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Cold War GamesPropaganda, the Olympics, and U.S. Foreign Policy$
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Toby C. Rider

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040238

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040238.001.0001

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Sports Illustrated and the Melbourne Defection

Sports Illustrated and the Melbourne Defection

(p.103) 6 Sports Illustrated and the Melbourne Defection
Cold War Games

Toby C. Rider

University of Illinois Press

This chapter chronicles the defection of thirty-eight Eastern European athletes, coaches, writers, and sports administrators after the close of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as well as the involvement of Sports Illustrated magazine in the affair. Though the magazine played a major role in the defection, the chapter also credits the Hungarian National Sports Federation (HNSF) and leading propaganda expert Charles Douglas Jackson with the idea of the defection and the entry of refugees into the United States, respectively; in addition, it reveals a much more nuanced picture of the defection as a whole. The tumultuous circumstances of 1956 may have dramatically exposed the poverty of the U.S. government's policy of liberation, but the defection of some of Hungary's very best sporting assets at least provided Jackson, and to some degree the administration, with a valuable propaganda sidelight.

Keywords:   Sports Illustrated, Hungarian National Sports Federation, Charles Douglas Jackson, defecting athletes, Melbourne Olympics, refugee athletes, liberation, Hungarian National Olympic Team

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