Beijing 2008: Preparing for Glory - Chinese Challenge in the 'Chinese Century' brings together international scholars with an interest in sport and politics and sinologists with an interest in China - past, present and future - to explore global reaction to the Beijing Olympics - China's anticipated moment of glory on the world stage.
The Beijing Olympics is, first and foremost, a political act and assertion. It is also a statement of national intent, the culmination of ideological effort going back to 1949 and the outcome of political, social, cultural and economic change.
From the moment of the birth of the 'New China' sport has been viewed as a means of internal and external projection illustrating the capacity of the system and people to more than hold their own with those of other nations. In short, sport has been the chosen 'stage' on which the Chinese perform in pursuit of world recognition, respect and esteem.
This assertion is not hard to understand. China's 'century of humiliation' at the hands of first the West and then Japan remains a traumatic experience. Beijing 2008 is to assist the restoration of China's national self-esteem. He Zhenliang, Chairman of the IOC Commission for the Culture of Olympic Education, has remarked pointedly that the most significant outcome of the Beijing Games will be the elevation of the self-confidence and sense of pride of the Chinese people.
Beijing 2008 will be an act of political self-renewal on the world stage.
This Collection demonstrates that sport is inseparable from politics.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.
1. Preface: Geopolitical Games: Beijing 2008 J. A. Mangan
2. Prologue: Beijing 2008 – The Mixed Messages of Contemporary Chinese Nationalism Julia Lovell
3. Olympic Aspirations: Chinese Women on Top – Considerations and Consequences Dong Jinxia and J. A. Mangan
4. Olympian Politics in Beijing: Games, But Not Just Games Kevin Caffrey
5. Dancing around the Elephant: The Beijing Olympics – Taiwanese Reflections and Reactions Junwei Yu
6. Sport as Public Diplomacy and Public Disquiet: Australia’s Ambivalent Embrace of the Beijing Olympics Peter Horton
7. The Dish Might Be Overspiced: Fears, Doubts and Criticisms in French Perceptions of Chinese Olympic and Other Successes Thierry Terret
8. Creative Tensions: ‘Join in London’ meets ‘Dancing Beijing’ – The Cultural Power of the Olympics Vassil Girginov
9. Preparing to Take Credit for China’s Glory: American Perspectives on the Beijing Olympic Games Mark Dyreson
10. Epilogue: Sideshow Beijing 2008 – An Absence of Euphoria beyond the Southern Clouds Kevin Caffrey