Although sports officials and politicians may still be heard to declare that ‘sport and politics should not mix’, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone who believes that is the case, especially with regard to international sports events where the whole process appears highly politicized, from the overt nationalisms to the economy of the events. Hosting a major sports event such as the Olympic Games brings together a great many actors, each with different and sometimes competing interests. Most research focus has been on the “usual suspects” – various levels of government, and national and international corporations in their interactions with the International Olympic Committee. But there are other axes of power to consider. In this paper I will first consider the relative political power of Asia in the Olympic movement, using recent data to show that most power in the organization is still held by Europeans. Second, I consider the high levels of power held by the ‘usual suspects’, and point both to the use of international sport as a technique of ‘soft power’ and to some problems for Olympic sport that are caused by the ‘usual suspects’. Third, I consider meso-levels of power held by individuals, groups and organizations that are rarely studied in the scholarly literature, but that have an influence on the form and meaning of Olympic Games. In particular, I focus on the cadre of international consultants and experts who offer their services and/or who are hired whenever a country hosts a major international sports event; and I consider Olympic critics and protesters who also have an impact, sometimes in indirect and unexpected ways.
In July 2020, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo again. As is generally known, today’s Olympic Games have turned into a mega apparatus which stimulates our desires and organizes them into power games.
In Japan there are mixtures of “the ideal and the real”, “brand and fake”, “real intention and stated reason’, which are embodied by the catchphrase, “The Restoration from the East Japan Disaster toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games”. In this paper I will examine the bidding process and the bidding plan for the 2020 Games from the perspective of “fact and fiction”.
First, the Tokyo Olympics bid was based on the debt repayment of Tokyo Waterfront Development Plan, which was being pushed through by the then Governor, Shintaro Ishihara.
Second, I will make clear that the bidding promotion was fabricated as if it represented an “all Japan” project. I will also indicate how discourses on “The Restoration from the East Japan Disaster toward the 2020 Olympic Games” were employed for political gain.
Third, I will focus on the legacy strategy of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
By analyzing the problems of The New National Stadium construction and the engagement about legacy in the Olympic host plan, I will argue about how the legacy strategy failed. This legacy strategy has been received positively in many countries. However, through examining it from the viewpoints of “fact and fiction”I will argue that it is simply an IOC power strategy.
Finally, I will study the new IOC policy, “agenda 2020” from the same viewpoint. I will argue that it is a new hegemonic strategy to maintain the power of the IOC and the Olympic Games.
This paper examines how the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games combine a neoliberal policy with the regeneration of the city of Tokyo by looking at discourses which emerged from the time that Tokyo first became a candidate to host the Games. This paper first attempts semiotic analysis of the official slogan for the bid, “Nippon needs the power of this dream now”, and criticizes the way it represents the Games as a “national” event in which all the nation should be involved. The slogan may well invoke emotional national feeling by employing the word “Nippon” phonetically in Katakana rather than using “Japan” in Chinese characters, which is associated visually with territorial nationality because “Nippon” represents a particular city, “Tokyo”, as if Tokyo was a synonym for Japan. This naturalizes the hegemony of Tokyo over other areas in Japan. Secondly, this paper is concerned with how neoliberal politicians, economists and specialists on urban development have tried to utilize the 2020 Games to regenerate Tokyo. They have been trying to engineer a form of euphoria for the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in order to justify not only regeneration of the city but also the neoliberal policy of the Abe administration, while concealing the fact that very few people will actually benefit from the Games. Finally, this paper anticipates the consequences of “the power of the dream” for Japan, referring to the case of the 2012 London Games. My conclusion is that sport sociologists have to keep a critical eye on the way in which neoliberal policy appropriates the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the privileged few, so that sport culture does not betray its specific values.
Modern sports continue to increase their importance worldwide. Social, cultural and economic importance is developing as many institutes and organizations promote sports activities. Most of the studies relating to “Sports Organizations” utilize theories developed for bureaucratic and/or corporate organizations. Only a few approach “Sports Organizations” as organizations unique to sports activities, incorporating sports instincts, such as “Play”, defined by Caillois . Many researches barely contemplate an ideal organizational structure which could represent the nature of sports, or construe sports organizations as unique forms of organizations. The reason for this is a lack of an established framework to categorize various kinds of sports organizations.
Currently, federations, clubs, teams, professional league associations, fitness gyms, sports media, sports training schools and sports research institutes etc., are all grouped into one category called “sports organizations”. In terms of organizational types, however, they are different, their only commonality being that they have some connection with sports.
This paper introduces “Legal Entity” as a framework for categorizing various sports organizations, which can be further broken down into the categories of Administration, Corporation or NPO under today’s legal system. As the paper finds some important organizations failing to meet the framework of such established legal entities, it proposes to categorize such organizations as candidates for unique organizations dedicated to sports activities.
Utilizing legal entity as a framework for categorizing sports organizations, this research illustrates the profile of such organizations unique to sports activities, and proposes a new approach for studying sports organizations.