The Olympic Games have long been used as a political tool, especially as a tool of global publicity and to give a good political image. Historically, in 393, Theodosius the Great banned the Games because there was too much bribery and corruption going on and the Games did not return until 1896. More recently, the 1936 games in Berlin were choreographed by the Nazi Party as a form of propaganda showing German superiority.

Avery BrundageFormer IOC president Avery Brundage aimed to "separate sport from politics". Sadly it seems that countries will aim to use their teams as a tool, rather than an example of what they can achieve. This inability to separate sport from politics can be traced back over almost the entire history of the Olympic Games.

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The Olympic Games have, over time, become irreparably intertwined with politics. This is seen both through the use of the games as a political tool by governments, political pressure groups and terrorists. In many cases the political events surrounding the games have often overshadowed the sporting achievements of the game themselves.

This means that the games have effectively become more of a publicity and media tool, than an environment for sporting competitiveness. The IOC has long sought to separate sport and politics, but more recently the IOC has aimed to increase its political influence. In recent years it has taken a much more active role in negotiations, as well as forming partnerships with the UN. The IOC use the ancient Olympic ideals a basis for peace and cooperation between all countries. This can be seen in the recent ratification of the Olympic truce. Globally, the IOC has relatively little political influence as the major governments are at liberty to deny its support. At the moment the IOC are unable to host and enforce peaceful negotiations between countries, however as they IOC develops its political skills, we may see it having a greater influence in the future.

The Olympic truce agreement was unanimously adopted on the 3rd of November 2003 by the UN General Assembly. This is the culmination of over a decade of negotiations regarding the truce, which will ensure a global ceasefire during the 16 days in which the games are held (from the 13th - 29th August 2004). The truce was also used in 1992 to allow athletes from the former Yugoslavian states to compete in the forthcoming winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

Following Greece's appeal, UN secretary General Kofi Annan announced "The call to observe the Olympic truce is an appeal for the Games to silence the guns - all over the world, it gives parties in violent conflict a reason to pause, to provide relief to suffering populations, to reflect on the misery of war, and to open dialogue". The IOC supported the truce on an equal level with the UN. This highlights the current aims of the IOC to become an important influence on global politics, promoting peace and solidarity based on the ideals of the ancient Olympic Games.

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