due to government concerns about security issues. At the time, Georgia had not yet been elected as a new state, and so Atlanta was still considered part of the South. This is why there are no African countries represented on the U.S. Olympic Team. If Georgia had been admitted as a new state during those games, it would have become necessary to find replacements for teams with American athletes.
In 1997, Athens was chosen by the IOC as the site for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The decision was made after Moscow withdrew itself from consideration due to financial problems. Greece was chosen over other candidates such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Berlin.
The city of Athens has planned many improvements to make itself ready for the Olympics. These include building new roads, parking lots, and other facilities needed for the event.
"These games were a sop to the Greeks, to soothe the profound dissatisfaction they felt when the IOC declined to approve their intentions to make Greece the permanent host of the Olympic games," sports historian Allen Guttmann writes. The question of whether these games were Olympic or quasi-Olympic has long been debated. They were called "Athens 1896" games because they were the first modern Olympics; before then they had been known as the Ancient Olympic Games.
Greece had been invited to host the Olympic games in 1896, but declined because they could not afford to pay for them. The IOC awarded the games to Athens instead. When it became clear that the Greek government would not be able to cover the cost, they offered to let Athens use the funds from the previous year's games in Paris. But France refused this offer and so did Greece. So the IOC decided to hold its next annual meeting in Athens, which at the time was still part of the Ottoman Empire. A majority vote by national associations elected by their members determined who would host the games. Greece was selected over bids from Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The decision by the International Olympic Committee to award the games to Athens was met with strong opposition from some nations, especially France and Italy. Both countries argued that since Greece was now a member of the European community, it should be allowed to host only one summer games per decade.
On September 18, 1990, during the 96th IOC Session in Tokyo, Athens had lost its bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta. Athens made another bid, this time for the right to host the Summer Olympics in 2004. This time, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki was in charge. The vote was again close, with Chicago winning 19 votes to 17 for Athens.
In August 2003, during the 107th IOC Session in Baku, Azerbaijan, Athens once more failed to win the vote to hold the Olympic Games in 2004. The final vote was 20-16 against Athens and Georgia Governor Roy Barnes called it "a great disappointment for our city and our country." Although Athens did not win, it is still expected that it will be awarded the Games in 2005 or 2006 when they are scheduled to be held in Canada and Mexico respectively.
The word "game" comes from the Latin gama, which means a contest or rivalry. Thus, we can say that the Olympics are all these contests or rivalries between countries.
Helen Maroulis of Greece is the oldest living Olympian who has participated in both the 1896 and 2000 Games. She is also one of only three athletes who have competed in both the inaugural and the second edition of the Olympics.
Colorado voters rejected hosting the 1976 Winter Olympics after Denver had been granted the games, in what was probably the most humiliating event in the history of Olympic host city competition. Concerns were raised concerning the financial and environmental consequences. The "no" vote was 543 to 39. Only Utah voted against the proposal.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said it respected the decision of Denver's government and citizens, but continued to support bringing the Games to Colorado in 1988.
However, the US Congress passed a law prohibiting the USOC from spending federal funds on any more games until 1990, which effectively killed any hope for Denver to host the games again.
In 2009, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would be re-opening its bidding process for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Although Denver was among the initial candidates, it was eliminated during the first round of voting by the USOC board.
Currently, only four cities are known to have submitted applications for consideration: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, and San Francisco. It is possible that other cities may enter the bidding process at a later date. In addition, Brussels, Belgium has expressed an interest in submitting a bid for the 2020 games. If these cities were to win their bids, they would join Vancouver as the only cities to have hosted the games twice before.
To protest the late 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States sponsored a boycott of the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980. In total, 65 countries refused to participate in the games, while 80 countries sent athletes. The only participating country by invitation was the USSR.
The main reason for the boycott was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which many nations viewed as an act of aggression against a friendly country. However, there were also concerns about the human rights record of the USSR and its treatment of its citizens. Additionally, some nations believed that competing in such circumstances would be inappropriate. Finally, some countries opted out because they could not afford to send a team to Moscow.
In response to the boycott, the Soviet government organized a series of competitions called "Inter-Zonal" tournaments where winners went to the Olympics. Only the USSR managed to qualify for both types of tournament - Zonal and Inter-Zonal. It is estimated that this decision cost the USSR more than $100 million dollars in lost revenue.
The US government had been pressuring Canada and Mexico not to participate in the games, but both countries stood firm on their decision to go to Moscow. Even so, neither Canada nor Mexico sent a delegation to the event.
"Our Olympic Games achieved absolutely nothing for Greece," Bilinis stated in an interview. They did not assist the local communities. They did not contribute to the growth of the surrounding communities. They just aided the building firms. This is a simplification. It is also a prevalent sentiment eight years after the 2004 euphoria.
The truth is more complex, but also more simple. The Olympics brought financial stability to Greece and kept it until 2009. They created new jobs in the construction industry. They improved the country's image abroad. They attracted foreign investment to Greece. These are all good things. But only if one ignores the fact that they were a temporary fix for a deeper economic problem - which was caused by Greece's inability to generate enough wealth due to government spending and borrowing that exceeded available resources for many years.
When Athens hosted the Games, its economy was in free fall. Unemployment reached 25 percent, there were riots in the streets, and people were leaving Greece en masse. The situation has since improved somewhat, but not much. In 2009, Greece received a second bailout worth $151 billion from its international creditors. The country must repay back almost all of this money by 2060 at least.
So yes, the Olympics helped Greece out of its crisis, but only because they were meant to be a short-term solution. And even though they returned money to the state, it won't last forever.