The Olympic economy in China: a study of the Beijing Olympic games

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis



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The Olympic Games is the biggest mega sport event in the world. With its commercialisation and development since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the Olympic Games can potentially have a significant economic impact on the host nation. Although the Olympic economy has come to research attention recently, few researchers have focused on the economic impact of the Beijing Olympic Games. This thesis explores three research questions. First, it discusses what the Olympic economy is about. Second, it explores how the Olympic economy was reflected through the Beijing Olympic Games in China. Third, it examines in what ways the Chinese economy was affected by the Olympic economy, and vice versa.

The Beijing Olympic Games and the development of the Chinese economy have an inseparable relationship. Under the economic reform and opening up policy which was initiated in 1978, the Chinese economy has developed rapidly with a constantly increasing GDP. Meanwhile, the economic reform has led to the reform of Chinese sport both in policy and practice. The economic and sport reformations are still an onOgoing process with unique Chinese characteristics. This thesis examines the complexity of the relationship between China’s economic growth and the ambition to host the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, and also the economic legacy of the Beijing Olympic Games and its impact on China’s rise to an economic and political power in the world in the 21st century. This original research will contribute to the field of Olympic studies in China and the study of the Olympic economy internationally.

This research adopted a qualitative methodological approach with the background of the Olympic Games, Chinese economy and Chinese sport. Research data were collected from a number of sources, including documents and interviews. Data analysis was carried out in Chapters Four, Five and Six. The conclusion refines the outcome, the contribution and the potential future directions of this research.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2016

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