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Sport in the Cold War

Sport has long been linked with politics, but never more so than during the Cold War. In this highly precarious time, nations and peoples around the world used sport to promote their political, social, and economic development.


Popular Documents

April 12, 1980

Address by Vice President Mondale to the United States Olympic Committee, 'US Call for an Olympic Boycott'

Vice President Mondale addresses the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), advocating for President Carter's proposed boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later that day, the USOC voted to uphold the boycott.

January 20, 1980

Letter by President Jimmy Carter to the President of the United States Olympic Committee Robert Kane

Jimmy Carter explains his call for a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics in reponse to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

April 14, 1971

[Zhou Enlai's] Conversation with the U.S. Table Tennis Delegation

Zhou Enlai speaks with President of the U.S. Table Tennis Association, Graham Steenhoven, after the 31st annual World Table Tennis Championships. Steenhoven thanks Premier Zhou for inviting the U.S. ping-pong team and U.S. journalists to China. U.S. journalists ask Zhou to comment on the American hippie movement. Steenhoven extends an invitation to the Chinese ping-pong team to visit the U.S.


Soviet Political Cartoon, 'Passing the Baton'

Political cartoon from the Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil. A female character labeled "Cold War" accepts a flaming relay torch with burning letters reading "Boycott Olympics" passed by a figure representing the United States. Underneath is the caption, "the boycott has one goal: to kindle the Cold War," a quote from the famous Soviet author Sergey Mikhalkov.

January 30, 1951

Soviet Political Cartoon, 'We Are Waiting for Better Results'

Three Soviet athletes break world records above, while below they struggle with academic lessons.