Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Conceptualising L’Space Olympique: Tokyo 2020 Olympic education in thought, production and action

Kohe, Geoffery Z., Aramaki, Ai, Sekine, Masami, Masumoto, Naofumi, Hsu, Leo (2021) Conceptualising L’Space Olympique: Tokyo 2020 Olympic education in thought, production and action. Educational Review, . ISSN 1465-3397. (doi:10.1080/00131911.2021.1874308) (KAR id:85373)


Perennial iterations of Olympic Games, and the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) contractual obligations upon host cities, have prompted development of wide-ranging educational initiatives. Such initiatives draw on the moral idealism of Olympism underpinning the IOC and focus on sport and Physical Education (and other subject areas) as sites in which to teach personal responsibility, social values and civil responsibility. Pedagogical virtues notwithstanding, Olympic education development also serves to illustrate domestic and State acquiescence to the IOC’s political imperative to be a leading educational protagonist. Delivery of Olympic education, however, is complex and requires considerable ideological and practical synergies between institutions at international, national and local levels. Yet, institutional coalescence, mutually beneficial partnerships and meaningful experiences for end-users cannot be guaranteed. Accordingly, and furthering scholarly criticism, greater interrogation of Olympic education stakeholder relations is warranted. In this article, we employ a spatial theoretical perspective utilising the work of Henri Lefebvre to provide a means to understand educational stakeholders’ connections and activities related to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Drawing primarily on key stakeholders’ network activity, and examinations of Yoi, Don! (Tokyo2020’s flagship project), we present a case study of Olympic education spatial arrangements. In doing so, we conceptualise L’Space Olympique; a dynamic site in which Olympic thought attracts distinct stakeholder alliances, produces specific educational modes, and dictates certain forms of participatory action. While aspects of the educational output may be considered merit worthy, critique of Tokyo2020 space reveals ideological incongruities, stakeholder tensions, privileged production forms, and unquestioned consumption and compliance.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00131911.2021.1874308
Uncontrolled keywords: Olympic education, Tokyo 2020, Japan, Lefebvre, space
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Geoffery Kohe
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 10:12 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.