London 2012

How was it for us?



ISBN: 9781907103797 Categories: ,

Format: Paperback

Publication date: June 1, 2013

Page extent: 220

44 in stock

The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics was one of the biggest sporting events in the UK in our lifetimes. The memories of that summer of sport will remain with us forever, but what did those four weeks tell us about ourselves, our society’s values and its possibilities?

Read for free: Bob Gilbert, ‘Of Spectacle and Species’

This collection of critical reflections is not anti-Olympics nor against sport. The writers instead imaginatively address the reality of the Games’ impact, question what the ceremonies and Team GB represented, and deconstruct the organisers’ claims of economic regeneration and boosting participation. This an essential and exciting read for all who understand and appreciate that London 2012 meant something, but are unsure what. Contributors include world-class experts in Olympism, writers and journalists who reported on and were inspired by the Games, social and cultural critics, sports policy consultants and sport campaigners.

Contributors: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Barbara Bell, Billy Bragg, Ben Carrington, Anne Coddington, Gareth Edwards, Bob Gilbert, Eliane Glaser, David Howe, Kate Hughes, Suzanne Moore, Mark Perryman, Gavin Poynter, David Renton, Andrew Simms, Mark Steel, Alan Tomlinson, Zoe Williams.

Mark Perryman is the author of the widely acclaimed Why the Olympics Aren’t Good For Us And How They Can Be. During London 2012 he was a frequent media commentator on the politics of the Games. Mark is a Research Fellow in sport and leisure culture at the University of Brighton and author of a number of books on football, Englishness and national identity. He is also co-founder of the self-styled ‘sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’ aka

How was it For us? keynote essay
Mark Perryman, The good, The bad and the orbit
London 2012 Snapshot
Billy Bragg, The wonder stuff
The meaning of the London Games
Alan Tomlinson, The best Olympics never
Eliane Glaser, Fraud of the rings
Kate Hughes, The mythology of sport
London 2012 snapshot
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Wearing Team GB’s colours
The Power and Promise of 2012
Andrew Simms, Turning Super Saturdays into Happy Mondays
Ben Carrington, Streets of flames and summer games
Gavin Poynter, A postcard from Rio
London 2012 snapshot
Mark Steel, Dressage for the masses
The politics of Olympic Sport
P. David Howe, Supercrips, cyborgs and the unreal Paralympian
Zoe Williams, The Wiggo Effect
David Renton, The Meaning of Mo
London 2012 snapshot
Suzanne Moore, A utopian moment of beauty and becoming
Sport after 2012
Barbara Bell, From podium to park
Anne Coddington, Consumed by the Games
Gareth Edwards, We have nothing to lose but our medals
London 2013 snapshot
Bob Gilbert, Of spectacle and species
London 2012 reading and resources

The diversity of content and writing styles, view points and arguments makes this book a highly entertaining read.’
Lindsay Harris, LSE Review of Books

“Several years after the event it is useful to go back to look at the London 2012 extravaganza, to look closely at the unrealised promises of legacy and the increasing enclosure of the public space that was temporarily an Olympic space (yes, some of the venues are valuable; not so much the athletics stadium-turned-football-field). With a bit of distance the promises of London’s 3rd games look vacuous, even more so as Rio’s people make clear their games will not be welcome and as more and more cities withdraw from bidding campaigns under pressure from their citizens. These essays give us an insight into why these changes have come about and why they’re important.

What’s more, they are fine testament to the importance of the critical/sceptical fan.”