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In The Pool, On Ice: Contested Terrain

Feb 3, 2014  - Helen Jefferson Lenskyj

Editors note: For any fan of the Olympic Games, Helen Jefferson Lenskyj's body of work is a must read. A retired University of Toronto Sociology and Equity Professor, Lenskyj reveals the dark side of the “Olympic Industry.” Her most recent publications include The Palgrave Handbook of Olympic Studies and Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry. Lenskyj never shies from controversy. Her latest book, Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics: No More Rainbows delves deeper than any mainstream media piece on LGBT athletes and Russia's human rights abuses, examining Russia’s 2013 anti-gay laws and their implications for the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Her work continues to be a source of both reference and inspiration for SwimNews' editorial work.
No More Rainbows

In 2012 I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Dryden for my 2013 book, Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry and her account of experiences as a young swimmer and as a human rights advocate provided invaluable insights. Because swimming is one of my favourite activities, I decided to write a chapter about it, titled “In the pool, on the ice: contested terrain.” With a focus on gender, race and sexuality, I review the history of Olympic swimming since the early 1900s, developments in swimsuits, problems of sexploitation and abuse, and other contemporary issues.

Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics: No More Rainbows is the title of my latest book, which is available February 7 in hardcover, eBook and PDF, and again, Nikki agreed to be interviewed. Of course, there will be no swimming events in Sochi, but human rights, specifically those of sexual minorities, remain a key concern. In the book, I demonstrate how Putin’s Russia and the IOC are well matched, sharing features such as undemocratic governance, fraudulent voting processes, hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy in leadership, homophobia, lesbian/gay invisibility, and promotion of ‘sport-as-special’ propaganda.

To purchase your hard cover copy, use this promo code XP356ED to get 20% off individual orders by emailing sales@palgrave-usa.com in the US and Canada. For eBook details visit the Palgrave website.