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Among the Athletes: The Actions of the Securitate in the “Sport Issue” (Romanian Title: Printre sportivi: acţiunile Securităţii în problema “Sport”)

Pompiliu-Nicolae Constantin

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“I Live With and By Nature”: Swedish Alpine Skiers Reflect on Professional and Lifestyle Skiing, Nature, and Snow, 1964–2023

Marie Larneby

Alpine skiing has been a popular activity since the 1950s. However, global warming leads to milder weather, melting glaciers, and reduced snowfall which deteriorates possibilities to skiing. The purpose of this paper is to sketch a contemporary history of alpine skiing and environmental awareness in Sweden through the narratives of ten alpine skiers. A temporal and spatial perspective contributes to make changes over time and meaning of places visible. The skiers share a fixed narrative: nature as central for skiing. This is not unproblematic since nature has been more adapted and modified and resulted in a crowded landscape. Nature is a space to be preserved but also as a space to enable skiing. In this constructed landscape, over time snowmaking is reconstructed to being normal, albeit not natural. A way to handle these changes is to care more for nature, travel less, ski more local, and show environmental awareness.

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Landscapes of Performance: Using Local Geography for the Testing of Sport School Pupils in Sweden, 1972–2023

Daniel Svensson

Does nature still matter in sport? In the balancing between natural and scientific training, Swedish upper-secondary ski schools have played an important role. This paper deals with specific landscape features for testing at three Swedish ski schools: Hallstatestet in Sollefteå, Hovfjällsracet in Torsby, and Stoltjonastestet in Järpen. The following questions will be addressed: How do the coaches at each school use local tests to analyze performance? How is the importance of local tests articulated, and what roles do history and nature play in this process? The paper concludes that the use of local landscapes to articulate elite performance connects ideas of measurability and scientization to the lingering tradition of natural training. Local landscapes thereby become a mediator between scientific and experiential knowledge about sport performance and point out how local sport heritage can be used for addressing environmental issues in sport.

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We Play On: Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fight for Ukraine, Football, and Freedom

Tanya K. Jones, Samuel M. Clevenger, and George Parisis

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Carving Out Spaces of Resistance: Remembering Women’s Ski Jumping, Gendered Spaces, and Built Environments at Canada Olympic Park, 1987–2019

Charlotte Mitchell

This article examines the history of Canada Olympic Park (COP) as it transitioned from the Paskapoo Slopes to a venue for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Games and how the site framed the fight for gender equality in the sport by women ski jumpers in Canada. Ski jumping is a sport that can be considered a “nature sport” as it is practiced in the open air while simultaneously relying on built environments. Understanding the COP ski jumping venue as a “sportscape” and a gendered landscape provides a unique opportunity to explore the tensions between land, air, and the body in this nature sport. Historical analysis of the XV Winter Olympic Games inventories held at the City of Calgary Archives is combined with autoethnographic reflections of my past experiences as a ski jumping athlete who trained at the COP ski jumping venue and plaintiff in the court case to get a women’s ski jumping event added to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games to frame my analysis. This paper argues that women ski jumpers at COP carved out spaces of resistance for themselves, shifted the gendered landscape of the ski jumps, and effected change across generations of women ski jumpers on and off the hill.

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The Early Years of Chicago Soccer, 1887–1939

Chris Bolsmann

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Becoming a Leading Player in Protecting the Mountain Environment: The Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme and the Path to the 1982 Kathmandu Declaration

Philippe Vonnard

In La Moitié de la Gloire, Axel Mayenfisch’s documentary about the 1952 Swiss expedition to Chomolungma (Mount Everest), André Roch recalls how the retreating climbers simply abandoned much of their gear, either leaving it where it was or “throwing it into holes [crevasses].” Roch’s tale was by no means unusual, as mountaineers at that time gave little thought to what became of their waste. By the 1970s, however, climbers were becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. The resulting change of attitude led many mountaineering organizations to take concrete steps to protect the mountains (e.g., cleanup campaigns) and to issue waste management guidelines for trips into the high mountains. The Union internationale des associations d’alpinisme 1982 Kathmandu Declaration—a charter of ten principles for achieving greater harmony with the mountain environment—was an important milestone in this process. Drawing on documents held in the extensive archives of the Union internationale des associations d’alpinisme, the current paper retraces the path that led to the Kathmandu Declaration and the process by which the environment became an important aspect of the aforementioned organization’s work. It also examines the hypothesis that the organization has progressively adopted a conservationist stance toward protecting nature; its aim is to reconcile environmental protection and economic development (especially tourism). The history of the Kathmandu Declaration supports this hypothesis, as it shows how the notion of sustainable development, which emerged in the 1980s, came to dominate conceptions of mountain protection.

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Nature Games: Traditional Indigenous Games and Environmental Stewardship in Oceania

Tom Fabian, Gary Osmond, and Murray G. Phillips

Traditional games are often situated in counter distinction to modern sport forms and are not well understood in Western society or scholarship. However, from these games, we have the opportunity to learn much about local play and physical culture. This article focuses on traditional Indigenous games in Oceania and how they can be used as a lens for the development of environmental stewardship or ecological sensibilities. The aims of this study are twofold: (1) to lay a foundation for future research in this area and (2) to situate traditional games within the broader sport ecology conversation. By deconstructing the embodied nature of traditional games and overviewing the histories of environmentalism in Oceania, a more grounded claim can be made for the relevance of traditional games within sport and leisure studies scholarship, including sport history, sport sociology, sport anthropology, and sport ecology. The nature games of Oceania yield diverse insights into Indigenous epistemologies, ecological sensibilities, and how outdoor play can be understood as a form of climate action.

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Volume 54 (2023): Issue 2 (Nov 2023)