The production of Olympic champions: international perspectives on elite sport development systems

Oakley, Ben and Green, Michael (2001). The production of Olympic champions: international perspectives on elite sport development systems. European Journal for Sports Management pp. 83–105.

Abstract

The paper explores national elite sport development systems in Europe (UK, France, Spain), North America (Canada, USA) and Australia and discusses the move towards, and the applicability of, a homogeneous elite sport development model. Since 1990, and the dissolution and fragmentation of the former communist states, the use of elite sport development strategies and sport institute networks has increased. Using study visits, interviews and a comprehensive review of secondary sources the paper demonstrates similarities in national elite development strategies and accounts for any national differences. In support of this aim, the efficiency of the six selected countries in producing Olympic medals in relation to population size over the last four Olympiads is investigated and significant 'focusing events' for each country identified.

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