Olympic Winter 2014 (ya old news)

Contemporary events such as the Human Rights Issue surrounding the Homosexual Lifestyle which has come to a forefront during the sporting events prior to the 2014 Russian Winter Olympic. We can look at these contemporary events/ issues using a historical focus, whether it is politically, economically, or social and culturally based. During this event it is not always clear how the individuals/ groups involved were impacted by the political, economic, or social and cultural focus

Politically it can be seen that the focus of the Russian political scene changed when Vladimir Putin became the leader of United Russia, which would lead to him becoming the President of Russia. The policies and political alliances and agendas of the Russian Olympic committee and the International Olympic Committee would have to be taken into account. A historian with a political focus would look at political journals focused on the analysis of political ideas, movements with the various parties and organizations, the changing of the leaders and how it affected the political scene of the time. How the various political arenas outside the country affected political stance of the country, its leaders and the repercussions the event had on the political relationships with these countries and the alliances of those within the IOC(International Olympic Committee). In what way did the politics of the time affect the manner in which the event was handled, to answer these types of questions we would need to look at the changes in various countries policies regarding their relations with Russian during this period as well as look at how the IOC dealt with the issue both publicly and within the committee membership. First-hand accounts from those directly involved in the policy making as well as any documentation surrounding the policies, laws which affected the event, and any private diaries or journals from the leaders and their political advisors of the time. The information gathered by historians can be filtered depending upon the focus of the historian. Just as they can focus on the political aspect of the event so to can they focus on other aspects such as economics. Statistical analysis of data generated by the economy of not only the country where the event took place but also the countries around it and those with economic based alliances, all of these factors provide an economical based focus on the event and provide insight into how the economy was either affected positively or negatively by it.

Economic focused historians utilize some of the sources used by the political focused historians but they are looking at how the economy influenced or was influenced by the event.  Historians writing a more economic focus essay would use similar source but would be looking for different information. Various documents and artifacts, documentaries and articles about the economy and the economical flavour of the time period under study can also give information relating to how the economy was during this period and how those in the economic community related to one another, which economies flourished and which economies flopped during this time period. How were these actions related to the event and in what manner where they influenced or did they influence the event in question? All of these questions and others like them are answered using various journals, documentaries, personal diaries/ journals of the economic leaders of the time. Economic trading documents and polices of various countries and major industries are also used, as well as statistically data about which economic structure was least affected. This analysis would also have to take into account how the economic standing of the IOC faired. Did the event have an impact on future IOC sponsored events and if so what were they? Was the economics of the Olympics in Russia affected and if so how much of an impact was the event on the economic benefits or losses of the time period in question.

Economic and political focused historical research differs greatly from the cultural and social focused historical research as they tend to focus more on the individuals and cultural groups which were impacted by the event and how it affected their interactions within their society. The Russian Olympic Committee and the volunteers assisting in putting on the event could be seen as a group, as could the various athletes who attended, the countries who sent athletes and their Olympic committees, and of course the IOC could be seen as yet another group. Individually all of those within these groups would have accountings of the event and how they saw the event. There would also be documentaries and articles written by those who observed or were part of the event. The way in a cultural and socially focus historian who research and gather his data differs in that they focus on the society and cultural aspects of the event and how the event was viewed by those involved in the event as well as those watching the event from not only within Russia but around the world. They would look at documents and journals/ diaries and documentary films about the various aspects of the event, to see how the individuals and groups within the group were affected. The Olympics and the events surrounding them have a large following of supporters across many different cultures and societies. The historical focus on how the event was influence by society and culture leading up to it and how it changed after the event would be the question social and cultural focused historians were trying to answer, the way information gathered may be similar to those of the political and economic focused historians, the papers, documents, statistical records and personal journal/diaries of those involved, as well the journalistic accounting of the event by mainstream newspapers, documentary films but each historian analyses and formulates the data into their particular focus of the event. Contemporary events are influenced by their historical background and by focusing on various aspects of those histories we gain insight into the events themselves.


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