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Olympic rings of peace? The Olympic movement peacemaking and intercultural understanding

This article examines the historical and contemporary links between Olympism and peacemaking. It traces the development of thought and praxis in relation to the Olympic movement’s aim and capacity to promote peaceful coexistence and intercultural understanding from the ancient Olympic Truce to the revival of the modern Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, to the current relationship between the Olympic movement and the United Nations peace agenda. The article highlights the perceived discrepancy between rhetoric and reality, and between theory and practice, as well as the persistent criticisms that have been levelled at the Olympic movement with regard to its peacemaking achievements. In so doing, it draws together the key issues and debates addressed in this collection of papers.