IOC Culture and Olympic Education Forum : How do young people today see Art and Olympism?

Since Seoul 1998, our research group at the University of Mainz has examined, inter alia, how the ideas of Coubertin and the Olympic Games are reflected in the experience of young people.

In addition to the philosophical interpretation and educational application of Olympism, art, with its opportunities for “expressive symbolization”, is another of its essential elements. To what extent and how well this has been acknowledged has been the subject of little scientific analysis. Any discussion of the relationship between sport and culture has mostly been limited to the theory that sport is part of culture has mostly been limited to the theory that sport is part of culture or to a discussion of the similarities and differences between the two systems.

Sport itself has aesthetic qualities, which ensures closeness to artistic productions. Sportswear and equipment are becoming increasingly aestheticized. The experience of sports architecture and the opening and closing ceremonies on television or at the stadium is setting new cultural trends. By and large, each foreign visitor has a considered encounter with the culture of the Games’ organizers.

As regards the Cultural Olympiads themselves, however, there is often a blatant discrepancy during the sports festival between the high quality of events on offer and the low demand among the public.

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