By INDYKIDS STAFF

Thousands of young people around the world dream of the glory of competing in the Olympics. Many spend their lives in training preparing for the Olympics. But are the Olympics all about athletic performance?

This year 12 corporations paid a total of $866 million dollars to sponsor the Olympics in China, endorse athletes and advertise during the games. These companies, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson hope to make millions selling their products worldwide to those who watched the Olympics on TV. These companies are also trying to sell their products to the people of China who companies see as “unbranded.” They don’t buy an item because of the brand name attached to it.

Companies hope that their association with the Olympics will make more Chinese people buy their products.”Certainly Beijing represents the biggest Olympics ever… but the Olympic impact on China and on the Chinese consumer will be every bit as significant,” Charlie Denson, the President of Nike, told the Financial Times.

Olympics History: The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC in Greece. Women, slaves and non-Greek speakers were not allowed to participate. Athletes competed naked, and were sometimes coated in olive oil to make their bodies look more beautiful. At first, the Olympics just had one foot race, with other events being added over the years.