Through Turbulence to Influence: China’s Olympic Journey in the Context of Globalisation and Nationalism

By Xiaoli Jiang.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the last 100 years China’s Olympic movement has been through turbulent times. Olympic sports were introduced into China during the colonial period via Western missionaries and schools. It has been part of the globalisation of China. However, China’s globalisation experiences in the 19th and early 20th centuries were largely painful encounters. Foreign invasions and subsequent unequal treaties brought social upheavals, financial losses and humiliations on both individual and national self-esteem. The development of Olympic sports followed a similar path. The economic reforms over the last 30 years have not only brought China out of financial poverty, but have facilitated China’s re-emergence in the Olympic Games. China rejoined the Olympics in 1984. For the first time in history, China broke its zero record in Olympic gold medal tally by winning fifteen gold medals in the Los Angeles Games. In 2008, Beijing hosted a spectacular Olympic Games and became Number one in the gold medal count. The paper will analyse this part of Chinese history and the motivation for China’s achievement in the Olympic Games. It will explain the reasons for China’s determination in modernising its Olympic sport sector from historical and cultural perspectives. The paper will reveal the system and processes that the Chinese government has put in place for the modernisation of sport in preparation for Olympic Games participation.

Keywords: China, Olympic Sports, Globalisation, Nationalism

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.37-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 876.497KB).

Dr. Xiaoli Jiang

Senior Lecturer and course coordinator of the Bachelor of Arts (International Studies), School of Behavioural & Social Sciences & Humanities, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Xiaoli Jiang has diverse research interests in the areas of global migration and culture change, cross-culture self-esteem, self-esteem and well-being of Asian migrants, and children’s self-esteem.