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GlobetrottingAfrican American Athletes and Cold War Politics$
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Damion L. Thomas

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037177

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037177.001.0001

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Playing Politics

Playing Politics

The Formation of the U.S. Cold War–Era Athletic Foreign Policy

(p.75) 3. Playing Politics

Damion L. Thomas

University of Illinois Press

This chapter highlights the formalization of U.S. Cold War sport foreign policy. As the Soviet Union reentered the Olympic movement in 1952, sport took on heightened meaning, and became a proxy for combat in the atomic age. Thus, this chapter highlights how the two superpowers fought for athletic supremacy, as well as how the United States developed a program of international athletic goodwill tours as a means to counteract the Soviet Union's successful implementation of its own athletic foreign policy program. Sports became a crucial Cold War weapon that deployed the notions of strength and cultural, political, and economic superiority over the Soviet Union.

Keywords:   athletic foreign policy, Soviet Union, international athletic goodwill tours, Cold War, military stalemate, sporting tours

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