UK Web Archive blog

6 posts categorized "Olympics"

01 September 2021

Web Archive Summer of Sport Roundup

By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, British Library

If you like sport then this summer will have been a fantastic time for you. There has been the Football European Cup, Olympics and Paralympics, Tour de France, Wimbledon and many others.

Over the last few months, we in the UK Web Archive, have attempted to show off some of the sport that we collect and have archived for future generations. Let's look back at the wonderful  #WebArchiveSummerOfSport

Alternative Sports in the UK Web Archive - Part 1

Cheese Rolling, Bog Snorkeling, Conkers and The Chap Olympiad, just some of the more unique 'sports' we have collected.

Cheese rolling champs website

Football Associations in the UK Web Archive

The organisations that run football and are in charge of the respective home nation teams. Scotland, Wales and England all competed in this years European Cup.

Welsh FA website

Scottish Sport in the UK Web Archive

We teamed up with colleagues from the National Library of Scotland looking at particularly Scottish sports that have made their way into the archive. Shinty, Highland Games and Curling?

Highlandgametraditions

Alternative Sports in the UK Web Archive - Part 2

Grass roots sport such as open water swimming, hiking, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding have made it into the web archive too.

Peter pan cup londonist website

London’s Olympic Legacy: Local, National and International Aspirations

Legacy is a much talked about aspect of hosting an Olympic games, here Phd researcher Caio Mello looks back at the London 2012 games.

Aquatics centre

London 2012 Paralympics in the UK Web Archive

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games were an incredible time in the national consciousness. The Paralympic games in particular felt special and here we highlight just some of the websites that were collected.

GB Wheelchair rugby website

We hope you enjoyed this series on sport? Do let us know through twitter if there are future topics you would like us to cover?

24 August 2021

London 2012 Paralympics in the UK Web Archive

By Jason Webber, Web Archive Engagement Manager, British Library

"Our greatest of days witnessed through disbelieving eyes

AND that was that, a summer like no other now consigned to the pages of history. A cherished memory of endless days and golden glory witnessed through often disbelieving eyes."

Paralympics-01

More than the Games website - 2012

The London 2012 Paralympic Games was, then as now, seen as a great success and a new milestone for for how disability is viewed by the wider public. Channel Four made the iconic advert 'Meet the Superhumans' that arguably created a distinct and positive tone leading into the games. They also broadcast an unprecedented (at that time) 150 hours of Paralympic sport.

The term 'superhuman' is seen by some as controversial and problematic and it is notable that the slogan for the 2016 games were changed to 'Yes I can'.  Language around disability can often be complicated, as words and phrases used historically are now considered offensive.  Additionally words or phrases intended to convey a positive message can sometimes be misguided and have a negative impact.  Particularly if thought of by someone without the lived experience of a disability.

Paralympics-02

Official website of the Paralympic Movement - 2012

What is undeniable, however, is the success of the sporting event itself. 'Team GB' won 34 Gold medals and 120 in total. Athletes Sarah Storey and David Weir each won 4 Gold in Swimming and Athletics respectively. Great Britain ended third in the medal table, a fantastic achievement.

The UK Web Archive extensively collected websites for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games collection that now represent a superb resource of this key time in modern history. The collection holds nearly 500 target websites, the vast majority of which can be viewed anywhere online.

Paralympics-03

Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby - 2012

Paralympics-04

British Disabled Fencing Association - 2012

Do you know of UK Paralympic athletes and sports for the Tokyo 2020 games? Nominate here.

08 July 2021

London’s Olympic Legacy: Local, National and International Aspirations

By Caio Mello, Doctoral Researcher at the School of Advanced Study, University of London

For two years, I have been studying the media coverage of London and Rio’s Olympic legacies. See the previous posts, where I explained the project’s main objective of understanding and conceptualizing the meaning of the word legacy based on the news coverage of the Games. I have also written about how controversial the word 'legacy' can be once it is a term under dispute by several actors in the political arena. In the most recent post, I introduced the use of SHINE as a platform for exploratory analysis of news events and I briefly described how it was a useful tool for my research project.

