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International sport is a sport in which the participants represent different countries. The most well-known international sports event is the Olympic Games. Other examples include the FIFA World Cup and the Paralympic Games.
Modern international sports events can be big business for as well as influencing the political, economical, and other cultural aspects of countries around the world. Especially with politics and sports, sports can affect countries, their identities, and in consequence, the world.
The ancient Olympic Games were a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms from Ancient Greece, which featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events. During the Olympic games, all struggles between the participating city-states were postponed until the games were finished. The origin of the Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend. During the 19th century, the Olympic Games became a popular global event.
While some economists are skeptical about the economic benefits of hosting the Olympic Games, emphasizing that such "mega-events" often have large costs, hosting (or even bidding for) the Olympics appears to increase the host country's exports, as the host or candidate country sends a signal about trade openness when bidding to host the Games. Moreover, research suggests that hosting the Summer Olympics has a strong positive effect on the philanthropic contributions of corporations headquartered in the host city, which seems to benefit the local nonprofit sector. This positive effect begins in the years leading up to the Games and might persist for several years afterwards, although not permanently. This finding suggests that hosting the Olympics might create opportunities for cities to influence local corporations in ways that benefit the local nonprofit sector and civil society. The Games have also had significant negative effects on host communities; for example, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions reports that the Olympics displaced more than two million people over two decades, often disproportionately affecting disadvantaged groups.
Globalization has continually increased international competition in sports. The FIFA World Cup, for example, is the world's most widely viewed sporting event; an estimated 700 million people watched the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.
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