Olympic Games and values in disruption: The fundamental renewal of Coubertinian renewal seems necessary


  • Erik Rohde Institute of Sport Science, Technical University of Kaiserslautern


Rio Olympics 2016, ethics, media influence, newspaper content analysis, Pierre de Coubertin, Olympic legacy


The Olympic Movement (OM) is in an identity crisis. Recent Olympic Games (OG) in Sochi, Rio de Janeiro, and Pyeongchang have highlighted current problems, revealed grave violations of Coubertinian key values, and led to increased distrust among onlookers and observers. In the age of global networking, increasing media power, and digital transformation OM must renew itself as soon as possible from scratch, otherwise it threatens even greater damage to its image and an unprecedented break with the Olympic idea (OI). The media play a major role in the dissemination of information, the resulting opinion, and image shaping of today’s modern OG. Hence, the background coverage of three international high-quality newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), and The New York Times (NYT), was analyzed overall 127 days, before, during, and after Rio Summer Olympics, by using the method of qualitative content analysis and a special, developed analysis grid. The results rarely show positive newspaper representations and assessments on important subjects like, for instance, Brazilians as hosts, host city Rio de Janeiro, organization of OG, or International Olympic Committee (IOC). Specific Olympic values and basic principles, according to Coubertin, Lenk, or Olympic Charter, are marred in print media communication.

Author Biography

Erik Rohde, Institute of Sport Science, Technical University of Kaiserslautern

Erik Rohde is a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in the fields of sports, geography, and educational sciences, latter includes the areas psychology, pedagogy, and sociology. He completed his master’s degree at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK), Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Ensuingly, Mr. Rohde attended the Olympic Studies Research Group (GPEO) at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, performing further academic research on Olympic matters. For his master’s thesis The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 in the focus of representative newspapers from three countries he received the International Academic Award Pierre de Coubertin in 2018.






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