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To What Extent Were The Moscow Olympic Games Of 1980 Affected By Cold War Tensions?

2176 words - 9 pages

A: Plan of investigation
The purpose of this study is to analyze extensively the role that Cold War tensions played in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. The analysis seeks to understand the effect that politics, have on the organization, implementation and eventually success of sporting events such as the Olympics. In order to do so, the analysis will address the events leading up to, during and after the Moscow Olympic Games of 1980. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 will be addressed to help place the games into perspective. Also, exchanges between the two nations before, during and after the games will be analyzed to understand if and to what extent they affected the games. To investigate the issue, the study will address the history, values, purpose and limitations of two critical sources; Olympic Sports and Propaganda Games: Moscow 1980 by Barukh Ḥazan and Dropping the Torch: Jimmy Carter, the Olympic Boycott, and the Cold War by Nicholas Evan Sarantakes.
B: Summary of Evidence
The Birth of the Cold War
Following the Second World War in 1946, two political super powers had emerged; the United States of America and the Soviet Union. In the period that followed, these two nations clamored for dominance over each other in every way possible; neither wanted to be left behind and as such even the smallest of competition between the two drew great resources and attention from the respective governments; “rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted for much of the second half of the 20th century resulted in mutual suspicions, heightened tensions and a series of international incidents that brought the world’s superpowers to the brink of disaster” (History).
Afghan Invasion of 1979, US Protests and the Moscow Olympic Games of 1980
Prior to the Moscow Olympics of 1980, the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan leading up to the latest international incident between the US and USSR. As had happened before, the US engaged the Soviet Union in heated exchanges in an attempt to force it out of Afghan territory. Failure to do so, the US sought other avenues and platforms to wage its war on the soviet regime. With all-out-war out of the question, President Jimmy Carter after careful consideration led a US delegation to oppose the hosting of the Olympic Games of 1980, in Moscow (Bigelow). This attempt however failed as the Olympic Organizing Committee refused to change the venue as it was so late in the organization and planning of the games.
Feeling aggrieved, the US sought the support of other nations in boycotting the games. The US engaged in vigorous campaigns that involved sending emissaries to countries all over the globe to explain to them why it was critical that they boycott the games. The emissaries drew from renowned diplomats and sports personalities such as Muhammad Ali. This attempt however did fail as most nations felt hat it was great disrespect that athletes and not diplomats were sent. One such example was...

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