The Olympic Games has always meant more than just athletic battles of the world's greatest and strongest. The Games often become a forum for political protest, for social change.
Financially, the Olympic brand itself is currently the second largest brand, according to recent reports by CNN, demonstrating the large influence that games may have. As a powerhouse brand, the International Olympic Committee takes on the responsibility, claiming sports may be a gateway towards peaceful global relations and progression. Yet, history does not seem to have supported this statement. Take for example the Munich Olympics, or even the recent decision to award the 2008 Games to Beijing amid human rights issues.
Can the Olympics truly carry more than weight of athletic competition successfully? Wall Street Journal Reporter Andrew Roberts asserts that the Olympics are just athletic competitions and beyond that cannot handle much more.