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Fourteen days: athletes' media usage and stories in hard quarantine during COVID-19

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • Sam Duncan
  • Tim Breitbarth
  • Chris Bowers


The 2021 Australian Open was unlike any previous edition of the tennis tournament. Played in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in a country that had closed its international borders to visitors and citizens alike, the presence of the tournament caused a significant amount of angst and concern amongst the Melbourne community who had recently endured a 112-day strict lockdown. Within a mediatization of sport frame, this chapter explores how the media's portrayal of the Australian Open interrelated with the community's concerns and casted visiting players as 'villains.' The role and voices of players themselves as well as insights into their 14-day hard individual hotel quarantine help to further contextualize the deconstruction of media narratives. Controversially, the absence of pre-tournament routines like press conferences and interviews shifted the focus on social media activities. Overall, the chapter sheds light on the extraordinary setting and processes of a globally renown sports event that illustrates how media acts as an active, fluid mechanism negotiating with society's agents, attitudes, beliefs and values.

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Duncan & Tim Breitbarth & Chris Bowers, 2022. "Fourteen days: athletes' media usage and stories in hard quarantine during COVID-19," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 22, pages 270-289, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_22

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