- Selling the Five Rings: The International Committee and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism by Robert K. Barney, Stephen R. Wenn, Scott G. Martyn (review)
- University of Toronto Quarterly
- University of Toronto Press
- Volume 73, Number 1, Winter 2003/04
- pp. 157-159
- View Citation
- Additional Information
humanities 157 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 reinforced traditional gender stereotypes as a way of promoting women=s sport? Do these columns reflect lived experience or the experiences their authors wanted to share with the public? What about alternative practices (e.g., homosexuality) that were not revealed? In Feminism and Sporting Bodies (1996), Hall outlines her theoretical stance as an advocate of feminist cultural studies and the importance of praxis, incorporating activism into academe. She notes that feminist scholarship should include women of colour and ethnicity and workingclass women, and also study categories such as disability, religion and sexual orientation. However, for all the talk that feminist cultural studies recognizes and incorporates diversity, this new book does little of this and Hall is left to observe that her political agenda >has not been easy to follow in this particular historical project.= The Girl and the Game is predominantly the story of white, middle-class women in organized sport. While there is some recognition of workingclass women, the evidence presented is also geographically skewed in favour of central Canada, particularly Toronto. And instead of opening new ground on areas of ethnic and immigrant sport, or perhaps acknowledging that neither women nor men are homogenous and that men may have suffered under the patriarchy she describes, Hall is left largely to summarize and synthesize arguments made elsewhere. Hall explains: >I have also applied a very broad brush in writing this story for no other reason than so little has been written before. It is important to develop the big picture and leave it to others to fill in the details through more specific studies.= However, this broad brush has been wielded before and much work has already been done to fill in the details. Hall is right in noting that much is left to be done, and her work on CAAWS and the 1980s furthers this project, but there is already considerable research on, for example, images of female athletes in the media. The Girl and the Game is to be commended for the scope of the task it sets out for itself B the stories of the nineteenth-century bicycling >craze,= the Edmonton Grads, and the All-American Girls= Professional Baseball League are all found in this volume B and it is to be recommended as the most comprehensive compilation to date of this important history. (RUSSELL FIELD) Robert K. Barney, Stephen R. Wenn, and Scott G. Martyn. Selling the Five Rings: The International Committee and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism University of Utah Press. xvi, 384. US $35.00 This book is the culmination of several years of extensive archival work at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters and the Olympic archives in Lausanne, Switzerland. The end result is an accessible book for a 158 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 range of readers: those seeking an account of the financial aspects of the modern Olympic movement and scholars seeking material to advance a more thorough sociological and philosophical critique of this global spectacle. Selling the Five Rings seeks to examine how the modern Olympic movement has been transported from a small entity since its inception in 1896 to what the authors cogently describe as a >commercial giant of imposing power and influence.= The authors provide a comprehensive documentation of the history of television and corporate sponsorship through primary source documents, including minutes of the IOC executive boards, general sessions, and various IOC subcommittees, and reports of key marketing agencies and commissions concerned with financial matters of the Olympic movement. Breaking new ground in their exhaustive narrative of the litany of decisions and events that have spelled financial success for the Olympic movement, the text is engaging if somewhat too detailed at various points. The book begins by highlighting both the impressive athletic and financial successes of the recent 2000 Sydney Olympics, but it tempers such achievements with the most damaging moment in the IOC=s over onehundred -year history: the 1998B99 IOC bribes-for-votes scandal. Detailing the commercial formulas employed for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, the authors lend insight into the...