The representative examples and resources analysed in this book are drawn from 30 years of French sport, from the mid-1980s to the present day, with the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984 considered a pivotal moment in the global evolution of sport as practice and spectacle. In France, this event marked a shift in attitudes towards professional sports as the American model of structuring, financing and mediatising sports became increasingly influential, subsequently facilitated by numerous other factors including deeper European integration and the fall of the Soviet Union. Domestically, 1984 is also remembered in sporting circles for the landmark success of the French ‘rainbow nation squad’ in football’s European Championship, and the creation of a new television channel, Canal+, that invested heavily in sport. These factors combined to make the mid-1980s a watershed in the development of the sporting landscape in France, the impact of which resonates to the present day. This book ends its study in 2017 with the presidential elections of that year marking a profound shift in the politics of the Fifth Republic and with Paris’s nomination as host of the 2024 Olympics set to henceforth dominate the future evolution of France’s sporting landscape.
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