Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Thomas Zeiler


This thesis studies the correlation between international sporting events and developing countries. The goal is to understand the role of developing countries in international sporting organizations; a surprising gap in the literature exists on this subject. Developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are beginning to become more economically and politically prominent, but they are still mired in poverty. Sport, and specifically major global sporting events like the Olympic Games, might be a way for them to develop and attain a greater voice in the international community. So, why have these sporting events remained in the hands of the rich and emerging nations? After surveying the history of the Olympics, the World Cup, and sporting events created in reaction to the aforementioned events, I conducted personal interviews and conducted research at the Maison des Jeux Olympiques in Albertville, France. The results confirmed my hypothesis that the International Olympic Committee has largely excluded developing countries from benefiting in a major way from these events through administration and the exuberant expenses associated with the Olympic Games. The World Cup is not a flawless alternative, but sometimes provides more avenues for developing countries to succeed in hosting international sporting events. The IOC has a responsibility to the developing world to reduce the cost and increase the accessibility of the Olympic Games.