Mark Perryman’s most recent work Why the Olympics aren’t good for us, and how they can be might seem insubstantial at a mere 136 pages, but despite it’s slight appearance, this work is anything but lightweight, and was timed precisely to coincide with the arrival of the 2012 games in London. Perryman is well known in the world of sport and leisure culture; indeed, he is the co-founder and head cheerleader for the Philosophy of Football, a team and a mindset that rallies against the corporate dominance of the game and challenges the racism and violence that they believe to still be inherent in some areas of the game.
With this background it comes as no surprise that Perryman’s newest writing opposes what he sees as the corporate control of the Olympics, and expresses concerns about where this culture is taking an event that should be about promoting sport in the community – both local and global – and bringing about a legacy of inclusion, rather than a crack-down on Olympic language used by anyone other than the sponsors and “worldwide partners.” However, despite this stance Perryman is an Olympics enthusiast. His passion for the event is evident throughout his polemic, and helps convince the reader that his alternative “Five New Rings” of Olympic principles really could work to make the next games a true success, not just in terms of sport, but legacy, sustainability and community.
Read the full review in the LSE Review of Books