Building a Wall Against Refugees: The Refugee Olympic Team & American Politics

Authors: Travis Scheadler, Alan Ledford, Ph.D.

Corresponding Authors:
Travis Scheadler
(937) 751-5799
6811 Oakland Rd
Loveland, OH 45140
Wilmington College

Alan Ledford, Ph.D.
(937) 481-2253
1870 Quaker Way
Pyle Box 1246
Wilmington, OH 45177
Wilmington College

Building a Wall: The Refugee Olympic Team & American Politics

In 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that 10 athletes would make up the new Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. The IOC formed the ROT to increase awareness for the refugee crisis and improve attitudes towards refugees. Google provided evidence that searches for “refugee” and other similar terms and phrases skyrocketed during the Olympic Games. The present study investigates the effect of the ROT on attitudes towards refugees. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) analyzed the effects of the ROT and attendance at a refugee awareness event while another one-way MANOVA analyzed the effects of the Travel Ban. The lack of significant results stemming from the ROT media intervention may indicate that the ROT was not effective in changing attitudes towards refugees. Media toward the Travel Ban and the U.S. presidential election in 2016, however, may have had an impact as support for the Travel Ban was significantly related to prejudice, symbolic threat, realistic threat, empathy, and altruism. Although the ROT was meant to counteract negative media, the negative media may have been framed as more important than the ROT. These findings provide important data for further sport-for-peace interventions.

2018-06-06T08:51:16+00:00July 12th, 2018|Contemporary Sports Issues, Olympics|Comments Off on Building a Wall Against Refugees: The Refugee Olympic Team & American Politics

Great British Athletes’ Perceptions of Competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Author: Rachel Kent*

*Corresponding Author Address:
Rachel kent

To review Great British (GB) athletes’ perceptions of home court advantage and competing ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted. The seven topics discussed in the interview were based on previous research. Five female GB Olympic sprinters were interviewed at their training facility in West London as they trained for the 2012 Olympic Games. Athlete responses were coded into categories then analysed using phenomenological analysis.

Athletes had a range of reasons why they believed they had a ‘home advantage.’ All athletes agreed that media representation could be good if media was positive but was bad when the media coverage was negative. Athletes reported a range of expectations some expressing high expectations and associated higher levels of performance anxiety. Athletes reporting lower levels of expectations had lower levels of performance anxiety. Athletes reported different sources of expectations and the significance of the source to them and their anxiety. The implications of the research findings suggest recommendations for media and sponsors, coaches, family, and friends to help provide the athletes with the optimum levels of unconditional support to aid in performance and prevent pressure, stress and pre-competitive anxiety.

KEYWORDS: Olympic Games, Olympics, Home Court Advantage, Expectancy Theory, Self-fulfilling prophecy, Media bias, Athletes, Phenomenological Analysis


2016-06-10T12:03:34+00:00June 10th, 2016|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Great British Athletes’ Perceptions of Competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Olympic Sports of the Future

Authors: Dr. Ray Stefani*(1)

(1) Dr. Ray Stefani is a Professor Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. Ray Stefani
25032 Via Del Rio
Lake Forest, CA, 92630

This paper explores possible future Olympic sports by examining the past. The ancient Olympic Games began in 776 BC with just one running event. Over the centuries, five more Track and Field (Athletics) events were added as well as four other sports with 22 events. These new sports kept the Olympics relevant to the times and interesting enough that the Games survived until 277 AD, At least two emperors competed and became Olympic champions. During the modern Olympic Games though 1992, organizers provided flair by adding non-medal demonstration sports, albeit in a rather haphazard manner, some of which became permanent sports. As the number of events rose to fill the available time period of both the Summer and Winter Olympics, a rather rigid system was used to limit the number of sports. That system had less-than-ideal success in adding new sports, which had to be at the expense of deleting older sports. The International Olympic Committee recently enacted Olympic Agenda 2020, which includes a much more flexible system for adding new sports. Under control of the International Olympic Committee Executive Board, an organizing Committee may request to add medal sports for that Games and that same IOC Committee can add new sports permanently, by modifying the number of events, without necessarily dropping existing sports. This paper examines the recent request by the 2020 Tokyo Organizing Committee as well the complete list of recognized sports from which new sports must be drawn, to gauge the possible types of future Olympic sports.

Keywords: Olympics, Ancient Olympics, recreational sports, future Olympic sports, official Olympic sports, recognized Olympic sports

2016-03-30T10:00:30+00:00March 30th, 2016|Contemporary Sports Issues, Olympics, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Olympic Sports of the Future

Michel Bréal (1832-1915) – The Man Behind the Idea of the Marathon

Submitted by Norbert Müller, Professor Emeritus

Born 175 years ago in Landau, Palatinate, Michel Bréal is typically known as an outstanding linguist among experts – this is also indicated on the memorial plate at his birth place. This contribution, however, shows another Bréal: the man who provided the inspiration for the Olympic marathon in Athens 1896. Based on letters between Bréal and Pierre de Coubertin, who set up the Olympic Games by founding the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, the article traces the steps from the conceptualisation of the marathon to the first race in Athens in 1896.

KEYWORDS:Olympics, IOC, Marathon, Pierre de Coubertin

2015-11-05T08:30:24+00:00November 5th, 2015|Olympics|Comments Off on Michel Bréal (1832-1915) – The Man Behind the Idea of the Marathon

Sartrean Ethics and Sport for Development and Peace Programs

Submitted by Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is a graduate student in sport studies at the United States Sports Academy and currently resides in Grand Rapids, MI.


The United Nations recently declared the first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in recognition of “the power of sport to erase cultural barriers and mobilize people around the world” (9). Unfortunately, while many organizations recognize the ethical neutrality of sport in name, this is often functionally forgotten as sport is co-opted for use by other programs. This paper aims to briefly outline this functional issue by observing the cognitive dissonance within the UN’s statement and its characterization of the Olympics and World Cup events as archetypes of sport for development and peace programs. It will briefly examine this dissonance through the lens of a Sartrean ethic of ambiguity and recast the Olympic and World Cup events as archetypes of cultural hegemony. Finally, it will be suggested that until this dissonance is reconciled, SDP’s will suffer from “inauthenticity,” severely hampering the program’s ability to achieve stated development and peace goals, jeopardizing the “survival of sport as a noble human enterprise” (Morgan, 1976 p. 93) and turning it into a “mere vehicle for the exploitation of man’s own self interests” (Morgan, 1976 p. 91).


2017-04-18T08:56:48+00:00July 17th, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Sartrean Ethics and Sport for Development and Peace Programs