The Olympic Games : a critical approach / Helen Jefferson Lenskyj

Jefferson Lenskyj, Helen

Do the Olympic Games really live up to their glowing reputation? As the biggest global sport mega-event, the Olympic Games command public and media attention, while Olympic mythology and ritual obscure their underlying function as a profit-making business enterprise. In contrast to terms such as 'Olympic movement' and 'Olympic family', the concept of 'Olympic industry' focuses on sport as an economic and political enterprise, its beneficiaries including sponsors, developers, media and politicians. Negative impacts on host cities and countries disproportionately threaten the lives and welfare of disadvantaged populations, while exploitation of migrant workers remains a chronic problem.  Citizens' resistance campaigns have been addressing these issues for decades, with some successes. Recent athlete activism focuses on anti-doping initiatives and sexual abuse of girls and young women. Female athletes with 'differences of sexual development' are targets of the discriminatory gender policies of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) that disqualify them from women's events. The Olympic Games demonstrates how Olympic industry propaganda conceals all these grim realities.

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