The observation that the Olympic Games are about much more than sport is a truism, yet one well worth reviewing as we anticipate the display scheduled for Beijing in the summer of 2008. As Hargreaves explains (1992), the Olympics represent a potent cultural resource with real implications for international relations and the domestic interests of nation-states. As the modern Games and their reach have grown ever bigger and grander, and also steadily more inclusive in terms of world regions, new nations, gender, race, and ethnicity; endeavors to make best use of Olympic resources also have grown more complex and contentious.