Understanding the Olympics: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding the Olympics

3rd Edition

By John Horne, Garry Whannel


344 pages | 37 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367363192
pub: 2020-05-01
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How did the Olympics evolve into a multi-national phenomenon? How can the Olympics help us to understand the relationship between sport and society? What will be the impact and legacy of the Olympics after Tokyo in 2020? Understanding the Olympics answers all these questions by exploring the social, cultural, political, historical and economic context of the Games.

This thoroughly revised and updated edition discusses recent attempts at future proofing by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the face of growing global anti-Olympic activism, the changing geo-political context within which the Olympics take place, and the Olympic histories of the next three cities to host the Games – Tokyo (2020), Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028) – as well as the legacy of the London (2012) Olympics. For the first time, this new edition introduces the reader to the emergence of ‘other Games’ associated with the IOC – the Winter Olympics, the Paralympics, and the Youth Olympics. It also features a full Olympic history timeline, many new photographs, refreshed suggestions for further reading, and revised illustrations.

The most up-to-date and authoritative textbook available on the Olympic Games, Understanding the Olympics is essential reading for anybody with an interest in the Olympics or the wider relationship between sport and society.

Table of Contents

Part I: A Tale of Four Cities

1. Tokyo and the Olympics: (1940)-1964-2020

2. Paris and the Olympics: 1900-1924-2024

3. Los Angeles and the Olympics: 1932-1984-2028

4. London and the Olympics: 1908-1948-2012

Part II: From There to Here

5. The Origins of the Olympics

6. Internationalism and Nationalism at the Olympics

7. Politics and the Olympics

8. The Other Olympic Games

Part III: Running the Games

9. The IOC, Governance and the Bidding Process

10. Olympic Economics and Spectacle: Television, Advertising, Sponsorship and “New” Media

11. Olympic Level Playing Fields

12. The “Dark Side” of the Olympics



About the Authors

John Horne is Professor in the Faculty of Sport Sciences at Waseda University, Japan.

Garry Whannel is Emeritus Professor at the University of Bedfordshire, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports
SPORTS & RECREATION / Business Aspects