Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games: International Sport’s Cold War Battle with NATO

Date

2021-10

Advisors

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Journal ISSN

ISSN

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

University of Massachusetts Press

Type

Book

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

During the Cold War, political tensions associated with the division of Germany came to influence the world of competitive sport. In the 1950s, West Germany and its NATO allies refused to recognize the communist East German state and barred its national teams from sporting competitions. The construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 further exacerbated these pressures, with East German teams denied travel to several world championships. These tensions would only intensify in the run-up to the 1968 Olympics.

In Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games, Heather L. Dichter considers how NATO and its member states used sport as a diplomatic arena during the height of the Cold War, and how international sport responded to political interference. Drawing on archival materials from NATO, foreign ministries, domestic and international sport functionaries, and newspapers, Dichter examines controversies surrounding the 1968 Summer and Winter Olympic Games, particularly the bidding process between countries to host the events. As she demonstrates, during the Cold War sport and politics became so intertwined that they had the power to fundamentally transform each other.

Description

Keywords

Olympic Games, NATO, diplomacy, Cold War, international sport

Citation

Dichter, H.L. (2021) Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games: International Sport’s Cold War Battle with NATO. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of History