1st Edition

The Athletes’ Voice in History

Edited By Stephan Wassong, Angela J. Schneider, Rob Hess Copyright 2023

    This collection of essays is the third iteration in a series of publications dealing with Olympic studies that initially developed out of the tripartite relationship between Western University (Canada), Victoria University, Melbourne (Australia), and the German Sport University Cologne (Germany). However, for this collection, papers were solicited from around the world in order to approach the topic from different and much wider perspectives. To this end, this book combines a diverse range of scholarly analyses that seek to understand how the recognition of the voices of athletes have developed over many decades. In essence, the sequence of chapters in this book are based around three perspectives, namely: the lives and biographical profiles of athletes; the decision-making processes of, and for, athletes; and the formal and informal institutional representation of athletes. While the touchstone is primarily the voices of athletes associated with Olympic-related sports, consideration is also given to the actions and opinions of athletes expressed in other sporting spheres. This book was originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of the History of Sport.

    1. Introduction: The Voice of the Athlete in History 

    Stephan Wassong, Angela J. Schneider, and Rob Hess 

    2. The Olympic Oath and So Much More: A Biographical Interpretive Analysis of the Life of Victor Boin, 1886–1974 

    Bram Constandt, Jasper Truyens, and Marc Constandt 

    3. ‘If the IOC Finds Out About This, All of You Will Be Declared Professionals’: Professionalization of Finnish Track Athletes from the 1960s to 1980s 

    Jouni Lavikainen 

    4. Non-Racial Sport in South Africa: A Documentary Analysis of the Struggle for International Recognition, 1946-1971 

    Francois Johannes Cleophas 

    5. ‘An Honour, Rather than a Disgrace’: Song Koon Poh, Apartheid Rugby, Tokkie’s Dragons and the Politics of Dissent and Confession 

    Henrik Snyders 

    6. Athletes in Socialist Yugoslavia, 1945–1992 

    Marko Begović 

    7. The Athletes’ Voice and a Feminist Ethics of Care: The Russian Doping Scandal at the 2016 Olympic Games 

    Mikael Gonsalves and Angela J. Schneider 

    8. The Membership Composition of the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee: Between Appointments and Elections, 1981–2000 

    Stephan Wassong 

    9. The Institutional Position of Athletes in the Governance Networks of the Olympic Movement in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom 

    Maximilian Seltmann 


    Stephan Wassong is Professor at the German Sport University Cologne, Head of the Institute of Sport History, and Director of its Olympic Studies Centre. He is also Director of the international MA in Olympic Studies and President of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee. He is also a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Education Commission.

    Angela J. Schneider is the Director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies and is Professor in Kinesiology at Western University, Canada. Her research interests are philosophy and ethics in sport, Olympic Studies, and women and sport. She is an Olympian, winning a silver medal in rowing for Canada with the women's Coxed Fours at the 1984 Olympics.

    Rob Hess is Adjunct Professor with the Institute for Health and Sport, and the College of Sport and Exercise Science, at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, where he taught sport history for more than two decades. He is also a member of the leadership group of the Olympic Research Network at Victoria University.