Recapturing Olympic Mystique: The Corporate Invasion of the Classroom
Since the inception of the modern Olympic Games, there has existed a philosophy of ‘Olympism’ that purports to promote the ideals and spirit of sport as represented by the Olympic Games. Among the guiding principles that underpinned the original Olympic Charter prepared by founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin were a number of general aims that included developing physical and moral qualities, building a better and more peaceful world and creating friendship and international goodwill through sporting competition (see Binder, 2001). Despite the homage to democracy and inclusion expressed by continuing proponents of the Olympic movement, the ideals promoted within this movement are rooted in Eurocentric, masculinist and elitist ideologies. These sporting ideologies have centred on the doctrine of ‘amateurism’, an exclusive concept that gradually evolved to mean participation in sporting competition for its own sake, or for success without direct material reward. In the past 30 years the ideologies of Olympism have diverged from this amateurist ethos to incorporate professionalism and form what Peter Donnelly (1996) calls a global sporting monoculture centred on the values of success, capitalism and monetary reward for top-level performances. These ideals, which he labels ‘prolympism’, are today linked inextricably to a consumer culture that is divisive in terms of both class associations and economic status.
KeywordsOlympic Game International Olympic Committee Corporate Sponsor Future Consumer Cumulative Annual Exposure
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