An Uneasy Discourse: Salt Lake 2002 and Olympic Protest

By Gerlach, Larry | Proceedings: International Symposium for Olympic Research, Annual 2008 | Go to article overview

An Uneasy Discourse: Salt Lake 2002 and Olympic Protest


Gerlach, Larry, Proceedings: International Symposium for Olympic Research


The general public's interests in the Olympics are the ceremonies, traditions and athletic competitions, not the cultural, economic, social, or, especially, political aspects of the Games. (1) Whenever the Games are threatened by political protests or demonstrations, boycotts or terrorism, commentators typically criticize the unwarranted intrusion of politics. Despite Jacque Rogge's assertion that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not a political organization, politics and protests have always been part of the modern Games. (2)

Historically, the Olympics have experienced three kinds of political protests: 1) protests within the Olympic Movement--IOC expulsions and national boycotts; 2) protests within the Games, notably by athletes; and 3) protests held in conjunction with the Olympics. Notwithstanding widespread criticism of Beijing 2008 because of China's position on human rights, Tibet, Darfur and Myanmar, an improved international political climate and the liberalized domestic policies of most nations have decreased the likelihood of disruptive protests within the Olympic Movement, and given the increasingly high-stakes of athletic competition and greater organizational controls over athletes, protests within the Games seem a remote possibility. (3) However, the growth of the Olympics into a worldwide commercialized, televised entertainment spectacle ensures that the Games and the Olympic Movement will engender ever-more criticism and protest. Thus the third kind of political protest, demonstrations held concurrently with the Games is now a primary agenda issue for local organizing committees.

The Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics is an instructive case study of how a host city and Olympic organizing committee dealt with the difficult and inherently contradictory effort to balance free speech with public security and efficient Games operations. (4) There are three interrelated concerns: 1) the measures adopted to control both peaceful demonstrations and potential disorders; 2) the community wide debate about the control measures, the propriety of Olympic protests, the nature and protection of free speech, and the obligation to protect the Games and spectators from unwarranted and potentially harmful intrusions; and 3) the agenda and conduct of protest groups.

Even before Salt Lake City was chosen on June 15, 1995, to host the 2002 Games, Olympic organizers and city officials began preparations for the safety of athletes and the security of competition venues with an eye toward protest demonstrations. (5) The concern initially seemed exaggerated since the Winter Games, unlike the Summer Olympiads, had not been notable targets of protest. Accordingly, security for the Winter Olympics always had been considerably less extensive than for the Summer Games, especially after the terrorist attack during the 1972 Munich Olympics. (6) Moreover, as Mike Moran, spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee noted, demonstrations during the past three Olympics held in the United States--Lake Placid 1980, Los Angeles 1984 and Atlanta 1996--were "minimal and caused no disruption whatsoever." (7)

However, several circumstances made the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee (SLOC) and city officials especially concerned about possible disturbances. The worldwide media exposure accorded the first Winter Games held in America since 1980 itself presented an especially attractive venue for groups to present their views on a variety of domestic and international issues. Moreover, the dominant role of the U. S. in international affairs made Salt Lake a ready target for large, potentially violent demonstrations concerning globalization issues. Planners were mindful of the tumultuous World Trade Organization riots in Seattle in November 1999 that resulted in 1,300 arrests and millions of dollars in property damage, of the numerous protests threatened but not realized for the Sydney 2000 Summer Games, and of the nationwide demonstrations in August 2001 held in solidarity with the protests at the Group of Eight Summit in Genoa, Italy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Uneasy Discourse: Salt Lake 2002 and Olympic Protest
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.