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Activism and the Olympics

Dissent at the Games in Vancouver and London

Jules Boykoff (author)

ISBN: 9780813562018

Publication Date: May 2014

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Provides a critical overview of the Olympic industry and its political opponents in the modern era. After presenting a brief history of Olympic activism, Boykoff turns his attention to on-the-ground activism through the lens of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Drawing on primary evidence from myriad personal interviews with activists, journalists, civil libertarians and Olympics organisers, Boykoff angles in on the Games from numerous vantages and viewpoints.
£28.95

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The Olympics have developed into the world's premier sporting event. They are simultaneously a competitive exhibition and a grand display of cooperation that bring together global cultures on ski slopes, shooting ranges, swimming pools and track ovals. Given their scale in the modern era, the Games are a useful window for better comprehending larger cultural, social and historical processes, argues Jules Boykoff, an academic social scientist and a former Olympic athlete.

In Activism and the Olympics, Boykoff provides a critical overview of the Olympic industry and its political opponents in the modern era. After presenting a brief history of Olympic activism, he turns his attention to on-the-ground activism through the lens of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Here we see how anti-Olympic activists deploy a range of approaches to challenge the Olympic machine, from direct action and the seizure of public space to humour-based and online tactics. Drawing on primary evidence from myriad personal interviews with activists, journalists, civil libertarians and Olympics organisers, Boykoff angles in on the Games from numerous vantages and viewpoints.

Although modern Olympic authorities have strived - even through the Cold War era - to appear apolitical, Boykoff notes, the Games have always been the site of hotly contested political actions and competing interests. During the last thirty years, as the Olympics became an economic juggernaut, they also generated numerous reactions from groups that have sought to challenge the event's triumphalism and pageantry. The 21st century has seen an increased level of activism across the world, from the Occupy Movement in the United States to the Arab Spring in the Middle East. What does this spike in dissent mean for Olympic activists as they prepare for Sochi, which will host the 2014 Winter Games and Rio de Janeiro, where the 2016 Summer Olympics will take place?
Illustrations 10 photographs, 4 figures, 2 tables
Pages 216
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 May 2014
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Series Critical Issues in Sport and Society
Subject/s Olympic games  
Jules Boykoff is an associate professor in the department of politics and government at Pacific University and the author of Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games.

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