The Olympics in China - the price of the medal

Photo: Philip/Flickr

Already, the forthcoming Olympic Games have become a media event without parallel, though probably not in the way the organisers had envisaged. Across the world, a discussion is now rolling on the relationship between sport and politics, between China and the West, and between gala ceremonies and human rights.

To qualify the public debate with facts and improve the understanding of the different interests involved, Play the Game invites you to the seminar:

“The Olympics in China: The Price of the Medal”


The seminar is held in partnership with the Danish Institute for Sports Studies and UPDATE, The Danish Journalism Development Institute. Danish and international experts are lining up to debate these main themes:

  • Introduction to China: On China’s historical relationship with the outside world; the rapid development process in modern China; unrest in Tibet; and freedom of speech, and other human rights
  • Elite sport’s global arms race: On the political and economic forces behind the massive gamble on Olympic gold in China, the world and Denmark
  • The Olympic Games and international politics: On the historical and political significance of the Olympic Games since 1896; the economic impact of the Olympic Games as a mega-event; and the challenges faced by the Olympic Games as a global media event
  • Freedom of speech under examination: On working conditions for journalists during the Olympic Games - can one produce good journalism in the hurly-burly of a mega-event and with deadlines around-the-clock? Who wins the battle over the Internet? What can bloggers from China and the sports world contribute with and how does freedom of speech look from a Chinese editing room?
  • Denmark and the debate: How has Denmark related itself through history to sport and international politics? Is there anything to gain from protest actions? What does critical dialogue mean in practice?

A full programme can be downloaded by clicking here


Confirmed speakers include:

  • Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels, Belgium
  • Lecturer Huan Xiong, Irish Institute of Chinese Studies, University College Cork, Ireland
  • Flemming Ytzen, Danish journalist and author, Politiken
  • Lecturer Søren Clausen, expert in Chinese history and Tibet, Department of East Asian Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Veerle De Bosscher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, who has analysed a number of national elite sport systems
  • Professor Harry Arne Solberg, Trondheim Business School, Norway, expert in the effect of mega-events and the economic interplay between television and sport
  • Lecturer Jørn Hansen, author of Olympic history books, University of Southern Denmark
  • Ida Relsted Kaerup, Master of Literature, who has recently returned to Denmark after two years as a journalist and editor for China Daily
  • Senior Analyst Rasmus K. Storm, Danish Institute for Sports Studies, who has recently completed an evaluation of Danish elite sports institution Team Danmark
  • Michael Andersen, Director of Team Danmark
  • Hans Bonde, Professor and Sports Historian, University of Copenhagen 

Additional information

A full conference programme will be confirmed in mid-May, and will be downloadable from the Play the Game homepage –
The seminar takes place at the Institute for Sport Science at the University of Aarhus, Dalgas Avenue 4, DK-8000 Aarhus C, on 3 – 4 June 2008.
The working language on 3 June is English, and interpretation between Nordic languages and English will be available on 4 June.
The fee of 2,950 Danish Kroner (396 euros) includes:
- Access to all sessions
- Lunch both days
- Coffee, tea, water, fruit etc. in breaks
- Conference materials
For an additional 400 DKK (54 euros) you can take part in the conference dinner at the cosy restaurant Bryggeriet in central Aarhus.
The organisers will assist in finding affordable hotels close to the venue.
The seminar is supported by the Institute for Sport Science at the University of Aarhus and by Sport Aarhus Events.
To register, please send the following information to Play the Game's Conference Manager, Maria Suurballe at
- First Name(s)
- Surname(s)
- Company
- Address
- Postal code
- City
- Country
- Office phone
- Mobile phone
When we have received your registration, you will soon receive further information regarding accommodation, ways of payment etc.
Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark and offers a variety of attractions in the fields of culture, nature and shopping. Both Aarhus and Billund airports are within easy reach of the conference venue, as is Copenhagen by train, aeroplane or coach. See more information on Aarhus and how to get there at
We look forward to seeing you in Aarhus.


- Play the Game, UPDATE, The Danish Institute of Sports Studies


The Danish Institute for Sports Studies

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