Post-Olympism? Questioning Sport in the Twenty-First Century

Post-Olympism? Questioning Sport in the Twenty-First Century

Post-Olympism? Questioning Sport in the Twenty-First Century

Post-Olympism? Questioning Sport in the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

The Olympic ideal and the Olympic Games stand as symbols of global cooperation, international understanding and the bonding of individuals through the medium of sports. However, throughout the twentieth century, Olympic rhetoric was often confronted by a different reality. The Games have regularly been faced by crises that have threatened the spirit of Olympism and even the Games themselves.Given the many changes that have occurred in the Olympic Games during the past century it seems reasonable to ask if this global event has a future and, if so, what form it might take. With this larger issue in mind, the authors of Post-Olympism? ask probing questions about the following:the infamous 1936 Olympicsthe effect of new technologies on the Gamesthe future impact of the 2008 Beijing Games on China and of China on the Olympicsthe local and regional impact of the Sydney green Olympicsthe Games and globalizationDisneyficationracismdrug abuseThe book provides a useful overview of the ongoing significance of the Olympics and will be essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the Games.

Excerpt

This book raises questions about the nature and future of achievement sport in the twenty-first century by focusing specifically on sport's high altar, the Olympic Games. The Olympics has become achievement sport in extremis. In this book we seek to look beyond Olympism, hence our title, Post-Olympism? (note the all-important question mark). We take ‘post-Olympism’ both literally and metaphorically. Some chapters do look towards the future, offering suggestive scenarios, but others look back (to the future?) to past Olympic events in order to evaluate their post-Olympic-ness, or to explore the effects that the Games have had on the places and spaces they have previously occupied. Additionally, several chapters reappraise the ways in which the Olympics has been conventionally written and researched.

A vast amount has been written about the modern Olympic Games. A bibliography of written works about the subject would turn out to be a tome in itself. Representations of the Olympics range across a huge spectrum – from statistical gazetteers to sensitive biographies of Olympic heroes; from staid histories to sensational exposés; and from status quo reviews to neo-marxist critiques. The Olympics has been read as the global event where, by using the global currency of sports, lasting friendships are forged. The Games have also been interpreted as a modern version of ‘bread and circuses’ where athletes and spectators are duped by rampant commercialization (Brohm, 1978). Given the many and varied ways of representing the Olympics, it is hardly surprising that the interdisciplinary array of authors, whose writings feature in the following chapters, do not nail their flags to any single or particular philosophical mast. Some chapters support the Olympic ideal in principle but all are broadly critical, their critiques coming from various disciplinary, philosophical and ideological sources. More important, perhaps, is that each chapter has something thoughtprovoking to say about the Olympic Games as we enter the third millennium of their existence in modern form. And as befitting a post-Olympic book we also feel that it asks some new questions.

The prefix ‘post’, applied in recent decades to (at least) modernism, feminism and colonialism, is ambiguous. Several of this book's authors seek, in their . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.