The term originates with Juvenal a Roman writer who deplored the quality of civil life in post republican Rome. It has come to mean something else, as a diversion for the masses, something to draw their attention from the reality that they find themselves in. Public entertainment was fundamental to the Roman Empire, a forum or a colosseum or some kind of amphitheatre existed in every significant settlement, sometimes more than one. At its height Caligula used the Colosseum for the most barbaric types of blood lust. This all fell away post Rome the public diversion/entertainment took the form of religious occasions, Easter, Xmas, the numerous saints and holy days. The Roman format returned in 1936 when the Nazis hosted the XI Olympiad, when a circus was created to prove a political point, this has continued ever since but not just with the Olympics. We have the World Cup European Nations Cup football African Nations Cup Copa America Cricket World Cup Rugby World Cup and many more some obscure and some very regional but their purpose is entertainment, diversion and selling. The circuses have become important economically in their own right as vehicles for food, drink and various types of sporting memorabilia. Blair was desperate to secure the London 2012 Olympics to secure his legacy, Brazil likewise to show the world that it wasn't some rank shi7h0l3. Moscow 1980 was boycotted by the USA and many of her satellites, likewise LA in 1984 by the Warsaw Pact nations. Countries have tried to demonstrate their national prowess most notably East Germany, following in Hitler's footsteps in many respects with the Socialist supermen and women rather than Aryan ones. Now we have the film series the hunger games, art parodying real life but the real life is the transit of poor southern athletes to the Gulf, to the UK [Mo Farah] and very obviously to soccer clubs in Europe from African poverty. What is the answer...athletes to compete as individuals and not as national talent as it was in the past but no one can tell me the original Olympians/sporting heroes didn't get clandestine support from Athens, Thebes, Lydia, Sparta or Corinth. I do feel money is destroying sport but I haven't got the answer, has anyone out there?