Olympic Winter Games in non-Western cities : state, sport and cultural diplomacy in Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022 / Jung Woo Lee

Lee, Jung Woo

The Summer and Winter Olympics share the five-ring logo. However, their social and political connotations differ. The Olympic Winter Games displays an aura of a game for the rich and powerful. A few aspiring nations intend to host this luxurious sporting festival in order to polish their international reputations as powerful actors in the global capitalist order. The cases of Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022 illustrate this pattern. Wallerstein’s world-system theory is a useful conceptual tool to examine the context of each Olympics, the content of the Olympic ceremonies, the nature of athletic competitions, and the post-event political environment. Although the three nations have different historical backgrounds and different diplomatic aims, the Winter Olympics provided the trio with an opportunity to construct an image of major global or regional power. Russian Olympic diplomacy in Sochi was impressive but its post-event aggression undercut its soft power exercise on the ice. South Korea acquired desired political outcomes by hosting the Olympic Winter Games and its peace campaign continued after the event. China has the potential to highlight its emerging world power status at Beijing 2022. Yet, increasing China scepticism in the West may impede its Winter Olympic diplomacy.

Loading enrichments...