Olympic Games and Politics Research Questions
These research questions accompany the Politics and the Olympics Lesson Plan, or they can be used on their own to spark classroom discussion about the Olympic Games of the past.
For each year of the Summer Olympics (or choose a particular year to study), answer the following questions:
Which were the most powerful countries in the world at the time?
Why were these the most powerful countries? (Be specific: Was it military power? Control of resources, such as oil? Nuclear weapons? Alliances with other countries?)
What were the major political events happening in the world at the time of your Summer Olympics? (Be specific: Were U.S. citizens fighting for civil rights? Were African countries fighting for independence from their European colonizers? Was Communism on the rise?)
Was there major military conflict in the world at the time your Summer Olympics took place? If so, where was it and what was the basis of the conflict?
In what ways did these political events or military conflicts effect the Olympic Games? (Did world events influence the location of the Games? Did any countries boycott the games? Were there any shows of protest during the games?)
What types of technology were available at the time of your Olympic Games? (Was electricity readily available? Was the printing press invented? Was television available? Computers? Were medicines available to enhance athletic performance?)
In what ways did the technology of the time effect the Olympic Games? (How did the media report on the games? Was drug testing necessary? Did computers measure times and finishes in certain events?)
How many countries participated? How many athletes?
Who were the most famous athletes at your Olympic Games? Why were they singled out for attention?
Which countries won the most medals?
Return to Politics and the Olympics Lesson Plan.