Sport as politics and history: The 25th SEA Games in Laos

Simon Creak*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Like the recent World Cup in South Africa and the Beijing 2008 Olympics, December 2009's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos were embraced by the state as evidence of national achievement and progress. Yet, just like these much larger global sporting events, a range of controversies threatened to turn the pride of the Games into embarrassment. Of particular concern was the fact that, despite significantly reducing the size of the Games, Laos - one of the smallest and poorest countries in Southeast Asia - depended greatly on foreign help to conduct them, especially from China. The ultimate success of the SEA Games in Laos reinforced the power of sport to consolidate nationalism, despite the paradox in Laos of nationalism emerging from a complex mix of autonomy and dependence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-19
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnthropology Today
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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