Judging Jack: Rethinking Historical Agency and the Sport Hero

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Kohe, Geoff (2014)

One aspect of the dizzying (aesthetic, cultural, linguistic, visual, and post-modern) ‘turns’ Sport history has taken in recent times has been the revision/deconstruction of sporting heroes and demystification of historical narratives. This, in turn, has attended to larger historical concerns about the centrality of agents and agency in narrative making. Encouraged by these directions, this paper reconsiders the primacy afforded agents and their agency within national Olympic history creation. I examine revered 1930s track athlete Jack Lovelock who features predominantly within New Zealand’s Olympic history. The paper aims to prompt contemplation about sport heroes. In particular, I argue sport historians should continue to decentre sport figures and bring alternate meanings, interpretations, and renderings of agents to the fore.
  • References (2)

    83 R. Barber, ‘Exploring biographical fictions: The role of imagination in writing and reading narrative’, Rethinking History 14, 2 (2010): 165-187.

    84 A. Curthoys and J. Docker, Is history fiction? (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2006), 151.

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