Portraying Britain's Past: English National Newspaper Coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Ceremonies

Published in The London Olympics and Urban Development: The Mega-Event City

Edited by Gavin Poynter, Valerie Viehoff and Yang Li.

Abingdon, UK: Routledge


This chapter examines how representations of Britain’s ‘imperial’ history continue to form an important part of contemporary mediated constructions of Britain. Specifically, this is explored in English national newspaper coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Ceremonies. Accordingly, while the English press served to frame Britain in relation to its imperial decline, the subsequent success of the Games revealed discourses that reflected, reinvented and reimagined Britain’s past within the present. Indeed, such findings are particularly relevant for exploring how historical significances are embedded in mediated constructions and (re)constructions of the nation during sporting mega-events.