Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games

Bidding for the 1968 Olympic Games

International Sport's Cold War Battle with NATO

Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond

by Heather L. Dichter

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

288 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 9 b&w illus., 1 map, 1 table

  • Paperback
  • 9781625345950
  • Published: October 2021


  • Hardcover
  • 9781625345943
  • Published: October 2021



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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.