In 1977, the Canadian men’s national hockey team returned to international competition, marking the end of a controversial boycott launched in 1970 by Canadian ice hockey officials in protest of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s refusal to allow professionals to participate in international tournaments. However, Canada’s much-heralded presence at the 1977 World Championships in Vienna, Austria, was memorable for mostly the wrong reasons. The hastily assembled team of professionals finished fourth, out of medal contention, and engaged in repeated acts of brutality against its opponents. The team’s poor performance and unsportsmanlike conduct subsequently prompted Iona Campagnolo, the minister of state for Fitness and Amateur Sport, to commission a study on Canada’s role in international hockey. Drawing from archival diplomatic communications, this article explores the changing political and economic dynamics that shaped the series of negotiations and compromises that culminated in Canada’s return to international competition in 1977 and the fallout from its performance there. It argues that Canada’s return to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championships in 1977 with a team of professionals marked a pivotal moment in the history of international hockey, further propelling the sport into a new era of commodification and accentuating the decline of the traditional amateur ideal—developments that consolidated the power of the National Hockey League in international hockey and over the Canadian men’s national team.
Jared F.K. Monaghan and Claudio M. Rocha
This study used a quantitative content analysis and a qualitative thematic analysis to explore how the Olympic Games were framed in print media prior to two Canadian Winter Olympic referendums. Content-analysis results showed that the salient topics and the tone of newspaper articles were framed more positively prior to the successful Vancouver 2010 referendum compared with the unsuccessful Calgary 2026 referendum. The thematic analysis indicated four themes. First, news discourse emphasized the importance of Olympic vision that is congruent with host city needs. Second, the prominence of health promotion through sport as a reported theme was more associated with a successful bid. Third, the communication and quantification of intangible benefits were reported to be increasingly important so that the value of the Olympics can be assessed fairly against the ever-burgeoning hosting costs. Finally, the Olympic brand has been deteriorating, at least over the last 15–16 years according to print media. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Zachary W. Arth, Mackenzie P. Pike, and James R. Angelini
This study assessed the time on camera dedicated to men and women athletes at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. An analysis of all of NBC’s Olympic programming, consisting of both the flagship prime-time broadcasts and the additional content on their network, yielded nearly 230 hr of Olympic content to code. In the 62 hr of prime-time coverage, women received 57.95% of the time on camera. During the non-prime-time coverage, which spanned 167 hr, women again received the majority of clock time, accounting for 55.22%. In addition, differences by sport were uncovered with the major differences occurring in gymnastics and beach volleyball, both of which saw much more hours dedicated to the women’s competitions. Utilizing agenda setting as the theoretical framework for this study, ramifications for these broadcast trends and differences are discussed.
Sada Reed and Jennifer L. Harker
This content analysis builds on past studies done on media coverage, rhetorical analyses, and journalistic role enactment by examining American and Russian news publications’ (N = 422) coverage of American and Russian doping scandals between 2013 and 2016. This time frame was selected because it was the height of Lance Armstrong and Major League Baseball doping coverage in the United States and the height of Olympic track-and-field doping coverage in Russia. It also fell between the time the World Anti-Doping Agency ratified its third code, which gave the antidoping organization the authority to conduct independent investigations. The study investigates media framing from the midpoint of the scandal, after the sports persona or sports entity denied using performance-enhancing drugs. Whether American and Russian coverage differ in the use of episodic and thematic frames, where blame is placed, and whether episodic or thematic framing predicts blame placement were all examined. Furthermore, the study investigates both nations’ coverage of “their own” athletes and of athletes from the other nation and analyzes whether or how the rhetorical posture of denial leads to adversarial journalism as a role enactment in coverage of sport-related scandals.
Kieran Edmond James and Yogesh Nadan
In this article, we review one iconic match in Fiji soccer history, the 1982 Inter-District Championship Final, when bad light stopped play after ten kicks each in the penalty shootout with penalty goals tied at 6–6. In interviews with ex-administrators and players from the match, we learn that Ba reneged upon a “gentlemen’s agreement,” between the two team presidents, not to turn up for any replay match scheduled for outside of Nadi, the original venue. Ba turned up at the replay venue and claimed the trophy much to the disgust of Nadi supporters and officials. Because the Indo-Fijian community “controls” coaching and administrative positions in soccer, it is able to fashion and refashion how Indigenous Fijian men’s bodies are presented and administered within the sport. Significantly, race and class combine to make it difficult for Indigenous ex-players to move into coaching and administrative positions in soccer postretirement.
Danielle Sterba, Jessie N. Stapleton, and Winston Kennedy
Options for athletes with disabilities to participate in sport have risen and, with them, supercrip representation. Supercrip is defined as a stereotypical representation of individuals with disabilities that highlights their accomplishments as inspirational stories of defying or overcoming their disability to succeed. With little consensus on how to represent disability in sport, it is imperative that this representation be investigated. The purpose of this commentary is to broadly examine assumptions of the supercrip model as a mode of representation for athletes with disabilities, explore its connection to able-bodied hegemony, and propose next steps in facilitating research and discourse around representation for athletes with disabilities. We conclude that able-bodied hegemony is the root of the supercrip model and that participatory action research, with stakeholders at the center, is necessary to fully evaluate the supercrip model.
Alex C. Gang, Juha Yoon, Juho Park, Sang Keon Yoo, and Paul M. Pedersen
This study explores the process of social capital development and the influence of space that leads to the formation of different types of social capital among mega sport event volunteers. A qualitative approach was utilized to ensure the collection of in-depth data on participants’ subjective volunteering experience and its relation to the creation of social capital. Findings revealed the development of social capital by the volunteers both in and out of event venues, which are defined as event related and peripheral spaces. The process of developing network through bridging was attributed to the proclivity of peripheral spaces to provide proximity and composition necessary to build and enrich interactions, while bonding was the primary mechanism to associate with others on event-related places.
This article uses a feminist cultural studies of sport framework to explore dominant storytelling about sleep in the Women’s National Basketball Association. In a historical moment when rest is understood as a vital component in athlete performance, being denied full access to the conditions and resources that are imagined to be conducive to sleep is problematic. However, the Women’s National Basketball Association’s embrace of a commercial, technoscientific promotional sleep culture often comes at the expense of understanding the impact of structural forces on recovery. By exploring a variety of stories about sleep and performance, it is possible to understand the limitations and possibilities of using sleep enhancement frameworks to foster healthier and more humane sport settings and societies.