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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Podcast

Episode 10 - France's "Sport Crisis"

Lindsay Krasnoff

At the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome, France placed an embarrassing 25th place in the medal count, behind many smaller countries

TABLE OF CONTENTS

In the 1950s, anxiety about the decline of France’s empire and “great power” status was expressed through concern about its poor athletic performance at international competitions. At the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome, France placed an embarrassing 25th place in the medal count, behind many smaller countries. Lindsay Krasnoff, author of The Making of Les Bleus: Sport in France, 1958-2010, describes how France attempted to catch up on the Cold War playing field.

Image: Opening Ceremony at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Lindsay Krasnoff presents her work at the Global History of Sport in the Cold War Conference in Moscow, May 2015.

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