1st Edition

The Olympics A Critical Reader

Edited By Vassil Girginov Copyright 2010
    464 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    464 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Olympics: A Critical Reader represents a unique, critical guide to the definitive sporting mega-event and the wider phenomenon it represents – Olympism. Combining classic texts and thoughtful editorial discussion with challenging new pieces, including previously unseen material, the book systematically addresses the key questions in modern Olympism, including:

    • what does studying Olympism entail?
    • how do historical accounts create and challenge Olympic myths?
    • how do different theoretical perspectives inform our understanding of Olympism?
    • which socio-political processes influence personal, collective and imagined Olympic identities?
    • how do we experience and make sense of Olympism?
    • who owns Olympism and why does it matter?
    • how do cities compete for and celebrate the Olympics?
    • How are the Olympic values promoted?
    • why is it important to protect the ethical principles and properties of Olympism?
    • what are the grounds for contesting Olympism?
    • how can Olympism be taught?
    • how can the principles and practices of Olympism be sustained in the future?

    Each thematic part has been designed to include a range of views, including background treatment of an issue as well as critical scholarship, to ensure that students develop a well-rounded understanding of the Olympic phenomenon. The Olympics: A Critical Reader is essential reading for students of the Olympics and Olympism, the sociology of sport, sport management and cultural studies.

    Introduction Part One: Studying Olympism 1. Studying Olympism, Vassil Girginov Part Two: Documenting Olympism 2. Post-olympism? Questioning Olympic historiography, Douglas Booth 3. From Olympia 776 BC to Athens 2004: The Origins and Authenticity of the Modern Olympic Games, David Young 4. Olympic Games and Historical Imagination, Mark Dyreson Part Three: Theorising Olympism 5. A Never-ending story: The Philosophical controversy over Olympism, Lamartin da Costa 6. Olympic Games and the Theory of Spectacle in Modern Societies, John MacAloon 7. The Olympics and ‘Global Citizenship’, Maurice Roche Part Four: Negotiating Olympic identities 8. Hellenism and Olympism: Pierre de Coubertin and the Greek Challenges to the Early Olympic Movement, Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Ian Henry 9. Staging the Nation: Gendered and Ethnicized Discourses of National Identity in Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Jackie Hogan Part Five: Imagining Olympism 10. Meet the "framers": the Olympic producers, Andrew Billings 11. Olympic Museum, Daryl Adair 12. Paralympic "lived history": reflections of a participant-observer, David Howe Part Six: Owning Olympism 13. A brief overview of the Olympic system, Jean-Loup Chappelet and Brenda Kübler-Mabbott 14. Who Owns the Olympics? Political Economy and Critical Moments in the Modern Games, Michael Real 15. On Seizing the Olympic Platform, Monroe Price Part Seven: Staging the Olympics 16. Financing of the Games: interests, winners and losers, Holger Preus 17. Olympic Cities: Regeneration, City Rebranding and Changing Urban Agendas, John Gold, J. and Margaret Gold Part Eight: Promoting Olympism 18. ‘Celebrate Humanity’ or ‘consumerism’: A critical evaluation of a brand in motion, Joseph Maguire, Sarah Barnard, Katie Butler and Peter Golding 19. Symbolism and the effectiveness of Olympic mascots Ina Freeman, Peter Knight and Norman O’Reilly Part Nine: Safeguarding Olympism 20. Why Olympic Athletes Should Avoid the Use and Seek the Elimination of Performance-Enhancing Substances and Practices From the Olympic Games, Angela Schneider and Robert Butcher 21. Mega Events, Fear and Risk: Terrorism at the Olympic Games, Kristine Toohey and Tracy Taylor 22. Faster, Higher, Stronger: The protection of Olympic marks leading up to Vancouver 2010, Teresa Scassa  Part Ten: Contesting Olympism 23. Does One-World Olympic Ideology Lead to Multiculturalism?, Vassil Girginov 24. Olympic Impacts on Bid and Host Cities, Helen Lenskyi Part Eleven: Teaching Olympism 25. "Olympism" revisited as Context for Global Education: Implications for Physical Education, Deanna Binder 26. Didactic Approaches to Teaching Olympic Education, Roland Naul Part Twelve: Sustaining Olympism 27. The Making of the IOC environmental Policy as the third dimension of the Olympic Movement, Hart Cantelon and Michael Letters 28. A Sustainable Sports Legacy: Creating a Link between the London Olympics and Sports Participation,Vassil Girginov and Laura Hills


    Vassil Girginov is Reader in Sports Development and Sports Management at Brunel University. He is also a founding member of the Bulgarian National Olympic Academy and has researched and published in the field of Olympism, sport policy analysis, Eastern European sport and the culture of sport management. His previous books include The Olympic Games Explained (2005) and Management of Sports Development (2008). Vassil is also Executive Academic Editor of the Routledge journals 2012 Olympics Special Issue programme, which includes some 40 academic journals from a range of fields and disciplines. 

    "The book is a very useful addition to the Olympic literature and tutors will find it a valuable source to refer students to." - Geoff Nichols - University of Sheffield