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Book Review: Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry by Helen J. Lenskyj

After 30 years of engagement with the Olympic spectacle, Helen Jefferson Lenskyj presents disturbing findings in Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry (2013). The book could not have arrived at a better time. The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games garnered a plethora of media coverage proclaiming the success and the progress of women globally. Women’s sport activists, feminist advocates, and reporters writing for mainstream media outlets heralded the women of the US National Team for outnumbering the men in participation and medal count, and celebrated “pioneer” women from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Brunei who were competing for the first time (Brennan, 2012; Wharton, 2012). The status of women both in leadership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and in athletic participation needed improvement, the narrative suggested, but the message was clear: women have come a long way, and the Olympics have become a symbol of their success.