Olympic Aquatic centre, London

The Approach
In this post, I aim to discuss the different approaches taken by news organisations, government websites and activist blogs to the legacy of the London Olympics. Although my initial interest was mainly focused on understanding the journalistic framing of legacy, looking at other sources has proved to be beneficial in a comparative perspective. For this purpose, I searched for articles on ‘Olympic legacy London’ via SHINE and selected, among the 10 domains provided by the platform, three news websites (bbc.co.uk, guardian.co.uk and independent.co.uk), one official government website (uksport.gov.uk) and one activist blog (gamesmonitor.org.uk).

The Research
Texts were collected, processed, cleaned and filtered using Python scripts and combined with articles extracted from the live web. The data was ranked and the top 50 bigrams (co-occurrence of two words) mentioned in the texts were transferred to a spreadsheet using the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) - a suite of Python libraries for linguistic analysis. The list of trends was then used in a first distant reading to give a sense of the most discussed topics and then combined later on with a more qualitative approach of close reading for a deep understanding of context.

Bigram

Findings
These bigrams have revealed a significant difference in the way the Olympic legacy of London was approached by different sources from 2004 to 2020. Among the most cited bigrams by news publishers are ‘young people’ and ‘school sport’, both referring to the promises included in the legacy plan of London published in 2008 by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). Promises number 1 and 3, entitled ‘making the UK a world-leading sporting nation’ and ‘inspiring a generation of young people’, included the engagement of young people in physical activities by increasing the offer of high-quality sports. The drop in the number of 16 to 25-year-olds playing sport after the games was one of the main topics highlighted by the media.

While both ‘young people’ and ‘school sport’ are a response to the legacy plan published by the DCMS, the most mentioned bigram in the list of texts analysed did not receive much attention in the document: ‘west ham’.

The destiny of the Olympic Stadium became one of the most controversial events around the Olympic legacy of London. Initially, the disagreement on whether it should remain as an athletics venue or be handed over to West Ham United drew the attention of the media with important voices like the Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone supporting the opposition against the football club. The dispute between West Ham and Tottenham for the Olympic Stadium and the threat of becoming a ‘white elephant’ - a recurrent fear in recent Olympic history shed light on the place as a symbol of London’s Olympic legacy.

The media coverage of London’s legacy contrasts with the much more abstract and broader bigram found in the texts published by the British government: ‘international inspiration’. Articles published by uksport.gov.uk have revealed as focused mainly on The International Inspiration programme, a project to promote sports in ‘some of the most disadvantaged communities in the world’. While the media seemed to be looking for internal issues, the government was targeting international audiences. The choice of the word ‘inspiration’ references a much more immaterial and abstract idea of legacy that contrasts with the very concrete discussion around the Olympic Stadium hosted by the media.

Looking at the bigrams obtained from activist blogs, the concerns are shown to have been more local, targeting primarily challenges faced by citizens of East London. Among the main bigrams are ‘Stratford City’, ‘new jobs’ and ‘public housing’. The community-focused approach highlights a significant discrepancy between the framing of the event. These are preliminary steps to understand the multiple ways in which London’s legacy has been understood and narrated. The different perspectives indicate a distance between immediate public interest and government official communication regarding the most important sporting event in the world.

The Summer Olympic Games are hosted every four years by a different global city bringing together its promises to be an urban development catalyst and also the past events frustrations. Understanding the communication processes around the Olympics is fundamental for the future planning of effective legacies that correspond to the interests of the nations’ citizens.

*This post summarizes the preliminary results presented in my talk at ‘Documenting the Olympics and the Paralympics’, an event organised and hosted by the British Library in collaboration with the British Society of Sports History (BSSH), the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University (ICSHC) and the School of Advanced Study (SAS).

**This research is part of the CLEOPATRA Innovative Training Network, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It has been conducted under a PhD developed at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. For more information: cleopatra-project.eu.

