Beyond the Olympics : power, change and legacy
International Journal of China Studies
Beijing olympics, China, Legacy, Soft power, Sport
The Beijing Olympic Games of 2008 threw into sharp relief questions not just about how China could manage such a sporting mega-event but also about whether it could cope with the longer-term social, economic and political implications and legacies. Sport, including such mega-events as the Olympics, can be used by governments for internal purposes, such as encouraging national solidarity, driving the economy or even raising political popularity. It can equally serve as an instrument of external relations, such as promoting an image internationally or developing new sporting/diplomatic contacts. This article examines the expectations, immediate results and potential longerterm legacies of the 2008 Olympics for China, its leaders and its people, and also for its external partners. It argues that although the commercial and infrastructural benefits were important, Chinese sporting prowess was confirmed and the Olympic movement influenced, China was not completely successful in winning the hearts and minds of the (Western) world.
Bridges, B. (2011). Beyond the Olympics: Power, change and legacy. International Journal of China Studies, 2(2), 243-257.