Wrestling with the Heterotopia: Jordan Burroughs and His Post-Match Interview at the 2016 Olympics
(2020) Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 14 (1), pp. 35-46.
This essay applies Michel Foucault’s conception of the heterotopia to the context of the sport of wrestling. In particular, it examines the social and spatial structures of the sport, exploring homophobia and masculinity in a wrestling context as well as analyzing the physical and theoretical space of the wrestling mat. This groundwork is used to inform a reading of an interview given by American wrestler Jordan Burroughs after being eliminated from the 2016 Olympics. After examining this interview as occurring somewhere on the fringes of the heterotopia, between the space of the athlete and that of the spectator, this essay attempts to link a Foucauldian understanding of the athletic arena to a framework of athletic defeat as a self-transformative endeavor.
defeat; Foucault; Heterotopia; masculinity; wrestling