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Sport and diplomacyGames within games$
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Simon Rofe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526131058

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526131058.001.0001

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‘Chinese rings’: the United States, the two Chinas and the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics

‘Chinese rings’: the United States, the two Chinas and the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics

(p.185) 10 ‘Chinese rings’: the United States, the two Chinas and the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics
Sport and diplomacy
Rachel Vaughan
Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the inter-relationship of sport and diplomacy with specific reference to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games (held in Squaw Valley, California). More specifically, it evaluates State Department involvement in the ongoing issue of the recognition of the “Two China’s” during the Cold War, with specific reference to international sport. Despite long-standing official non-involvement in international sporting matters, hosting the 1960 Games focussed US diplomatic attention on the opportunities and problems presented by the Olympics within the wider Cold War. Crucially, the State Department extended considerable behind-the-scenes efforts both before and during the Squaw Valley Games in an attempt ensure Nationalist Chinese participation. Overall, this chapter will demonstrate that despite claims of non-involvement, the State Department specifically utilised international sport – and particularly the Olympics – as a tool of diplomacy during the Cold War. This was drawn into particularly sharp focus when the Games were being hosted on American soil, as they were in Squaw Valley in 1960.

Keywords:   Sino-American relations, Squaw Valley, Winter Olympics Games 1960, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China (PRC), International Olympic Committee

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