Selling the ‘Nation-State’ in the Bid for Olympic Gold

By D. Wood.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While there is little doubt that the Olympics evoke feelings of great national pride, critics argue that such nationalist sentiments are at odds with the philosophy of the modern Olympic movement espoused by its founder, Pierre de Coubertin in 1894, which seeks to unite nations for the good of humankind through sport. Central to the argument that nationalism is antithetical to the philosophy of Olympism is the notion of otherness. This paper considers terms such as “nation”, and “state” in the context of globalisation and the implications for Olympism and the bidding process. The particular bidding strategies employed by Sydney and Beijing in their winning bids to host the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games are reviewed from a post-colonial perspective to illustrate the ways in which bid cities draw on their imagined identities in their quest to host the Olympic Games. Parallels are drawn between the bidding strategies of both Sydney and Beijing, and the ways in which such analyses increase our understanding of the so called paradox between “nationalism” and “Olympism” are discussed.

Keywords: Nationalism, State, Globalisation, Otherness, Olympism, Sydney Olympic Games, Beijing Olympic Games

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.55-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 501.879KB).

Dr. D. Wood

Program Director (Media Arts), School of Communication, Univerfsity of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Denise is responsible for the Bachelor of Media Arts program in the School of Communication, University of South Australia and she coordinates and is principal lecturer for several multimedia and Web design courses offered within the undergraduate and Honours programs at the University of South Australia. Denise is also Chair of the School of Communication Teaching and Learning Committee and Co-Chair of the Division’s Equity Committee. Denise has extensive experience in the multimedia industry as both a producer and training provider and she has undertaken several research studies addressing the impact of technology in education. She is a co-investigator in a funded project investigating strategies for improving retention and success of Indigenous Students in higher education. Denise’s paper stems from her interest in Indigenous issues and research undertaken in relation to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.


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