This article shares personal perspectives and experiences that emerged as a result of 15 years of consulting with athletes representing numerous sports at both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The importance of listening closely to athletes, respecting their input, and meeting their individual needs is emphasized. Consultants are cautioned against using batteries of standardized personality assessment inventories as these infringe upon the athletes’ time without providing practical information. Effectiveness in this field requires firsthand experience with sport, a full understanding of the psychology of excellence, and a willingness to learn directly from the athletes themselves. One-on-one contact, adaptability to individual needs, good interpersonal skills, applied sportpsych knowledge, and persistence in application are also important. It is recommended that registration of consultants in the field of applied sport psychology be contingent upon direct evaluation by athletes.
A new form of sporting settler homonationalism emerged in the Pride Houses at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. For the first time ever, Pride Houses were set up where gay and lesbian supporters watched and celebrated the Olympic events. Drawing on poststructuralism, queer and settler colonial studies, the paper analyzes how the Pride Houses were based on settler colonial discourses about participation and displacement. A settler discourse about First Nations and Two-Spirit participation in the Pride Houses allowed gay and lesbian Canadian settlers to both remember and forget the history of settlement. Another settler discourse took for granted the displacement of Two-Spirit youth from their community center and Indigenous people from their traditional territories in order for the Olympics and the Pride Houses to take place. The paper suggests that queering settler politics in sport means confronting, rather than disavowing, colonialism and challenging homonational forms of gay and lesbian inclusion in sport mega- events.
At this point in the Olympic cycle, an editorial for a performance-oriented journal like IJSPP leads to the Winter Olympics. Historically, this main winter-sports event started at Chamonix, France, as International Winter Sport Week under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC
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.
Nicolas Delorme and Amy Pressland
The media coverage of sport events in relation to athletes’ sex has been extensively analyzed in the scientific literature. Apart from sports mega-events such as the Olympic Games, the findings of these studies seem consistent in that female participants are systematically underrepresented in sports media coverage. However, much of the research in this area relates to North America. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine sex equity in the coverage of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by French, British and Spanish newspapers to provide new insights in this research field from a different cultural perspective. A content analysis was carried out and mixed results were found. French coverage shows significant discrimination of female athletes on most of the variables analyzed. Conversely, British coverage shows significant discrimination of male athletes on most of the variables studied. Finally, Spanish coverage is fair. These mixed results show the value of conducting such studies in geographical areas outside North America.
Paul J. MacArthur, James R. Angelini, Andrew C. Billings and Lauren R. Smith
An empirical analysis was conducted focusing on how the United States-based NBC and the Canada-based CBC portrayed male figure skaters in comparison with their male Winter Olympic counterparts on the networks’ primetime 2014 Olympic broadcasts. Using 100% of all primetime broadcast content as a universe of investigation, NBC’s and the CBC’s commentary about male figure skaters was compared with the aggregate of all other male Winter Olympians in the areas of success, failure and personality/physicality. Analysis of NBC’s primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games revealed five (5) significantly-different dialogue trends between male figure skaters and the aggregate of other male Winter Olympians, while analysis of the CBC’s primetime coverage revealed seven (7) significantly-different dialogue trends between male figure skaters and the aggregate of other male Winter Olympians. Differences were not consistent from network to network, showing that NBC and CBC treated male figure skaters differently, yet in significantly different manners by network. Insights are offered on the theoretical and applied levels.
Une analyse empirique a été conduite pour savoir comment la chaîne américaine NBC et la chaîne canadienne CBC présentaient les patineurs sur glace par rapport à leurs homologues masculins participant aux Jeux Olympiques d’Hiver lors de leurs prime times en 2014. En utilisant 100% du contenu des prime times diffusés comme terrain d’investigation, les commentaires de NBC et de CBC concernant les patineurs sur glace ont été comparés à ceux, agrégés, de tous les autres olympiens masculins dans le domaine de la réussite, de l’échec, de la personnalité et du physique. L’analyse de la couverture des Jeux Olympiques 2014 de Sotchi en prime time sur NBC a révélé cinq types de discours significativement différents entre les patineurs et l’ensemble des autres olympiens alors que l’analyse de la couverture en prime time du CBC en a révélé sept. Les différences ne sont pas similaires d’une chaîne à l’autre, ce qui montre que NBC et CBC ont traité les patineurs sur glace différemment. Des éclairages sont apportés aux niveaux théoriques et appliqués.
Ari Kim, Moonhoon Choi and Kyriaki Kaplanidou
Residents’ support for hosting the Olympic Games is crucial for a bid to succeed in the Olympic host-city selection process. Because of the vital role of the media in framing public perceptions of Olympic bids, the purpose of this study was to examine media coverage of hosting the Olympic Games during the Olympic host-city bid process. A quantitative content analysis was conducted on newspaper articles about Pyeongchang, Korea. Pyeongchang was a candidate city for 3 consecutive bids for the Winter Olympic Games, and it finally won its latest bid to host the 2018 Games. Six hundred Korean newspaper articles were collected for analysis. The results indicated that positive, nationwide discussions of hosting the Olympic Games were presented during the successful bid. Infrastructure legacy was mentioned frequently and dominantly for both successful and unsuccessful bid periods, whereas the presence of sport-development and sociocultural-legacy themes increased in the latest, successful, bid. In addition, extensive coverage related to celebrity endorsement was found during the successful bid.
Almost half of the record 98 events being held at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games were either not held 20 years ago at Lillehammer or have been substantially modified. The Olympics as a global sports event are not stationary but must adapt and evolve in response to changing demands, just as the remarkable athletes who are competing do. While the Winter Olympics program has steadily grown since Chamonix in 1924, the rate of development has greatly accelerated in the last 20 years. Three factors seem to be instrumental. First, the Winter Olympics program has become more gender balanced. Female hockey teams are battling for gold, and this year women will compete in ski jumping for the first time. Most Winter Olympics sports have equal numbers of events for men and women today, although female participation still lags somewhat behind. Second, many traditional events have been modified by sport-governing bodies toward a more “TV friendly” format. Time-trial starts have been replaced by mass or group starts. “Sprint” and team events have been added to spice up traditional sports like cross-country skiing and speed skating. Finally “extreme” sports like half-pipe and ski-cross have crossed over from the X Games to the Olympics, with some arguing that the Olympics need these popular sports more than the X Games sports need the Olympics. All of these changes create new research questions for sport scientists who are also willing to adapt and evolve.