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Global Sports History
Sports transcend boundaries and national borders, bringing people from different parts of the world together through common interests and language that any dedicated fan will understand. Media helps spreading the influence of sports events throughout the world. However, how can sports truly make a difference in global history?
In order to understand how sports influence the flow of global history and affect the process of globalization as a whole, one must know what these terms mean. Globalization is a process that is defined by the increase of interdependencies of various societies, and their consciousness of the world. Global history is a study that presents the past of the world as a whole in a specific manner. In this particular case, we will use sports events as a mirror of the globalization process. Sports are directly linked to numerous social issues in different societies. This means that people can use this connection to influence the latter.
In 1995, Nelson Mandela once more proved that he is a true icon of reconciliation by wearing a Springbok jersey during the World Cup rugby finals. This move to support a once-hated team had a worldwide effect, and motivated people to rise above their personal hates and prejudices. This was a small gesture when compared to global events like the Olympic Games or World Cups. However, even this little move deserved to be added to global sports history as an example of an occasion where sports paraphernalia was used to make a historically important statement. The World Cup hosted by South Africa in 2010 is another important example of how a sport event can unite people from different countries and continents, despite all political and cultural odds. Competitions of this caliber hosted by different countries increase the sports fans’ knowledge of the world, and boost economies of host countries. They also serve as a way to promote intercultural exchange.
Multimedia plays an extremely important part in sports globalization. Television, radio, and the Internet allow migrants to follow their preferred sport in any part of the world; spreading their passion for different games. Businesses that manufacture sports merchandise gain clients from different continents, and contribute to the growth of international trade. However, there is always a backlash from a globalization movement. In sports, this takes the form of ridiculing various aspects of different games, racism, hooliganism, and outbreaks of violence in stadiums.
Sports events unite people all over the world. The power they wield is great, and can change the flow of history by promoting intercultural exchange and contributing to the global trade. Politicians and celebrities often use different sports merchandise to make a statement and promote the process of globalization.