Olympic Industry Resistance

Challenging Olympic Power and Propaganda

By Helen Jefferson Lenskyj

Subjects: Sports And Society, Cultural Critique, Sociology, Education, Political Economy
Series: SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations
Paperback : 9780791474808, 190 pages, June 2008
Hardcover : 9780791474792, 190 pages, June 2008

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Table of contents

1. Introduction and Background

PART I. Olympic Impacts and Community Resistance

2. Rights and Freedoms under Threat

3. Olympic Impacts on Bid and Host Cities

4. Canadian Olympic Wins and Losses

PART II. Olympic Education
5. Education through (Olympic) Sport: Making Connections

6. Olympic Education Inc. : Colonizing Children’s Minds?

7. More Fallen Heroes? The Nude Calendar Phenomenon

8. Social Responsibility: A Fourth Pillar of the “Olympic Movement”?


A critical look at the Olympics in the postbribery, post-9/11 era, particularly at consequences for host cities and so-called “Olympic education” for schoolchildren.


Scholar and activist Helen Jefferson Lenskyj continues her critique of the Olympic industry, looking specifically at developments in the post-9/11 and postbribery scandal era. Examining events and activism in host cities, as well as in several locations that bid unsuccessfully on the Olympics, Lenskyj shows how basic rights and freedoms, particularly of the press and of assembly, are compromised. Lenskyj investigates the pro-Olympic bias in media treatment of bids and preparations, the "fallen hero" phenomenon that includes doping and female athletes who pose nude in calendars, and takes issue with "Olympic education" curricular materials for schoolchildren. Also discussed are the problems of housing and homelessness created when the Olympics become a catalyst for urban redevelopment projects.

Helen Jefferson Lenskyj is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She is the author of several books on the Olympic industry, including The Best Olympics Ever? Social Impacts of Sydney 2000 and Inside the Olympic Industry: Power, Politics, and Activism, both also published by SUNY Press.


"…Olympic Industry Resistance offers some interesting reviews of the politics of Olympic bids and planning, and does provide a useful critique of the ethical deficiencies of the Olympic Movement. It is a constructive addition to the growing body of critical scholarship in Olympic studies. " — Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events

"Lenskyj continues her long and valuable tradition of critique of the Olympic industry. " — thirdspace: a journal of feminist theory & culture

"…Lenskyj has done quite extensive international research into what it means to protest the Olympic industry's propaganda … This book does not just list the many faults with the Olympic movement but actually provides insight as to how to correct these problems through examples and suggestions. " — Journal of Sport History

"This is a book that should be read not only by those with a primary interest in sport but by anyone who is concerned about the ways in which our world is evolving. " — Canadian Journal of Sociology

"…an interesting, thoughtful and at times rather frightening picture of a sporting superpower OS industry has come to be. " — Idrottsforum. org

"…an informative book and one that offers some interesting critiques of the Olympic movement and what it is supposed to stand for … At the very least it should make every reader consider just what the Olympics are meant to represent. " — Sociological Research Online

"In a culture given to the celebration of athletic achievement, Lenskyj's voice provides a powerful indictment of the dishonesty and irresponsibility of the Games. " — Bill Littlefield, Boston Globe

"What are the Olympics really about? How to get behind the noise from boosters and speculators that dominate the media? Easy. Read Helen Lenskyj. " — Andrew Jennings, author of FOUL! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging, and Ticket Scandals

"Lenskyj presents an impassioned critique of the exploits and exploitations of successive Olympics, from rehousing scandals, to brainwashing of children into the secular theology of Olympism, to suppression of academic freedom, to the financial and decision-making culture of secrecy, to sellouts by women in sport of both feminist and nonfeminist persuasions. Very few escape her attention. " — Celia Brackenridge, Brunel University