Citizen participation in the Olympic Games, Roy Panagiotopoulou
This paper presents the opportunities of the indirect participation of individuals in the Olympic Games; a unique athletic event based not only on specific ideals, but it also carries on a movement and foresees the participation of different groups of people. The volunteers have proven the most consisted and devoted disseminators of the Olympic ideals. Since the beginning of the 1980s, one notes the stable and increasing offer of volunteerism in the Olympic Games and later the participation in the torch relay. This tendency causes a series of organizational concerns and obligations (i.e., training, information, venue distribution and transportation of volunteers, issues of security, etc), that in each organization are confronted with respect to the local needs and conditions. Moreover, the number of TV viewers has increased from one Olympiad to another. The second part of this paper is focused on the participation of the volunteers, the torchbearers and the Athenians in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. It also describes the global viewership of the Olympic Games of 2004.
Dr Roy Panagiotopoulou is Professor in sociology at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Athens. Her research interests on the Olympics focus on media planning of the Games, content analysis of Olympic ceremonies broadcasting and volunteerism, with special attention to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. She has participated in many conferences and has published numerous articles. She is the author of the book Communication in Organizations” (Kritiki 1997 in Greek), Television Stations outside Athens. Regional and Local Television in Greece (Kastaniotis 2004), and she is the editor of the books The ‘Construction’ of Reality and the Mass Media (Alexandria 1998 in Greek), Digital Challenge: Media and Democracy (2003) and Globalization and Modern Society (2003).