Paradoxes of humanism : human rights advocacy, the Olympic Movement, and the 1980

Tulli, Umberto

(IOC Olympic Studies Centre Postgraduate Research Grant Programme 2011)

This research investigates the controversy which developed in the mid-Seventies on the appropriateness of having the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, given the well-known repression of political dissident and its consequences both on bipolar détente and on Carter's campaign to implement the Olympic boycott to punish the Soviets for their invasion of Afghanistan. It emphasizes the strong continuity... More

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    Summary
    This research investigates the controversy which developed in the mid-Seventies on the appropriateness of having the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, given the well-known repression of political dissident and its consequences both on bipolar détente and on Carter's campaign to implement the Olympic boycott to punish the Soviets for their invasion of Afghanistan. It emphasizes the strong continuity between the 1978 controversy and the 1980 boycott campaign by suggesting two main arguments. Firstly, Carter's boycott campaign found some valuable allies among human rights NGOs and activists. Secondly, to sell the boycott both domestically and internationally, the Carter administration frequently referred to human rights abuses in the Soviet Union and to the internal exile of Andrei Sakharov. In addition, the President demanded emigrated Soviet dissidents to explain the boycott decision to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and to American athletes.