Short-lived fantasy or long-term legacy? 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and nation-building in South Korea

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Hoyoon Jung


It is argued theoretically and demonstrated empirically that mega-sporting events (MSEs) play a paramount role in promoting nation-building in the host countries. This study navigates the case of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics held in February 2018 in South Korea and examines the impact of this sporting event on nation-building. To this end, this article employed an online survey that was conducted three times at stated intervals in major Korean Web communities— January 2018 (one month before the Olympic Games), April 2018 (two months after the Olympic Games), and March 2019 (one year after the Olympic Games). This study suggests that, while the hosting of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics had truly accomplished nation-building effect, this was just a short-term fantasy rather than long-term legacy.

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