British Sky Broadcasting Group plc. Both funding and focused talent identification measures have contributed to a considerable increase in Olympic medal success in cycling for the United Kingdom: Sydney 2000 (four medals), Athens 2004 (four medals), Beijing 2008 (14 medals), London 2012 (12 medals), and
Toby Staff, Fernand Gobet, and Andrew Parton
The triumphal track and field performances of British distance runner, Mo Farah, at the London 2012 Olympic Games were lauded both for their athletic endeavor and for their perceived validation of the rhetoric of ethnic and cultural diversity and inclusion in which the Games were ensconced. By analyzing coverage of the athlete’s achievements in mainstream British newspapers, this article presents a more complicated and critical reading of the relationship between Britishness, multiculture, the politics of inclusion and the London Games. Employing a Critical Discourse Analysis approach, the article shows that Farah was constructed and represented by the media using narratives that are familiar, palatable and reassuring to the public; and that sustain hegemonic models of racialised nationhood and dominant ideologies around sport.
Fiona Pelly, Nanna L. Meyer, Jeni Pearce, Sarah J. Burkhart, and Louise M. Burke
The aim of this study was to evaluate the food provision and nutrition support at the London 2012 Olympic (OG) and Paralympic Games (PG) from the perspective of sports nutrition experts attending the event. Participants (n = 15) were asked to complete an online survey and rate on a Likert scale menu qualities, food safety, sustainability practices, nutrition labeling, and provision for cultural needs, dietary regimes and specific situations. Open-ended responses were incorporated to explore expert opinion and areas for improvement. Participants rated their overall experience of the food provision as 7.6 out of 10 (range 5 to 10), with the majority (n = 11) rating it greater than 7. The variety, accessibility, presentation, temperature, and freshness of menu items rated as average to good. A below average rating was received for recovery food and beverages, provision of food for traveling to other venues, taking suitable snacks out of the dining hall and provision of food at other venues. However, the variety and accessibility of choices for Ramadan, and provision of postcompetition food were rated highly. A number of comments were received about the lack of gluten free and lower energy/fat items. The inclusion of allergens on nutrition labeling was considered more important than nutrient content. While dietetic review of the menu in advance of the OG and PG is clearly a valuable process that has resulted in improvements in the food supply, there are still areas that need to be addressed that are currently not implemented during the event.
John Harris and John Vincent
The spectacular success of Team GB in the London 2012 Olympic Games saw an extension of a popular celebration of Britishness. Drawing on an analysis of Olympic coverage in the Western Mail, self-styled national newspaper of Wales (papur cenedlaethol Cymru), this study explores the ways in which narratives of the nation are (re)presented in a particular locale. After a brief discussion of the opening ceremony, key events from the Games, including the staging of football matches in the capital city of Cardiff, the singing of “God Save the Queen” before football matches, and the medal successes of Welsh athletes, are used as cases to explore the multiple layers of national identities at play. The analysis highlights the complementary, complex, and at times contradictory interplay between Welsh and British identities within these narratives and explores the often fuzzy and sometimes hazy frontiers of identity.
Janine Coates and Philip B. Vickerman
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games aimed to deliver a legacy to citizens of the United Kingdom, which included inspiring a generation of young people to participate in sport. This study aimed to understand the legacy of the Paralympic Games for children with disabilities. Eight adolescents (11–16 yr) with physical disabilities were interviewed about their perceptions of the Paralympic Games. Thematic analysis found 3 key themes that further our understanding of the Paralympic legacy. These were Paralympians as role models, changing perceptions of disability, and the motivating nature of the Paralympics. Findings demonstrate that the Games were inspirational for children with disabilities, improving their self-perceptions. This is discussed in relation to previous literature, and core recommendations are made.
Adrian E. Bauman, Niamh Murphy, and Victor Matsudo
Peter Elsborg, Gregory M. Diment, and Anne-Marie Elbe
The objective of this study was to explore how sport psychology consultants perceive the challenges they face at the Olympic Games. Post-Olympics semistructured interviews with 11 experienced sport psychology consultants who worked at the London Games were conducted. The interviews were transcribed and inductively content analyzed. Trustworthiness was reached through credibility activities (i.e., member checking and peer debriefing). The participants perceived a number of challenges important to being successful at the Olympic Games. These challenges were divided into two general themes: Challenges Before the Olympics (e.g., negotiating one’s role) and Challenges During the Olympics (e.g., dealing with the media). The challenges the sport psychology consultants perceived as important validate and cohere with the challenge descriptions that exist in the literature. The findings extend the knowledge on sport psychology consultancy at the Olympic Games by showing individual contextual differences between the consultants’ perceptions and by identifying four SPC roles at the Olympic Games.
Chris Chard, Cheryl Mallen, and Cheri L. Bradish
In 2008, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) announced that they had signed a $58 million (US) sponsorship agreement with British Petroleum (BP), an oil company with well-known environmental concerns and offenses. The current case is set in July 2010 amidst BP’s most recent, and largest, environmental incident. The purpose of this case is to answer a key question: What action (if any) should LOCOG take with respect to its partnership with BP given the Gulf Coast oil spill? Additionally, students are challenged to form opinions regarding the environmental and social responsibilities of an Olympic sponsor, and to develop a strategic plan and policies for Olympic partners related to their environmental and social actions in the future.
Andrea Eagleman, Lauren M. Burch, and Ryan Vooris
Traditional media coverage of the Olympic Games has been shown to exhibit biases in terms of gender, nationality, and the type of sports covered, which can contribute to negative societal consequences and inaccurate historical records of such events. Scholars have suggested that because of the Internet’s expanded spatial parameters, new media have the ability to provide more equitable coverage of events such as the Olympics. In this study, we used agenda setting theory to employ a content analysis methodology to determine whether different constructions of the 2012 London Olympics were presented to media consumers on news websites in Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Kenya, and the United States. Findings indicated that very few gender, nationalistic, or sport biases existed in any of the countries’ coverage, lending credence to the notion that the Internet affords media managers with an opportunity to provide more equitable coverage and thus a more accurate depiction of events.