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In this introductory chapter, the authors briefly summarize the origins of the enduring, yet overly positive rhetoric associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They argue that the five distinct case studies of the London 2012 Games that make up this book each underline, in varied ways, the juxtaposition between the assumed homogeneity, equality, tolerance and unity associated with London 2012 and some key controversies that emerged before, during and after the spectacle of the Games which, instead, illustrate the many inequalities and divisions that were also apparent. Finally, the structure and organization of the book are outlined.
KeywordsOlympic Game International Olympic Committee Sport Competition Sociological Concept International Sport
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