Reading American readings of Beijing 2008

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics China bested the US in the gold medal count by 51 to 36 while the US topped China in the overall tally by 110 to 100. Ignoring claims from China and elsewhere that the Chinese had 'won' the mythical Olympic 'championship', American interpreters employed a clever calculus of the medal data to stake their claim to a convincing US triumph. The American efforts follow a long history of selective national readings of Olympic results to favour the US in constructing explanatory narratives for the games. Indeed, since the original modern Olympics in 1896, the US has consistently recalculated results to celebrate American prowess. American readings of the Beijing Olympics fit neatly into this tradition. From media accounts and official US Olympic Committee statements emerged a discourse that downplayed Chinese achievements and marginalized events they won while simultaneously celebrating US victories in sports American favour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2510-2529
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of the History of Sport
Volume27
Issue number14-15
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

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China
interpreter
gold
Sports
narrative
event
discourse
history
Beijing
Olympics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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title = "Reading American readings of Beijing 2008",
abstract = "At the 2008 Beijing Olympics China bested the US in the gold medal count by 51 to 36 while the US topped China in the overall tally by 110 to 100. Ignoring claims from China and elsewhere that the Chinese had 'won' the mythical Olympic 'championship', American interpreters employed a clever calculus of the medal data to stake their claim to a convincing US triumph. The American efforts follow a long history of selective national readings of Olympic results to favour the US in constructing explanatory narratives for the games. Indeed, since the original modern Olympics in 1896, the US has consistently recalculated results to celebrate American prowess. American readings of the Beijing Olympics fit neatly into this tradition. From media accounts and official US Olympic Committee statements emerged a discourse that downplayed Chinese achievements and marginalized events they won while simultaneously celebrating US victories in sports American favour.",
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Reading American readings of Beijing 2008. / Dyreson, Mark.

In: International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 27, No. 14-15, 01.09.2010, p. 2510-2529.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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