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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 05, 1988

LETTER FROM US SENATOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE ON REAGAN AND GORBACHEV'S SUPPORT OF DE-POLITICIZING 1988 SEOUL OLYMPICS

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    Letter from U.S. Senator Ted Stevens to the President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, containing Stevens' correspondences with the U.S. Secretary of State, George P. Shultz, on the 1988 Olympic Games.
    "Letter from US Senator to the President of International Olympic Committee on Reagan and Gorbachev's Support of De-politicizing 1988 Seoul Olympics," July 05, 1988, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, International Olympic Committee Archives (Switzerland), SEOUL’ 88, POLITICAL MATTERS 1988-89; SEOUL ’88/ POLITIQUE (JANVIER – JUILLET). Obtained for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113524
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JOHN C STENNIS MISSISSIPPI, CHAIRMAN
REBERT C. BYRD, WEST VIRGINIA
WILLIAM PROXMIRE, WISCONSIN
DANIEL K. INOUYE, HAWAII
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, SOUTH CAROLINA
LAWTON CHILES, FLORIDA
J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, LOUISIANA
QUENTIN N. BURDICK, NORTH DAKOTA
PATRICK J. LEAHY, VERMONT
JIM SASSER, TENNESSEE
DENNIS DECONCINI, ARIZONA
DALE BUMPERS, ARKANSAS
FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, NEW JERSEY
TOM HARKIN, IOWA
BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, MARYLAND
HARRY REID, NEVADA
MARK O. HATFIELD, OREGON
TED STEVENS, ALASKA
LOWELL P. WEICKER, JR., CONNECTICUT
JAMES A. McCLURE, IDAHO
JAKE GARN, UTAH
THAD COCHRAN, MISSISSIPPI
ROBERT W. KASTEN, JR., WISCONSIN
ALFONSE M. D’AMATO, NEW YORK
WARREN RUDMAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE
ARLEN SPECTER, PENNSYLVANIA
PETE V. DOMENICI, NEW MEXICO
CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, IOWA
DON NICKLES, OKLAHOMA

United States Senate
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
WASHINGTON, DC 20510-6025
FRANCIS J. SULLIVAN, STAFF DIRECTOR
J. KEITH KENNEDY, MINORITY STAFF DIRECTOR

July 5, 1988

S.E. M. Juan Antonio Samaranch, President
International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
CH –1007 Lausanne
Switzerland

Dear President Samaranch:

Pursuant our conversation, I’ve enclosed copies of my correspondence with Secretary Shultz regarding the joint statement by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachv in support of the Olympic movement. My letter to secretary Shultz was a follow-up to telegrams I had sent to Secretary Shultz and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze last Fall prior to Washington, D.C. Summit.

The recent communique out of the Moscow Summit demonstrates a substantial degree of progress on the issue – hopefully the reaffirmation of commitment by both superpowers to the Olympic movement will translate into a less strained atmosphere at the Seoul Olympics. Secretary Shultz recently mentioned to me that he would be very interested in your comments on what we can do to encourage the Soviets help de-politicize the Olympics within their sphere of influence.

I look forward to seeing you and discussing this matter further.

With best wishes.
Cordially,

TED STEVENS

P.S. With the current turmoil in South Korea between the students and the government, it might be useful for a delegation of International Olympic Committee Athletes to travel to Korea to meet with a number of the students and explain the importance of the Seoul Olympics as a means to bring about peaceful relations between nations.

Enclosure

March 25, 1988

The Honorable George P. Shultz
Secretary of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear George:

As you follow up with Foreign Minister Shevardnadze in preparation for the President’s summit meeting with May with General Secretary Gorbachev, I hope you raise the issue of reaffirming both countries commitment to the Olympic movement.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is very concerned -- and I think rightly so -- about the potential for disruption at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, Korea, by North Korea. President Samaranch of the IOC has mentioned his trepidation over potential North Korean disruption to all the Alaskans who have met with him recently concerning the 1994 Winter Olympics.

A joint statement by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev expressing support for the Olympic movement would help allay much of the tension surrounding the Seoul Olympics. Peaceful competition between the young athletes of the United States and the Soviet Union -- and the other countries of the world -- supports our efforts for cooperation and understanding between our countries. The Olympics provide a tremendous basis for cultural and social exchanges between nations which would be even further enhanced if he United States and the Soviet Union would pledge to not seek the further national foreign policy objectives through the Games.

I hope you will discuss the possibility of including this topic on the agenda for the summit in May. If I can help in any way on this matter, George, please let me know.

With best wishes,

Cordially,

TED STEVENS
WB: smp

THE SECRETARY OF STATE

WASHINGTON

(stamp: 1988 MAY 24 PM 7:38)
May 23, 1988

Dear Ted:

I appreciated receiving your letter proposing that we urge the Soviets to join in statement at the Summit reaffirming a commitment to the Olympic movement.

You are correct that such a joint statement would be a timely endorsement of a peaceful Olympics in Seoul, something which is of special concern because of the recent upsurge in terrorism.

The stated intention of the Soviets to participated in the Olympic Games this year may be an inducement to their agreeing to a public expression of support for the Olympic movement. I will urge the President to ask them to join us in such a commitment.

Your point that the Olympic movement serves as a basis for international cultural exchanges is also well taken, and it would be appropriate to issue a joint endorsement at the Summit.

Sincerely yours,

George P. Shultz

The Honorable
Ted Stevens,
United States Senate.