This is the first Olympic and Paralympic Analysis report. It is a privilege to share this journey with contributors to this report: many of whom we know well, and many of whom we met through this collaboration. This project requires contributors to work at short notice and with very tight deadlines – during the holiday season for some. In this context, we were delighted with the response to our invitations to contribute and we are grateful for our contributors’ expertise and commitment throughout the project.

For their financial support, we thank the Center for Sports Communication & Media at the University of Texas at Austin and the Centre for Comparative Politics and Media Research at Bournemouth University. 

We are also very grateful for the support of the International Communication Association (ICA) Sports Communication Special Interest Group and the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR Media), Communication and Sport Section, for mobilizing their members to participate in this report.  

We owe a special debt of gratitude to our outstanding Research Assistants Ashley Liptak, Alex Hillwig and Mirva Villa who worked diligently in designing and developing the website and pdf reports. 

We are also immensely grateful to our longstanding collaborator, Prof Einar Thorsen, for his help in fixing website issues and logistical challenges that are an inevitable part of these projects. 

Finally, a special thanks to our friends and family for their love and support in the making of this project. 

Dan would like to thank Mitch, Stu, Digga, Nobby, JP, Elvis, Col, Rich and Gabba – the ‘Coalition of Chaos’ – for their spiritual guidance throughout the course of this project (and for most of the 42 years preceding it).

Alina would like to thank Tair and Nadav, her teenagers, and to her Californian family for bearing with her while working on this report although they were meant to be on holiday. 

Michael Butterworth would like to thank Gina, Emily, and James, and his colleagues in the Center for Sports Communication & Media and the Moody College of Communication.

Danielle Sarver Coombs thanks Lindsey, Avie, and Gennie for their patience and Angie, Michele, Jill, Amie, Beth, and Nikki for golf therapy. 

Additional photo credits

OLYMPICS-2020-SWM/W-100MBF-MEDAL. Photo by 李 季霖

CC BY-SA 2.0

JP2021_©️FFTir_8.  Photo by FFTir via Flickr

CC BY-NC 2.0

Section 1 – Simone Biles (United States). Gold medal in the women’s all-around at the 2018 Doha Artistic Gymnastics World Championship. Photo by Abelardo Mendes Jr

CC BY-SA 2.0

Section 2 – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Photo by Andy Miah

CC BY-SA 2.0

Section 3 – Swim with me to Tokyo 2020. Photo by San Diego Shooter

CC BY-SA 2.0

Section 4 – Naomi Osaka at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Photo by Secretaría de Deportes

CC BY 4.0

Section 5 – Women’s Marathon – T53/54. Photo by Hetarllen Mumriken

Back cover – 東京スカイツリー Tokyo Sky Tree. By Zengame

CC BY-SA 2.0