The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games was a sporting and financial success, yet an international image disaster. Atlanta’s goal to shine on a global stage was met with harsh criticism and stereotypical portrayals by media nationally and around the world. What happened? Using a multimethod approach, including content analyses of print and broadcast media in 27 countries, review of institutional reports, and observation of media operations during the Games, this study identifies four key factors largely responsible for Atlanta’s image disaster as Olympic host. In doing so, it provides an exemplar case study of the complex challenges faced by hosts of global media events in their efforts to garner favorable international media coverage. A secondary purpose of this case study is to summarize the preparations, process, and innovations related to media use in the Atlanta Games. Such an account of Atlanta 1996 is missing in the current Olympics literature.
The purpose of the study was to identify mechanical variables that govern successful performance of the handspring with full turn vault. Subjects were 67 male gymnasts from 25 countries performing the vault during the 1992 Olympic Games. The vaults were filmed by two 16-mm Locam II DC cameras operating at 100 Hz. Approximately 80 frames per subject were digitized for each camera view. Direct linear transformation (DLT) was used to calculate the 3-D coordinates of the digitized body points. The method of Hay and Reid (1988) was used to develop a theoretical model to identify the mechanical variables that determine linear and angular motions of the vault. Significant correlations (p < .005) indicated that the following were important determinants for success: large horizontal velocity, large horizontal kinetic energy term, and overall translational kinetic energy term at takeoff from the board; short duration, small vertical displacement of the center of gravity (CG), and small somersaulting angular distance of preflight; large vertical velocity and large vertical kinetic energy term at takeoff from the horse; and large "amplitude of postflight," that is, large horizontal and vertical displacements of CG and long duration of flight; great height of CG during the second quarter-tum in postflight; and small point deduction for landing.
The purpose of the study was to determine the mechanical variables that are related to successful post-flight somersaulting performance of the Roche vault. The 23 Roche vaults performed during the 2000 Olympic Games were filmed by a 16-mm camera operating at 100 Hz. The 2-D direct linear transformation technique was used for spatial calibration. Approximately 60 frames were digitized per vault. The method of Hay and Reid (1988) was used to develop a deterministic model to identify the mechanical variables that govern linear and angular motions of the vault. Correlational analysis was used to establish the strength of the relationship between the mechanical variables identified and the judges’ scores. Significant correlations indicated that the higher judges’ scores were negatively related to five mechanical variables and positively related to seventeen variables in the model. The normalized horizontal displacement of body center of mass (CM) from the knee grasp to the peak of post-flight was the best single predictor of the judges’ score and accounted for 50% of variation in the judges’ score. Finally, the landing point deductions and the official horizontal distance of post-flight collectively accounted for 86% of the variance in the judges’ scores.
Robert Knight Barney
Shane M. Murphy and Alfred P. Ferrante
A description is given of the sport psychology services provided to the U.S. Team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The service delivery model is described and several examples illustrate the nature of the consultations provided to coaches and athletes. Some 72 formal consultations were held with 40 individuals and teams, and an analysis is given of the types of services requested and the clients who were served.
James R. Angelini, Andrew C. Billings and Paul J. MacArthur
A population of NBC’s primetime coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (64 hours) was analyzed to determine differences between the media treatment of U.S. and non-U.S. Olympians. Results showed that U.S. athletes were highlighted at three to four times to rate their successes would suggest. In addition, American athletes were more likely to be depicted as succeeding because of their intellect, commitment, and consonance while non-American athletes were more likely to be depicted as failing because they lacked the strength and skill of other athletes. From a personality/physicality standpoint, American athletes received enhanced comments about their outgoing/extroverted nature while non-American athletes received more comments about the size and parts of their bodies. Ramifications for framing theory and Olympic nationalism research are articulated.
Grace Yan and Nicholas M. Watanabe
After the South Korean men’s soccer team beat its Japanese counterpart in the bronze-medal match at the 2012 London Olympics, South Korean player Park Jung-Woo celebrated with a banner that displayed Dokdo is our land. Dokdo is called the Liancourt Rocks in English, the sovereignty over which has been an ongoing point of contention between South Korea and Japan. This study conducts a critical discourse analysis to examine media representations of Park’s banner celebration, as well as the ensuing discussion in major Korean and Japanese newspapers. The analysis reveals a contrastive picture: The Korean media vocally approached Park’s behavior as an emotional response of self-righteous indignation and quickly enacted memories of Korea’s victimhood in World War II to make justifications, whereas the Japanese media participated in a relatively disengaged absence. Japan’s silence disclosed a glimpse into its rich postwar history of social conflict and political resistance. Such contrast is also indicative of how sport media can be engaged in nuanced social contexts, generating representations that serve nation-state regimes situated in different political dynamics.