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Kwame J.A. Agyemang, Brennan K. Berg and Rhema D. Fuller

Games. Highly institutionalized across the globe, the Olympic Games rely on institutional rules and norms that preserve the status quo. For instance, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Rule 50 states the following: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in

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Claudio M. Rocha

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and organizing committees have strived to build popular support for the Olympic Games (OG) because local support has been considered a key element to host successful Games ( Deccio & Baloglu, 2002 ; Gursoy & Kendall, 2006 ; Preuss & Solberg, 2006 ; Waitt

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Kristine Toohey and Tracy Taylor

Since 1972, there has been an association between terrorism, violence, and the Olympic Games. The events of September 11, 2001, however, clearly reescalated concerns about the Games being a terrorist target. This conceptual article discusses the theories of the risk society and the precautionary principle to understand and interpret how visitors to the most recent Summer Games, Athens 2004, framed their decision to attend. Consistent with risk theory, a strong public and financial commitment to safety at the Games was evident, with the organizers undertaking wide-ranging large-scale risk management initiatives. Athens attendees, while displaying tenets of risk aversion and engagement with a discourse of fear, also showed resilience, resistance, and indifference to potential terrorism threats. Implications for both theory and practice are noted.

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Heather J. Gibson, Christine Xueqing Qi and James J. Zhang

Although there is growing awareness of the relationship between hosting mega-sporting-events and destination image, there is little empirical evidence documenting what images people hold before an event. The purpose of this study was to investigate the images young Americans hold of China both as a tourist destination and as the host of the 2008 Olympic Games. Specifically, the relationships among destination image, travel intentions, and tourist characteristics were explored. A total of 350 college students were surveyed before the close of the Athens Olympic Games. Overall, the respondents perceived China and the Beijing Olympic Games positively. Destination image was significantly (p < .05) predictive of the intention to travel to China and the Olympic Games. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that destination image partially mediated the relationship between past international travel experience and intention to travel. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed with a view to promoting China as a tourist destination and the host of the Olympic Games.

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Sheranne Fairley, Pamm Kellett and B. Christine Green

Volunteers have become essential to the delivery of sport events. Megaevents, such as the Olympic Games, rely on a large number of volunteers for the successful running of the event, some of whom travel to volunteer. This study investigates the motives of a group of people who volunteered at the Sydney Olympics as they prepared to travel to volunteer at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Four key motives were identified: (a) nostalgia, (b) camaraderie and friendship, (c) Olympic (i.e., subcultural) connection, and (d) sharing and recognition of expertise. The motives identified distinguish event volunteer tourists from other volunteer tourists and from other event volunteers. It is suggested that the recruitment, retention, and reacquisition of event volunteers will be served by understanding the motives and experiences of repeat event volunteers.

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Karen H. Weiller, Catriona T. Higgs and Scott B. Martin

Sports are omnipresent in American society; available for viewing 24 hours a day and can constitute much of everyday life and conversation. Researchers have indicated that men and women relate to sport differently (Gantz & Wenner, 1991). Evidence shows males outnumber females in sport viewership, and in the past much of the sport programming to which we are exposed caters specifically to men. The purpose of the present study was to explore issues related to audience perception of the 1996 Olympic Games. Participants (125 males and 92 females) ranging from 18 to 40 years of age were administered a gender specific version of the Audience Perception Questionnaires (APQ) following viewing video segments of men’s and women’s competitions (i.e., basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and volleyball). The two versions of the APQ were developed from current literature, and by employing a delphi technique to validate the APQ. Factor analyses resulted in four underlying media perception dimensions: Commentary Coverage, Gender Marking and Stereotyping, Hierarchy of Naming, and Verbal Descriptors. Results revealed perceptions of male and female athletes by the public are influenced to a great degree by gender.

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Chengli Tien, Huai-Chun Lo and Hsiou-Wei Lin

This study concerns research related to mega events, such as the Olympic Games, to determine whether the economic impact of the Olympic Games on the host countries is significant. This study uses two methods, panel data analysis and event study, to test hypotheses based on the data from 15 countries that have hosted 24 summer and winter Olympic Games. The results indicate that the economic impact of the Olympic Games on the host countries is only significant in terms of certain parameters (i.e., gross domestic product performance and unemployment) in the short term. These findings provide decision makers with comprehensive and multidimensional knowledge about the economic impact of hosting a mega event and about whether their objectives can be realized as expected.

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Philip K. Porter and Deborah Fletcher

This article uses data from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to test the predictions of regional input-output models. Real changes associated with these events are insignificant. Nominal measures of demand overstate demand increases and factor price increases absorb the impact of real increases in demand. Nominal changes appear to be limited to hotel prices. Input-output models of a regional economy are often used to predict the impact of short-duration sporting events. Because I-O models assume constant factor prices and technical coefficients between sectors are calibrated from long-run steady-state relations in the regional economy, the predictions greatly overstate the true impact. Because the predictions of these models are increasingly used to justify public subsidies, understanding these deficiencies is crucial.

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Stephen R. McDaniel

This study uses a two-stage telephone survey method, involving a stratified random sample (n = 248) of American adults (18+), to examine the implications of audience demographics, personal values, lifestyle, and interests to sport marketing and media, in the context of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Three hypotheses were tested using stepwise multiple regression and independent group t-test analyses and all received at least partial support. Male respondents' levels of interest in the Olympic Games were significantly related to their patriotic values and lifestyle. Those most interested in this event reported significantly higher levels of patriotism and religiosity than those less interested; likewise, the high event interest group reported enjoying advertising at a significantly greater level than their low event interest counterparts. Demographics, lifestyle, and event interest levels significantly influenced total amount of exposure to the event telecast.

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John Vincent and Jane Crossman

This study compared how The Globe and Mail and The New York Times covered the Canadian and U.S. women’s and men’s ice hockey teams competing in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A content-analysis methodology compared the amount and prominence of coverage devoted to the women’s and men’s teams. Each newspaper provided more coverage of the men’s teams and to its own national teams, particularly in prominent locations. Textual analysis was used to analyze how the gendered themes intersected with national identity in the narratives. Theoretical insight was drawn from Connell’s theory of gender–power relations, Anderson’s concept of the imagined community, and Hobsbawm’s theory of invented traditions. Four themes emerged: the future of hockey at the Winter Olympic Games, postgame celebrations, gendered discourses, and the importance of the gold-medal games. A discussion of each theme is presented.