Although the Games, once brought forward from their dusty past in antiquity, were initially held in mostly Western European nations, the Olympic Museum (2007) reports that they “have now been held on every continent except Africa.” However, Africa, as a continent, could use the attention, and the money, more than any other continent today.
The Western World tends to think of Africa in terms of the images we see on TV. These images are full of small children with distended tummies as they sit on the dirt floors of their tiny huts trying to ignore the flies that gather around their starving and barely-clad bodies. As was pointed out by Enwezor (2005), a scholar on the subject of photojournalism, “The global media almost never depict contemporary Africans in ordinary situations; images of crisis frequently eclipse other representations.”
Contrary to this impression, though, there are numerous Africans who live lives very similar to the experiences to be found in the West, complete with brick houses, running water and full-time electricity. However, the limited space available for international news combined with the desperate conditions of Africa’s poor have convinced many in the mainstream media that this poverty is where the attention should be focused.
In the past, African countries have been rejected in their Olympic bids citing lack of appropriate facilities for hosting. However, some feel this is more rhetoric than reality. There are a number of more developed African cities preparing to make a bid for future Olympic Games. These include cities in Egypt and Kenya as well as the South African cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. South Africa also has some precedent set regarding their ability to host larger events. Since 1994 (and the fall of Apartheid), the nation has hosted the Rugby World Cup, the African Cup of