Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games Paperback – Jul 1 2008
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The shiny rings of the Olympic Games have grown tarnished over the years as doping, corruption and other scandals rise to the surface. Those scandals are the tip of the iceberg, according to author Christopher Shaw, the lead spokesperson for several anti-Games groups.
Five Ring Circus details the history of how Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Games, who was involved, and what the real motives were. It describes the role of corporate media in promoting the Games, the machinations of government and business, and the opposition that emerged.
Disturbing questions come to light:
- Why does the IOC pay no taxes?
- Who are the real estate developers behind the Vancouver bid?
- Why are mega projects paid for with tax dollars?
- What are the true costs of the Games?
The Olympic Games, once considered the pinnacle of athleticism and fair play, have become a cesspool of greed, backroom deals and the wholesale trampling of civil liberties. In Vancouver, preparations for the 2010 Games have had a substantial negative impact on the environment and has resulted in the "economic cleansing" of the poor and homeless.
This book is a cautionary tale for future Olympic bid cities, and will appeal to those concerned about the effects of globalization on many aspects of life.(2007-11-27)
About the Author
Christopher A. Shaw is a professor at the University of British Columbia. He is a founding member and lead spokesperson for the No Games 2010 Coalition and 2010 Watch.
Top Customer Reviews
While Chris Shaw is to be commended for the amount of research and effort he put into this book, I feel he shoots himself in the foot by being condescending to the point of slanderous in how he refers to people like John Furlong and Jack Poole, or how he discusses values like patriotism. To me the book would be much better with a good editor to insure that his important key arguments are not dismissed by the reader due to Shaw's lack of manners in describing people and aspects of our society that he doesn't like or agree with.
After experiencing the Games first hand, and after reading this book, I am willing to fight for cost accountability for the 2010 Games and to protest about future Games and the IOC -- but I would stick to the core issues of costs, sustainability, inclusivity, and IOC ethics. The anti-business "frame" of the author is not something I can embrace.
Despite my concerns, this book is a worthwhile read and presents point of views that we should hear more of in the mainstream media.
I have many misgivings about the Olympic Movement and believe that the IOC is one huge jet setting club for political elites and opportunists, however, when I read the statement quoted above I closed the book.
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