Do the Youth Olympic Games have the potential to shift perceptions of Olympism ? : Evidence from young people's views on Olympic values / Nathalie Prüschenk, Markus Kurscheidt

Prüschenk, Nathalie | Kirscheidt, Markus

Spectator perceptions of Olympism are discussed in the literature as being dependent on the observed and experienced socio-political environment. For some time, however, the public debate on Olympic gigantism and related issues has been highly cri tical. By contrast, the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) represent a more modest event format launched primarily to feature young athletes. The YOG may therefore have greater potential to inspire youth and to more authentically revive the Olympic idea. Following social capital theory, this hypothesis is tested by logit regressions on data from an online survey in Germany conducted prior to the controversial Sochi Winter Games. While controlling for various confounders, it is shown, among other findings, that under-30-year-olds and value-oriented respondents tend to appreciate the YOG significantly more than other respondents. This result may represent an opportunity for the Olympic movement to foster Olympic values, particularly amongst youngsters.

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