Are the Olympic Games an opportunity or a myth? The case of PyeongChang 2018 and What May Prove to Be a Paradoxical Notion

Charles Mountifield, Stirling Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper highlights contrasting viewpoints on the perceived value that the Olympic Games make to world peace efforts through the lens of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. News articles (n = 114) from a variety of international periodicals were reviewed and thematically analyzed with key nascent tropes–cynicism of the potential for peace; scorn of the role of sport in peace processes; and high-level political meddling in sport–pointing to a consensus that hosting of the Games would have little impact on the political landscape in the Korean peninsula. These threads are then considered in connection with the concepts of peace, national interests and international relations established through a review of literature including recounts of Olympic state-based action, interference and influence since the modern inception of the Olympic Games. The evidence indicates that the concept of Olympism as a peace movement is outmoded; a myth that endures because international sport contains an inherent political utility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Global Sport Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2020

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