For two weeks every few years, the Olympics blot out all other sports coverage in the world to focus on one city. The host cities scramble to earn the right to hold the games, and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to construct arenas, event complexes, and lodgings that rarely, if ever, eke out profits. But how did the Olympics become just like every other professional sporting event, covered in Visa and McDonald’s logos? Can they ever get back to simple, popular, spirited competition?
Sports journalist and university researcher Mark Perryman designed Why The Olympics Aren’t Good For Us, And How They Can Be as a vision of a radically different Olympics, the games’ Communist Manifesto, with an undeniably noble goal: ditch the corporate-controlled event and make it truly the People’s Games, with an emphasis on mass appeal, accessibility, and increased participation. Using the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as a backdrop, Perryman briefly covers the development of corporatized and commodified Olympic competition since 1984 in Los Angeles. As a possible response, he outlines how to bring the games back to their stated goals as global, unity-focused competition, while also acknowledging their inherent politicization.
Read the full review in The Onion