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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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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 02 December 2021

Decentring US sports diplomacy: the 1980 Moscow boycott through contemporary Asian–African perspectives*

Decentring US sports diplomacy: the 1980 Moscow boycott through contemporary Asian–African perspectives*

Chapter:
(p.203) 11 Decentring US sports diplomacy: the 1980 Moscow boycott through contemporary Asian–African perspectives*
Source:
Sport and diplomacy
Author(s):
Joseph Eaton
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526131058.003.0012

The chapter reevaluates the 1980 boycott of the Moscow summer games, challenging the conventional wisdom that that boycott was a failure. Historians of sport and diplomacy have usually studied the 1980 boycott through the strained efforts of US President Jimmy Carter’s Administration’s clumsy struggles to rally NATO allies, Australia, and traditional Olympic sporting powers into not going to Moscow in retaliation for the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In fact, American sports diplomacy might be judged differently when seen from the perspectives of non-Western and non-sporting nations, particularly in Africa and Asia. Using media and governmental primary sources from a variety of nations. More precisely, engagement in the boycott suited nationalistic purpose as perceived in 1980. “Carter’s boycott” was effectively localized/nationalized, if outside Carter’s stated aim of making the Soviets pay a price for their aggression in Afghanistan. Rather than reading the 1980 boycott through the lens of the Soviet invasion and the beginnings of the Second Cold War, contemporary non-Western perspectives on the boycott showed a wide breath of positive interpretations/results from Olympic nonparticipation– ranging from public display of governmental fiscal austerity by corrupt regimes, to support for a growing pan-Islamic movement, to enforcing authoritarian rule at home.

Keywords:   1980 Olympic Games, President Jimmy Carter, Olympic boycott, Afghanistan, US-Soviet Relations, International Olympic Committee

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