10 August 2020

Going for gold: exploring Olympic & Paralympic resources

By Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives, The British Library

 

BL Olympics website 2012
Screenshot of the British Library website related to social science research and the Olympics/Paralympics during London 2012 https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/en/archive/20120724080955/http://www.bl.uk/sportandsociety/index.html

 

Originally, Sunday 9th August, 2020 would have been the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and we would have been waiting for the start of the Paralympics. However due to the coronavirus pandemic most events big and small were either cancelled, went online or were postponed till 2021. Even though Tokyo 2020 was postponed until 2021, the symposium Documenting the Olympics & Paralympics, which was supposed to be a full day face-to-face event, went online. The event was a much shorter panel session, held via Zoom on the 19th June, 2020.

This was a collaboration between the British Library, the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) at De Montfort University, and the British Society of Sports History (BSSH).

The event was organised not only because 2020 was supposed to be an Olympic and Paralympic year, but also because the UK Web Archive team at the British Library were celebrating two significant anniversaries. It is 15 years since the UK Web Archive was founded. It is also 10 years since the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) started Olympic and Paralympic collaborative web archive collections.

 

Presentations:

Laura Alexandra Brown, Northumbria University - The heritage of the Games: Interpreting urban change in Olympic host cities

Heather Dichter, De Montfort University - Finding Olympic history in non-sport archives

Robert McNicol, Librarian, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum - Researching the Olympics/Paralympics at Wimbledon

Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives, British Library - Preserving the Olympics/Paralympics online

 

Summary:

A broad mix of physical, digitised and born digital resources were covered in the presentations. You can listen back to an audio recording of this symposium on the Sport in History Podcast. While the full abstracts and some of the PowerPoint slides are available on the British Library Research Repository. The official hashtag for the event on Twitter was, #ResearchingTheGames where you can catch up with the online discussions.

Laura Alexandra Brown from Northumbria University, discussed her experience of using archives in her research that primarily relates to architectural design and reuse from the perspective of the Olympic Games.

Heather Dichter from De Montfort University, discussed her experience of using non-sporting archives to research international sport and diplomacy. The aim of this presentation was to highlight to researchers that valuable resources can be also found in non-sporting archives as well as for archivists so that they can help researchers.

Robert McNicol the Librarian at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, reviewed the history of Wimbledon and the Olympics as well as discussed their collection policy around past and future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Helena Byrne the Curator of Web Archives at the British Library, discussed the UK Web Archive collections related to the Olympics/Paralympics as well as their general sports collection policy. Along with the ongoing collaboration with the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC).

 

Next event:

We are still planning to hold a face-to-face event at the British Library in July 2021. This will be a full day symposium with a social event planned after the presentations. This event is sponsored by the British Library, ICSHC at De Montfort University, BSSH and the School of Advanced Studies.

We will closely monitor the guidance on coronavirus and social gatherings. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that by next summer planned events can go ahead.

For more details follow the BSSH website, social media, the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) Twitter, the UK Web Archive Twitter as well as the #ResearchingTheGames hashtag on Twitter. Joining details will be posted online in spring 2021.

 

08 June 2020

Documenting the Olympics & Paralympics

 
 
Olympic Stamps
Stamps issued by Greece in 1896, the Universal Postal Union Collection, Philatelic Collections, The British Library.

 

Join our panel discussion to discover more about researchers' experiences when navigating archives, as well as the collection policies related to Olympics/Paralympics of GLAM organisations. This event is a collaboration between the British Society of Sports History (BSSH) and the British Library Web Archive team.

