The recent story, in the Orange County Register (California), about official concealment of US doping positives in Los Angeles, prior to the Olympic Games there in 1984 is a reminder, among other things that you cannot divorce sport from the society which plays it.

The late entry of the Soviet Union to the Olympic movement in 1952 coincided with the acceleration of the Cold War, and the sportsfield, notably the Olympic Games became the surrogate battleground for the Superpowers.

There was of course some real sabre-rattling – the Berlin Blockade, the Cuban missile crisis, the Arms Race, the Space Race, Afghanistan, and several other minor diplomatic skirmishes, not forgetting the Korean and Vietnam Wars (or the American Wars, as the North Koreans and Vietnamese call them), often against troops of future Superpower, China. But a lot of the action was on the track, in the field, and memorably in a couple of Olympic ice-hockey and basketball finals…..Read More

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