With less than a week to go to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, the integrity of sport and competition hangs by a thread. Every day, new information surrounding the developing Russian doping scandal emerges. President Vladimir Putin has remained steadfast in defence of his athletes and government while the whole debacle is getting uglier and more political as it progresses. In light of this, CONQA Sport takes a look at the relationship between sport and politics, and more specifically, war. For make no mistake, this is a 21st century imperial march on sport, and indeed, the world.
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The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is less than 150 days away. Thousands of athletes from an expected 206 countries will be competing on the biggest stage in world sport. All will be representing their nation and people - All except one team made up entirely of refugees and displaced people. Team Refugee Olympic Athletes will not represent any government but rather the 60 million people around the world who do not have a country to call home. Extraordinary as this is, this team is the embodiment of the original Olympic ideal.
What if the next global superstar is playing the wrong sport? How many world champions and gold medallists were saved by switching codes? Talent transfer, or talent recycling, is when an athlete abandons their primary sport for another in the pursuit of new challenges and glory. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is the world’s leader when it comes to talent transfer and they, along with adaptable coaches and athletes, ensure Australia remains a global sporting powerhouse.
There’s nothing like sport to get one’s emotions soaring. Nothing compares to the thrills you feel when your team secures a dramatic victory or the agony of watching the athletes you love fail to reach their potential. Elite sports teams know this and now tap into that emotion by building a brand and an ideology that transcends the borders of the field of play. Fan engagement means so much more than merely rolling out a colourful banner and building positive brand equity could prove the difference between a successful season and another mediocre one. CONQA Sport explores how off-field marketing can drive on-field performance.
Every day, scientific breakthroughs change the world we live in and the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to stay ahead of the ever steepening curve. Elite sport is a cutthroat and competitive environment where only the best survive. As a result, sports technology is proving to be the difference in many close contests. CONQA Sport speaks to Mounir Zok, the Senior Sports Technologist at the Unites States Olympic Committee (USOC), and finds out that it is still the human element that ensures success in a world hurtling towards to the future.
It’s hard to imagine that the United States of America spends less money on any sport compared to their direct competition, but that is the case for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). Luke Bodensteiner, the Executive Vice President of Athletics for the association, explains how his unique program implementation ensures his athletes win as many medals as possible, for the least amount of money.