Thomas M. Hunt, J.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also holds an appointment as Assistant Director for Academic Affairs at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. As a faculty member in the Sport Management and Physical Culture and Sports programs at UT, he teaches classes in sport history, sport law, and sport and international relations. He is the author of Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping, 1960-2008 and co-editor of A Global History of Doping in Sport: Drugs, Policy, and Politics.
Lackluster participation in the bidding for the rights to the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games underscores the fact that, from a financial perspective, mega sporting events rarely work out well for the metropolises in which they're held.
As the Russian people grumbled about footing the $50 billion Sochi Olympics bill, Vladimir Putin made the decision to intervene in Crimea. A blossoming of nationalistic fervor followed.
Sports test the limits of the human body and spirit -- and, in some cases, international rules and norms. And the West has been a convenient boogeyman for Russia, a country that has not been shy about testing the boundaries of international rules — whether in sports or geopolitics.
Basketball is the most popular sport in China. The history of how it came to be so is a novel bit of trivia, but it also underscores something about the nature of sports as a fundamentally human undertaking -- one that can be interpreted to support any number of ideologies, used to foster peace and understanding, or wielded to foment difference and conflict. Thus, the way we see it, sports are fundamentally geopolitical.