This text deals with the construction of national identity through sports discourse in media, with the main attention paid to the “failed” performance of Slovak sportsmen at the Olympic Games in London 2012. As Slovaks didn’t repeat their previous medal achievements in London 2012, therefore the media ironically labeled their performance as the “Bronze Age”. This study presents the fi ndings of a discourse analysis, which was applied to the sport commentaries published in Slovak press after the London 2012 Olympics. The method of analysis is based on the approach of Norman Fairclough, and therefore social identities, relations and systems of knowledge are distinguished within the studied articles. Theoretical basis of this work deals with the relationship between national identity, sport and the media, and the broader framework of the Slovak national and sporting identity. The study shows that identity forming processes within the sports discourse in the media are active, and yet they do not always take the form of celebratory patriotism.
sports; national identity; failure; celebratory nationalism; banal nationalism; media discourse