Youth perceptions of the Olympic Games : attitudes towards action sports at the YOG and Olympic Games / Belinda Wheaton

Wheaton, Belinda | Thorpe, Holly

Edited by University of Waikato - 2016

The IOC faces a significant challenge, that is, how to stay relevant to contemporary youth amid changing sport participation and consumption patterns and growing competition from mega-events such as the X Games. This project critically examined youth perceptions of the relevance and significance of the Olympic Games, and the Youth Olympic Games. It focused particularly on the attitudes of participants in newer, action sports (i.e., skateboarding, surfing, BMX, snowboarding, parkour, kite-surfing), as well as the cultural processes leading up to and following the short-listing of surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Online surveys, media analysis and interviews provide rich and nuanced insights into the experiences, attitudes, opinions, debates and politics that influence youths’ current and future participation in, and consumption of, the Olympic Games. Ultimately, this project reveals generational differences in attitudes towards action sports inclusion in the Olympic Games, as well as changing perceptions among those working most closely with the IOC to prepare their sports for possible Olympic inclusion. Furthermore, this report highlights the power and potential of action sports inclusion into the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, as well as some of the ongoing and new challenges for such significant changes to both the infrastructure of action sports cultures and industries, and to the transforming landscape of Olympic sport

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