The Olympic Games date back over 2000 years, cost billions of pounds and attract global attention. In the run-up to the Olympics, the Knowledge Centre, the digital gateway to the University's world class expertise, brings us new perspectives on the rich and complex cultural phenomenon visiting London this year.
Opinions on international sporting events such as the Olympics range from the idealistic vision that sport can help to foster brotherhood amongst nations to George Orwell's rather more pessimistic view that it's merely "war minus the shooting". The archives shown here highlight some previous Olympic Games (both official and unofficial) and look at what can happen when political considerations enter international sport - from the fascism of 1936 Berlin to the Cold War controversies of Moscow in 1980.
Are Olympic competitors heroes or does it take more than athletic skill to be a hero? Can technologically-advanced athletes be heroes? As the London 2012 Olympics gets underway, Dr Angie Hobbs, from the Department of Philosophy, ponders the ethical and moral issues surrounding heroism and the Olympic Games.
In this audio podcast, Dr Zahra Newby explores what happened to Greek culture - in particular, athletics - when it came under the power of the Roman Empire, and how these sporting events compare to our idea of the modern Olympic Games. We also have an extract from Chapter Four of Dr Newby's book Athletics in the Ancient World (Classical World Series, Bristol Classical Press, 2006), which examines the origins of the athletic contests at Olympia.
The 2012 Olympics are drawing ever-closer, with excitement and hype building around the UK's biggest ever event. But, as with any large event, public safety issues have to be taken into account. What plans are in place by businesses for responding to a terrorist threat or attack on the event? Here, Dr Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor, WBS, outlines the research done by SOLAR at Warwick Business School, into strategic management implications of global terrorism.