Opening ceremonies of international sports events: the other face of the chinese spot power

Daniel Lemus Delgado

Journal: The International Journal of the History of Sport

Área del conocimiento: Ciencias Sociales - Ciencias Políticas


This paper analyzes the relationship between the opening ceremonies of international sports events and the building of a positive image of China. To do so, we draw on the concept of soft power, which establishes that one way in which states seek to achieve their goals in the international arena is through attraction rather than coercion. From this perspective, the construction of promedia images is one of the privileged means to deploy soft power. Thus, this paper examines the favourable projection of China’s image at inaugural ceremonies of international sports events. These images show China as a country heir to a millenary past and brilliant civilization, which aims to assist in the construction of a better future. The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of these events in the construction of a collective imaginary about what government elites establish regarding what China is and should be on the international stage.