The 1952 and 1994 Olympic flames: Norway’s quest for Winter Olympic identity
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonInternational Journal of the History of Sport. 2021, 38(13-14), Side 1440-1458. 10.1080/09523367.2021.1984893
On two occasions, in 1952 and 1994, the Olympic Winter Games were entrusted to Norwegian organizers. As the only Nordic country to have hosted winter Olympics, the organizers of both games presented a version of the Olympic Winter Games and their increasingly fundamental and sacred symbols, which were not always in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) official interpretation, nor the international public’s understandings of these symbols, their origin, and meaning. For the 1952 winter games, Norway developed an original, separate winter Olympic flame and torch relay. Both the flame and torch relay exemplify specific Norwegian nation building, based on national sporting and cultural traditions, but also the importance of cultural invented symbols in sport, and the challenges that arise when national interpretations and expressions meet international interpretations. Myths and interpretations of the significance of the Norwegian hamlet of Morgedal in Telemark within skiing history challenged the IOC’s preferred Olympic flame protocols at both the Oslo 1952 and Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
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