cover of book

The Gold in the Rings: The People and Events That Transformed the Olympic Games
by Stephen R Wenn and Robert Barney
University of Illinois Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-0-252-04268-3 | Paper: 978-0-252-08452-2 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05153-1
Library of Congress Classification GV721.5
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.48

Once a showcase for amateur athletics, the Olympic Games have become a global entertainment colossus powered by corporate sponsorship and professional participation. Stephen R. Wenn and Robert K. Barney offer the inside story of this transformation by examining the far-sighted leadership and decision-making acumen of four International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidents: Avery Brundage, Lord Killanin, Juan Antonio Samaranch, and Jacques Rogge. Blending biography with historical storytelling, the authors explore the evolution of Olympic commercialism from Brundage's uneasy acceptance of television rights fees through the revenue generation strategies that followed the Salt Lake City bid scandal to the present day. Throughout, Wenn and Barney draw on their decades of studying Olympic history to dissect the personalities, conflicts, and controversies behind the Games' embrace of the business of spectacle.

Entertaining and expert, The Gold in the Rings maps the Olympics' course from paragon of purity to billion-dollar profits.

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