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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Podcast

Episode 23 – Brezhnev's Dream

Mikhail Yu. Prozumenshchikov

Russia’s leading historian of sport tells the story of Brezhnev’s long-held dream of hosting the Olympics in Moscow.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Mikhail Yu. Prozumenshchikov, Russia’s leading historian of sport and the deputy director of the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI), tells the story of Brezhnev’s long-held dream of hosting the Olympics in Moscow.

In the first decades of the Cold War, the Soviet Union struggled with the ideological compromises necessary to participate in international sporting events. Many Soviet officials questioned the expense and risks of sending athletes into capitalist countries to compete. That attitude would change when Leonid Brezhnev and his colleagues ousted Nikita Khrushchev in 1964. Unlike past leaders, Brezhnev was willing to do “everything for the Soviet sportsman.”

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