Elder, Catriona, Pratt, Angela and Ellis, Cath (2006) Running Race: Reconciliation, Nationalism and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 41 (2). pp. 181-200. ISSN 1012-6902

This article examines how the idea of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians became entwined with the Sydney 2000 Olympics. It does this by undertaking a critical reading of media stories on the twin issues of Cathy Freeman’s 400 m race, and the fear of Indigenous protest disrupting the games. We argue the Olympic Games helped to reinforce a discourse of reconciliation that best suited non-Indigenous peoples, and that the Games came to be represented as the space where reconciliation could and should take place. We argue that, in combination with nationalist stories, the impending Olympic Games were deployed as a way of disciplining Indigenous people and maintaining a particularly conservative understanding of reconciliation; one that did little to change the unequal power relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

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