Olympic history traces back to 776 BCE, where there was only one event, a race won by a cook called Coroebus. Since then, the Olympics have evolved. There are more games, more locations, and more people can attend, as women were once banned from attending in Ancient Olympia.
The Olympic Games naturally bring a country together. Everyone cheers for their home country, and together cry when someone else wins. It’s natural for people to form groups, and band together against the things outside of their tribe. Sometimes a country unites together in times of distress, for example after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, or the dropping of bombs on Japan. At those moments, countries unite to see what happens, and what they can do about it. The Olympics prove that it doesn’t take a tragedy to bring people together. Instead it shows how people can become one and cheer for gold as one moving part.
Sebastian Junger is a war reporter, and author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. It is his belief that the idea of the Olympics relate to fundamental needs of humanity. This includes grouping, and naturally being against other groups. It’s about the home tribes banding together and being one. Sports has long proved that it can bring a mass of people together, with two sides in one stadium yelling and cheering for a win, and standing out in the parking lot to chant for their favored side.
That is the heart of the Olympics. Beyond just putting up a show for the world to watch, it’s bringing the country together, followed by bringing the world together. So many countries all at once watching the same thing, and wishing for the same goal, even if they belong to different tribes.