Sporting Events, Image, and Identities in Contemporary Wales

John Harris


The hosting of major sporting events isincreasingly recognised as an important tool in the promotion and(re)presentation of nations across the world. This essay begins by considering the importance of sport in contemporary Wales and then looks at the images and identities of Wales and the Welsh that are portrayed in a range of sportingevents. For different reasons, Wales is not that visible in the world's two biggest sporting events but the nation has been far more prominent in recent editions of events staking a claim to the title of the third biggest sporting event in the world. Some of the problems and challenges in promoting a distinctand identifiable brand are outlined alongside an analysis of the cultural politics of sporting celebrity and the (re)presentation of place. Through casestudy discussions of some of the most prestigious sporting events in the world,it shows how different narratives of the nation appear and also considers howWelsh identities are also incorporated and/or hidden in larger British or European collectives.

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