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  #21  
Old 01-19-2011, 12:30 PM
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Conclusion:

My firm position is that the Summer Olympics means more to the world as a whole then the World Cup. This isn't to deny to popularity of the World Cup, as that would be a silly argument to make. Soccer is the world's most popular sport, and the World Cup the pinacle event of said sport. The fans of said sport, for better or worse, may be the most rabid fans in the world.

But this debate isn't strictly a popularity contest. It's about which event holds more meaning to the World. And without a doubt, it's the Summer Olympics. The Summer Olympics is the event where all countries are represented. Over 200 nations can cheer their athletes in various sports and competitions. 200 nations that have the ability to watch their sport and feel proud to be a part of that country at that moment. Because the World Cup allows only 32 entrants into it's actual tournament, the same cannot be said for it. The overall national exposure is lessened due to this, and the nations that are not represented are reduced to primarily non-entities. Only 18% of the World's nations compete in the World Cup each year, and only 44% of the World has sent a representative over the course of it's 80 year history. A higher percentage of nations(46%) medaled at the 2006 Summer Olympics alone.

The Summer Olympics also caters to a more diverse body of interests then the World Cup does. Again, this is not a knock of the World Cup, as it's very successful at what it does provide. However, what it provides is only one sport. For those who have no interest in soccer whatsoever, the World Cup holds no interest. The Summer Olympics provides a much broader appeal in that it allows one to watch individual sports such as swimming, track and field, and boxing, or team sports such as basketball, volleyball, and baseball. If you're a soccer fan, you can catch that sport at the Summer Olympics as well. In all, the Summer Olympics in 2006 offered 28 sports and 304 events, giving it a far greater appeal then the World Cup offers.

While the modern day Summer Olympics were founded by Pierre de Couberttin of France in 1894, its historical roots can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks. The same Greeks whose influences on things such as education, philosophy, and art, amongst others, can be felt to this very day. The Summer Olympics is a celebration of those traditions, and when re-established in the late 19th century, it was done so to promote international understanding through sporting competition. This tradition, culture, and understanding can be tapped into by thousands of athletes from across the world every 4 years. The opening and closing ceremonies are examples of this tradition on display. I'd imagine the emotions of each athlete that medals is a tremendous amount of pride in knowing they've added their name to the rich history of the World's largest event that dates back thousands of years. The World Cup dates back to 1930, and only 8 nations to this day have ever won the trophy. It's far from a meaningless competition, as it's a celebration of the World's most popular sport. But with only 8 nations having won the Cup since it's inception, it's history pales in comparison to that of the Summer Olympics.

In summation, The World Cup simply doesn't provide many factors on a global scale that are provided by the Summer Olympics. While both events have qualifiers, there are over 200 nations that participate in the Summer Olympics, compared to 32 for the World Cup. The allowance of all these nations to compete in The Summer Olympics is indicative ofa global, world-wide appeal that simply can't be matched by the World Cup. There are far more events and overall sports available to capture a worldwide audience, including the same sport that is played in The World Cup. The rich historical roots of the Olympic games is something that can't be matched by the World Cup as well. And while both events are rooted deep in competition, it's the spirit of cooperation in the Olympics that once again sets it apart from the World Cup. Because of this, The Summer Olympics hold far more meaning and significance to the world then the World Cup does.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:09 PM
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Closing Statement

The Olympics is a great event and I will give it that, but it pales in comparison to the World Cup. The unbridled passion and determination is unmatched by any over event in the world including the Olympics. I've heard arguments about how the World Cup is exclusive and that it is one-dimesonal and lacks parity. Brazil may have won the most championships but they make up a small percentage. Olympics does host soccer but their qualifications are U-23 so you don't even get to see the best players. When the 2014 Olympics roll around, you won't see great players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Olympics. You can see them play in the World Cup, the greatest spectacle there is.
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