12 Pages

Olympic power, Olympic politics: Behind the scenes

As a secular initiative, the Olympic industry is arguably one of the most powerful as well as one of the most under-scrutinized business enterprises in the world. In critiquing the politics of the Olympic Movement-the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its subsidiary organizations-I use the term Olympic industry. My purpose is to challenge benign-sounding, pseudoreligious concepts such as Olympic Movement, Olympism, Olympic family and Olympic spirit-terms that promote mystique and elitism, while obscuring the power and profit motives that underlie all Olympic-related ventures (Lenskyj, 2000, 2002, 2008). Actual sporting competition represents the mere tip of the iceberg; largely hidden from public view until the bribery crisis of the late 1990s were the operations of IOC, Olympic sponsors, national Olympic committees (NOCs), bid committees, organizing committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), and international sporting federations (IFs).