Next week the Olympic flame will arrive in London for the start of the 2012 Games. With it will come a growing barrage of criticism from counter-event organizers and critical observers, skeptical of the vast secrecy, corporate pandering, great costs, security failings, and political controversy that hover around the events.

These issues, coupled with the problematic structure of today’s competitions, often obscure the true meaning and potential of the games. “There is something in the Olympics, indefinable, springing from the soul, that must be preserved,” said the journalist and London Marathon co-founder, Chris Brasher.

That preservation is the driving force behind a great new book by journalist Mark Perryman, Why the Olympics Aren’t Good For Us, and How They Can Be. Perryman’s work is not an attack on the Olympics, nor is it a snarky dismissal of the lofty sentiments often associated with the event. Unlike many criticisms of the games, he provides detailed suggestions on how they can be improved, laying out his bold and thoughtful modifications in the form of a five-step facelift that he dubs “The Five New Olympic Rings.”

Read the full interview in Mother Board.

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