The Olympics: The Basics

The Olympics: The Basics

The Olympics: The Basics

The Olympics: The Basics


The Olympics: The Basics is an accessible, contemporary introduction to the Olympic movement and Games. Chapters explain how the Olympics transcend sports, engaging us with a range of contemporary philosophical, social, cultural and political matters, including:

  • peace development and diplomacy
  • management and economics
  • corruption, terror and activism
  • the rise of human enhancement
  • ethics and environmentalism.

This book explores the controversy and the legacy of the Olympics, drawing attention to the deeper values of Olympism, as the Olympic movement's most valuable intellectual property. This engaging, lively, and often challenging book, is essential reading for newcomers to Olympic studies and offers new insights for Olympic scholars.


When we were invited to write a ‘Basics’ book on the Olympics, we knew immediately that we wanted to create an accessible and focused, but overarching text, which would consider the intersecting worlds of the event known as the Olympic Games and the less well-known work of the broader Olympic movement. The Olympics is a subject about which there is an abundance of highquality material available to access for free via Wikipedia, the International Olympic Committee website and other platforms such as the Los Angeles 1984 Foundation or the Olympic Studies Centre in Barcelona. As such, writing something that has not been said before, or which cannot be found freely online, but which covers the basics is a challenge. Indeed, we wanted to use this book as an opportunity to offer new insights into established, essential elements of the Olympic programme.

We also felt that there was a need for a book that would be useful to early career scholars and students, but also to the thousands of professionals who are charged with staging the Games and who are required to come to terms with its history, politics and values in a very short space of time. This temporary community of a few thousand individuals, who are charged with organizing an Olympic Games every two years, will rarely have a chance to study the Olympics, are unlikely ever to visit the modern Olympic . . .

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