The 'caged torch procession': Celebrities, protesters and the 2008 Olympic torch relay in London, Paris and San Francisco

John Horne, Garry Whannel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Along with the opening and closing ceremonies, one of the major non-sports events associated with the modern Olympic Games is the torch relay. Although initiated in 1936, the relay has been subject to relatively little academic scrutiny. The events of April 2008 however will have cast a long shadow on the practice. This essay focuses primarily on one week (6-13 April) in the press coverage of the 2008 torch relay as the flame made its way from London to Paris in Europe and then to San Francisco in the USA. It discusses the interpretations offered in the mediated coverage about the relay, the Olympic Movement, the host city and the locations where the relay was taking place, and critically analyses the role of agencies, both for and against the Olympics, that framed the ensuing debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-770
Number of pages11
JournalSport in Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 7


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

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