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