The Olympics: A Critical Reader represents a unique, critical guide to the definitive sporting mega-event and the wider phenomenon it represents - Olympism. Combining classic texts and thoughtful editorial discussion with challenging new pieces, including previously unseen material, the book systematically addresses the key questions in modern Olympism, including: what does studying Olympism entail? how do historical accounts create and challenge Olympic myths? how do different theoretical perspectives inform our understanding of Olympism? which socio-political processes influence personal, collective and imagined Olympic identities? how do we experience and make sense of Olympism? who owns Olympism and why does it matter? how do cities compete for and celebrate the Olympics? How are the Olympic values promoted? why is it important to protect the ethical principles and properties of Olympism? what are the grounds for contesting Olympism? how can Olympism be taught? how can the principles and practices of Olympism be sustained in the future? Each thematic part has been designed to include a range of views, including background treatment of an issue as well as critical scholarship, to ensure that students develop a well-rounded understanding of the Olympic phenomenon. The Olympics: A Critical Reader is essential reading for students of the Olympics and Olympism, the sociology of sport, sport management and cultural studies.