Stories of Siblinghood

Nordic neighbors at the 1994 Winter Olympics

Authors

  • Martin Johansson Södertörns Högskola

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.3374

Keywords:

Keywords: Sports media history, Norden, emotional history, popular culture, Winter Olympics

Abstract

This article analyzes newspaper representations of Nordic neighboring countries at the 1994 winter Olympics. Held in Lillehammer, Norway, the games constituted an enormous sporting success for the Norwegians, while neighboring Finland and Sweden fared much worse, which led national media in all three countries to contemplate on the discrepancy. Focusing on the tension between national and macro-regional Nordic identities, this article argues that media neighbor-images did in fact not compromise the seemingly collision-bound norms of “national rivalry” and “Nordist friendship”. Instead, the two norms informed and enforced each other through the key concept of humor, which created a safe media space for an Olympic dramaturgy of “siblinghood” to play out in. The analysis complements previous research on Nordic identity through highlighting the importance of emotion, popular cultural narratives, and intra-national neighbor relations for the construction of Nordicness.

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Published

2021-07-27

Issue

Section

Nordic Nineties