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Tarnished Rings

The International Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake City Bid Scandal

Stephen Wenn is professor of kinesiology and physical education at Wilfrid Laurier University. Robert Barney is Professor Emeritus in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario. Scott Martyn is associate professor of human kinetics at

Publication Year: 2011

Based on extensive research and unparalleled access to primary source material, Tarnished Rings offers an in-depth look at the Salt Lake City Olympic bidding scandal and at the presidency of Juan Antionio Samaranch.

Published by: Syracuse University Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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p. vii


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p. ix

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pp. xi-xiii

All authors understand that while their names appear on the cover, the process involved in moving a book from an idea to a reality requires many hands. We are indebted to Steven Riess, the editor of the Sports and Entertainment series at Syracuse University...

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pp. xv-xxvii

On a late November evening in 1998, we journeyed to Montreal to put the finishing touches on the research for our first collaborative effort, Selling the Five Rings: The International Olympic Committee and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism. The next morning we convened...


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p. xxix

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1. The Man from Barcelona

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pp. 1-14

Labeled a “revolutionary” by his biographer, Juan Antonio Samaranch was elected as the seventh president of the IOC at a particularly challenging time in the history of the Olympic Movement.1 The political problems and traumas his immediate predecessor...

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2. A Gathering Storm

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pp. 15-34

It was the proverbial pebble tossed upon a calm, shimmering lake with its ripples extending seemingly endlessly. The disturbance in the Olympic world emanating from Salt Lake City in late November 1998 soon rolled over Lausanne, Sydney, Nagano, and other...

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3. Survival Mode

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pp. 35-55

On January 24, a phalanx of reporters and photographers greeted IOC Executive Board members when they entered the IOC’s Château de Vidy headquarters. Juan Antonio Samaranch and his colleagues understood the need for decisive action and the perilous...

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4. Two Days Lausanne Stood Still

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pp. 56-79

Beaten down by media criticism during the intervening three months, Juan Antonio Samaranch, members of the Executive Board, and the IOC’s key staff members prepared for the 108th Extraordinary IOC Session in March 1999. The Session offered...

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5. Managing the Crisis

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pp. 80-103

The tumult that defined IOC officials’ work environment for the past three months lessened in the wake of the 108th Extraordinary IOC Session. Moving forward, however, the crisis management roles served by the organization’s senior administrators were no less critical to the IOC’s efforts...

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6. Back from the Abyss

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pp. 104-124

Media coverage of the IOC and its activities improved in the wake of the 108th Extraordinary IOC Session in March, and the genesis of the IOC Ethics and 2000 Commissions secured some breathing room for the IOC to craft its reform proposals; however...

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7. Judgment Day(s)

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pp. 125-142

The sensational and scandalous revelations surrounding Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games resulted in wide public disbelief and embarrassed Olympic officials worldwide. When frantic finger-pointing subsided and investigations by several...

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8. Then and Now

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pp. 143-170

In March 1999, on the eve of the IOC’s 108th Extraordinary Session, Francisco Elizalde, IOC member from the Philippines, predicted a drawn-out struggle for the organization in its effort to establish a meaningful path for brand recovery...

Appendix: Salt Lake City Scandal Time Line, 1998–1999

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pp. 173-180


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pp. 181-244


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pp. 245-258


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pp. 259-273

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815650874
E-ISBN-10: 0815650876
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632900
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632908

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 11
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 770673568
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Tarnished Rings

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Salt Lake City Bid Committee for the Olympic Winter Games, 2002.
  • Olympics -- Corrupt practices.
  • International Olympic Committee.
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