Wrestling with Uncertainty in Dakar’s Banlieue

Dakar’s aspiring wrestlers forge entrepreneurial career paths in an uncertain local economy. In the Senegalese capital of Dakar, the traditional sport of wrestling—known in Wolof as lamb ji—is a commercial spectacle, drawing huge crowds and attracting multinational sponsors.  In its continued transition from a village-based pastime to a modern urban phenomenon, wrestling has emerged as […]

The Olympic Future of Mixed Martial Arts

MMA offers a brutal competitive antidote to the cult of the passive spectator, writes D. S. Farrer The Olympics should embrace Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), the world’s fastest growing sport. MMA is a mainstream, modern, telegenic sport that reincarnates and exemplifies the ancient, brutal fighting spirit of the Games. Boosted by the reality TV series […]

Sport Mega-Events and Global Political Economy

Olympic Games have become the largest international diplomatic and corporate gatherings, write Susan Brownell and Niko Besnier. In May 2015, American and Swiss authorities swooped into the annual congress of the Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA), took seven soccer officials into custody, and launched an ongoing investigation into corruption in international soccer. Russia and […]

A Firm Foundation for Empowerment

Summer Olympics, Women, and the MENA region This August, the Summer Olympics will be hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. The games of the 31st Olympiad will attract athletes from a wide range of sports, cutting across cultures and geographies. Women athletes from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will participate in […]

The Straight Dope on Regulating Fair Play in Sport

Why do so many athletes seem to be cheating? Kathryn Henne delves into the rules surrounding doping and gender in sport.   Anxieties around cheating in sport seem to be everywhere. Even the golden girl of professional tennis, Maria Sharapova, has joined the growing list of elite athletes whose reputations have been tarnished by performance-enhancing […]