Introduction: What makes a Sporting Icon?

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Sport has long been a powerful constituent of collective identity and asource of national pride and efficacy. It remains a central component inthe making of nations (and their imagining) and is pertinent to theredefinition of shared identities around the world. Crucial in this regardare exceptional individuals, many but not all human,1 who become iconicfigures and in many ways ‘speak for’ a collective, and who can representand even embody it.2 In other ways sporting icons, that is to sayindividuals that epitomize something truly outstanding through theirsporting prominence and successes, exist in the vanguard of evolution andcan, through their embodied practices, often blaze a trail for others tofollow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-426
JournalSport in History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Nov 2013


  • Sporting Icons
  • History
  • Politics


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