• sport politics;
  • Olympic Games;
  • soft power;
  • leveraging;
  • legacies

Sport and politics have long been linked, but the Olympic Games represent the most political sports event of all. The following article focuses on two of the most important aspects of the Olympics (and sports ‘mega-events’ in general) that students of politics and international relations could make a major contribution towards: the use of the Olympics by states to showcase the host nation and the hoped-for ‘legacies’ that arise from them. Both aspects are, of course, interlinked: the ‘legacies’ are often put forward as the key rationale for the bidding for, and hosting of, the Olympics.