Title: Do the Youth Olympic Games have the potential to shift perceptions of Olympism? Evidence from young people's views on Olympic values

Authors: Nathalie Prüschenk; Markus Kurscheidt

Addresses: Department of Sport Governance and Event Management, Institute of Sport Science, University of Bayreuth, Germany ' Department of Sport Governance and Event Management, Institute of Sport Science, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Abstract: Spectator perceptions of Olympism are discussed in the literature as being dependent on the observed and experienced socio-political environment. For some time, however, the public debate on Olympic gigantism and related issues has been highly critical. By contrast, the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) represents a more modest event format launched primarily to feature young athletes. The YOG may therefore have greater potential to inspire youth and to more authentically revive the Olympic idea. Following social capital theory, this hypothesis is tested by logit regressions on data from an online survey in Germany conducted prior to the controversial Sochi Winter Games. While controlling for various confounders, it is shown, among other findings, that under-30-year-olds and value-oriented respondents tend to appreciate the YOG significantly more than other respondents. This result may represent an opportunity for the Olympic movement to foster Olympic values, particularly amongst youngsters.

Keywords: Youth Olympic Games; YOG; International Olympic Committee; IOC; spectator perception; social capital; Olympic education; Olympism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2017.087440

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2017 Vol.17 No.4/5/6, pp.351 - 380

Received: 27 Oct 2016
Accepted: 04 May 2017

Published online: 05 Oct 2017 *

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