The International Olympic Committee was established in 1894 as the principal outcome of an international Congress convened in Paris by a young French educator, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. One of its ambitious goals was to renovate the ancient Olympic Games and hold quadrennial celebrations of these Games, beginning in Athens in 1896. The event set in motion what has become an extraordinary international sport system, involving hundreds of millions of athletes and spectators, currently in 205 separately recognized countries or territories. The Olympic Games now include Winter, as well as Summer Games, are normally concentrated in a single location and into a 17-day time frame, and are watched by some four billion spectators. They attract huge television, media, sponsorship, licensing and ticketing revenues, on a scale unimaginable even half a century ago, much less than when Coubertin and his initial colleagues launched their initiative. The spin-off of such revenues plays a vital role in the maintenance of the international sport system, which has allowed the Olympic Movement to become, for all intents and purposes, universal. In addition to the visible sport component, the Games now transcend mere sport and exist as an event in their own right as a world symbol, characterizing international understanding, friendship and peace.
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- On Security and Surveillance in the Olympics: A View from Inside the Tent
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- Palgrave Macmillan UK