 

Register here to receive the joining details:

https://forms.gle/Tjzikxgjvr3FofSr8 

Date:           19 June 2020

Time:          3-4:30pm (BST) / 10-11:30am (EST)

Location:    Zoom

Twitter hashtag: #ResearchingtheGames

 

Presentations

Heather Dichter, De Montfort University - Finding Olympic history in non-sport archives

Laura Alexandra Brown, Northumbria University - The heritage of the Games: Interpreting urban change in Olympic host cities

Robert McNicol, Librarian, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum - Researching the Olympics/Paralympics at Wimbledon

Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives, British Library - Preserving the Olympics/Paralympics online

 

What to expect

There is a broad mix of physical, digitised and born digital resources will be covered in the presentations. The Curator of Web Archives, Helena Byrne will be discussing the UK Web Archive collections related to the Olympics/Paralympics as well as the collaboration with the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC).

The year 2020 was originally an Olympic/Paralympic year before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also a significant milestone for the UK Web Archive and the IIPC. It marks 15 years since the first UK Web Archive collections were published and also 10 years since the IIPC first started archiving the Olympics.

 

UKWA Sports
https://www.webarchive.org.uk/en/ukwa/collection

 

The UK Web Archive and sports

The UK Web Archive has been archiving sports related websites since it was established in 2005. However, it wasn’t until 2017 when dedicated sports collections were established. There are three broad collection groups Sports Collection, Sports: Football and Sports: International Events. The subsections of the Sports: International Events includes two summer and two winter Olympic/Paralympic collections from 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The largest of these collections is the Olympic & Paralympic Games 2012 collection as the Games were hosted in the UK.

 

Access and reuse

Under the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 (NPLD) access to archived content is restricted to a UK legal deposit library reading room. However, if we have permission from the website owner, we can make the archived version of their content open access along with government publications under the Open Government Licence. This is why if you browse through the collections on our website, most of the links to archived content will direct you to one of the UK legal deposit libraries for access but some of the content you can view from your personal device.

 

IIPC and the Olympic/Paralympics

The UK Web Archive is made up of the six UK legal deposit libraries, two of those libraries, the British Library and the National Library of Scotland are also members of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) which was founded in 2003. In 2010 the IIPC started its first collaborative collection on the Winter Olympics 2010 and has covered every Olympic/Paralympic Games since. Since the formation of the IIPC Content Development Group (CDG) the collections have started to include a broader range of subjects on and off the playing field.

 

Get Involved

The UK Web Archive aims to archive, preserve and give access to the UK web space.

If you see content that that should be included in one of sports collections then please fill in our online nomination form.

10 February 2012

London Calling! Announcing the London 2012 Special Collection

The 2012 London Olympic & Paralympic Games have already generated a huge presence on the Web. To reflect and record this momentous event, the British Library’s web archiving team are building a special collection of websites: the London 2012 Collection. 

We have been selecting Olympic related websites since 2008, though some of the content in the collection is even older and dates back to 2005 when London was one of the hopeful cities bidding to host the Games. The collection is intended to reflect not only the event itself but all aspects of the Games including their social and economic impact on London and the UK. Websites include those of official bodies such as London2012.com and the British Olympic Association as well as those of UK athletes, local councils, opinion forums and the Games’ corporate sponsors. 

Alternative or dissenting voices are included to ensure a cohesive collection that represents the full spectrum of contemporary opinion about the Games. For example, several blogs and commentaries reflect concerns over the London Olympic overspend including the 2012 Watchdog from the Taxpayer's Alliance which monitors the costs to the taxpayer of the 2012 Games. Ken Frost's Olympic Blogspot monitors issues such as political developments, Olympics executive’s salaries and environmental concerns.

Other items in the Olympics Collection relate to arts and culture inspired by the Games. For example, the V&A has recently acquired a torch from the 1948 London Olympics, which is thought to have been used on the Belgium leg of its trip across Europe.

Currently, around 250 websites are already available to view in the UK Web Archive’s Olympic Collection. New websites are being added all the time and will continue to be archived until the end of 2012 to record the impact of the Games beyond the main event. Websites have been selected by subject specialists or curators across the British Library as well as members of the public. If you would like to nominate a site for inclusion in the archive we would be very pleased to hear from you. 

Nicola Johnson
Web Archivist, The British Library