Duke University Olympiad Era of Baron and Avery Visions Comparative Essay

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Duke University


*Must have access to Rome 1960 by David Maraniss

Formatting Specifics: Essay should be 4-7 pages in length essay, double-spaced, use 12-point font (Times New Roman preferably), and have one-inch margins. Give essay a title—though no title pages, please.

Please type an essay that answers the following two-part question: Which modern Olympiad (1896-present) best embodied the Olympic visions of IOC Presidents Pierre de Coubertin and Avery Brundage? Which modern Olympiad most forcefully contradicted their visions? Why? What can the disparity between your two chosen examples tell about the broader themes of global sport history? An outstanding essay(1) will have a clearly stated thesis statement that explicitly answers the above question; (2) will support that argument by explaining what the visions of Coubertin and Brundage were and why the Games you have selected embodied or contradicted these visions; and (3) will present counter-evidencein the form of a paragraph(s) in which you both account for any inconsistencies in your own argument and briefly discuss at least two other Olympic Games that you might have selected as your answer to the question (that is, at least one that embodied their vision and one that contradicted it) but then reiterate why your choices provide the better answer.

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Olympiad Era of Baron and Avery Visions
According to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, “Wars break out because nations misunderstand
each other. We shall not have peace until the prejudices that now separate the different races are
outlived. To attain this end, what better means is there than to bring the youth of all countries
periodically together for amicable trials of muscular strength and agility?” Baron had expressed
his ideas of fostering respect, understanding, and peace through sports specifically the Olympic
games that he served as both the member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the
president from 1896 to 1925. Coubertin believed that social, political, economic, and religious
barriers could be overcome in some way as sports served to enhance understanding among
teammates and between competitors.
Being the fifth president and member of IOC, Avery Brundage served between the years
1952 to 1972. Brundage is known for his advocacy for Amateurism in the Olympics during his
tenure as he was an idealist. Although his reign was full of controversies involving threats to
disqualify or actual disqualification of athletes for breach of amateur rules, he managed to enforce
his vision at least until his reign was over. During his reign as the International Olympic Committee
president, Avery was thought by some to be a racist in implementing his amateurism vision. In the
late 1970s, amateurism was abandoned partially but with other rules being erected (Maraniss,
2008). In 1971 the term ‘amateur athlete’ was eliminated from Olympic Charter and replaced by
Olympic Competitor. This was to avert the fact that the Olympic athletes were being financially
compensated through means such as product endorsement and brands they promoted through
sports gear they wore. Olympics have promoted peace and attained amateurism as visions of

former IOC presidents Coubertin and Brundage re...

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