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Cold War and Olympic Games

  • Date Submitted: 03/19/2010 08:59 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.9 
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Avery Brundage, the president of the International Olympic Committee from 1942 to 1972 declared : “We are dead against any country using the Games for political purposes, whether right or wrong. The Olympics are competitions between individuals and not nations.”   Unfortunately, the statement of the president did not prevent the Olympics from 1956 to 1984 to be a platform for Cold War hostilities. The Cold War is defined as a state of hostilities between the Soviet bloc countries and the Western powers after the Second World War . The Games were clearly representative of the tensions of the Cold War and were even sources of it. Governments of several states used the Games for political purposes and made no secret of it. They also influenced the countries of their sphere of power to follow them in their demonstration of opinions. We will see that the Games were used in different ways, either to show the other’s weakness or to reinforce one’s ideology but also to replace the war that could not take place openly.

      The Olympic Games were first used in order to show the enemy’s weakness. It is clear in the case of the American non participation in the Games of 1980. The Games were preceded by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the American president used this reason in order not to participate to the Games; which were to take place in Moscow. Carter “professes that his boycott was motivated partly by a concern for human rights.”   He also used his presidential powers in order to prevent American economic participation in the Games, which included “NBC’s televising of the Games, the United States Postal service’s sale of commemorative stamps and postcards, as well as export of any “good or technology” related to the Moscow Games”.
Not only did the Americans boycott the games and clearly expressed their disagreement towards the Soviet Union’s political choices, but they also contacted over a hundred heads of stated to support their will to move the Games...


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