Olympic education and the need to protect critique: Guest Post for @Podiumfor2012


Taken at the International Olympic Academy, Ancient Olympia

Last week I was asked to write a guest blog post for Podium. Podium are the official link between the London 2012 Olympic Games and higher and further education institutions – and encourage and promote the Olympic movement through education. I was asked to write about my experience/thoughts on the International Olympic Academy (where I have been for the month of September), an often under looked, but critically important part of the modern Olympic movement.

An extract from the post is below, the full article is available here.

“To those outside of the Olympic studies field, the notion of a educational institution dedicated to academic discussion about one of the world’s largest (and corporate) media events, can seem problematic.

Nevertheless, the link between education and the Olympics is not a new concept. It is embedded within the Olympic charter – the rules that the IOC use to govern the delivery of the Games – and is institutionalised internationally through national Olympic academies and their relationships with the local schools and colleges in each country.

Education is a big deal to the Olympic movement. Education is a way of ensuring that the Games have a future by introducing the Olympics to younger generations, making the symbols, sport and the ‘philosophy’ of Olympism is heard wider and often.

However, it is more important than ever to provide spaces and opportunities to ask critical questions about what exactly is being offered as part of an educational Olympic package – and who exactly benefits from the Games ongoing success?

Furthermore, there are many who do not feel nor experience the benefits that a country hosting the Games claims to offer. This is a huge problem if we are to continue to present the Olympic Games as a force for intrinsic common good.”