Securing the Olympics: at what price?

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This study considers the ever-increasing preoccupation those countries hosting megasportsevents have with implementing security and counter-terrorism measures and the consequences of this upon the civil liberties of their citizens. From the seminal, andundoubtedly tragic, events of the Munich Olympics in 1972 until the most recentterrorist attack witnessed at a major sporting event – that which marred the close of theBoston marathon held in April 2013 – this piece reflects upon the full extent of theimpact that counter-terrorism measures have had upon the activities of wider society,including the creation of an abnormal host environment prior to and during the sportingspectacle, not to mention its legacy long after the event in question has moved on to itsnext destination. It suggests that there is a very real danger that mega-sports eventscreate a convenient context within which the impositions of security measures, whichare only marginally justifiable in the context of the event in question, continue to beunquestioningly implemented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSport in Society
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2012


  • Sport
  • Security
  • Terrorism
  • Olympics


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