Additionally, theOlympics was plainly seen as the shadow of the troubling East-Western relationsto such level that even when the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Los AngelesSummer Olympics it only sparked even more journalistic headlines, such as therelease of Time magazine “Olympicturmoil, Why the Soviets said Nyet”. Hence enabling Soviet nationalistpropaganda gain international attention and being featured in foreignnewspapers, portrayed as a negative system due to America’s overarchingdominance in media. This dominance was evidently played in the West’s favor andused this opportunity to frame U.S. athletes as well as American principles, ina pitting context against other nations, but specially antagonizing the SovietUnion.
The Cold War being suchan era that was characterized by the highlighted dichotomy of “Us verses them”,which conglomerates America’s general approach to the Olympics throughliterature. Thus, encompassing the synergy between the glorification ofAmerican athleticism with little regard to smaller countries’ sportingcapabilities. In retrospect, if we look back to how countries react to their athlete’sperformance it is certain that in regards to the portrayal of the athletes theywere identified as national heroes for a limited period of time as what reallymatters in the end is the medal count. Only a week before theclosing ceremony of the 1964 Japan Summer Olympics, Nikita Khrushchev wasousted from his position as First Secretary of the Communist Party of theSoviet Union. As a consequence to his poorly executed reforms and little regardto other political parties and governmental institutions.
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Succeeded by LeonidBrezhnev among other officials the Soviet Union was on its way to revolutionizetheir regime and rejuvenate collective leadership, clearly this adjustment workedin favor of the United States and Western ideologies as it defied withKhrushchev’s autocracy and opened new trading deals with international markets.Followed by the shift of leaders the eight-year Soviet economic reform startingin 1965 targeted three measures; the reunification of Soviet economy by meansof implementing new central ministries, recalculating the price of goods andservices, and lastly a decentralizing renovation of the enterprise incentive system.Through the medium of using and spreading capitalist socio-economic schematics,hence ameliorating foreign relations. Nevertheless, the blurred fashion bywhich the Soviet government administration worked resulted with a rather largerange of disparities between the benefited and the hindered, thus triggeringtheir ongoing oligarchy. Moreover, the successof these measures foreshadowed the success of the Soviet Union in sportingperformance. The gradual reform was on its way to escalate the nation’s GrossDomestic Product per capita and increment its wealth distribution equality,also referred as GINI coefficient. In order to boost the country’s availabilityto facilities of which athletes can make use of, hence maintain and sponsor governmentsubsidized sport institutions as Dynamo Sport Clubs per say. On a further note,it has been considered that the era for Soviet economic reformation supposed a valuableopportunity to commence an era of fruitful relations with the United States.
With the prior disentanglement of oligarch-type administration of the SovietUnion, it created a long-term development that enabled forthcoming leaders likeMikhail Gorbachev implement his dual program such as “perestroika” and”glasnost”, referring to restructuring with openness, regarding internationalrelations and internal affairs. Resulting in the dismissalof several communist governments from power across Eastern Europe and bringingan eventual closure to the Cold War in 1991. Gorbachev’s internalreorganization aligned with U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s interests of whichincluded the demilitarization of nuclear weapons, that led to eventual successfulnegotiations between the East and West. Nevertheless, the inherent communisttraces were inevitable in Gorbachev’s policy-making course, yet found a commonground with Reagan regarding the buildup of U.S.
forces. Along theparticipation from both sides for five summits resulting with the agreement ofthe Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, involving a large-scale declineof domestic weapon stockpiles. Nevertheless, Gorbachev’s shift towards acapitalist regime took a toll on the nation’s economy that culminated atremendous financial collapse, and dissolving fifteen individual republics. Followedby his resignation in 1991.
Subsequently to Japan’snuclear destruction it was crucial to show the world its renewed economic potentialand socio-economic rebirth. Demonstrated by their outstanding sportingperformance totaling with 16 gold medals, and ranking third in the overallmedal count, following the Soviet Union with 30 gold medals and the UnitedStates with 36. Moreover, both in men and women categories, American athletesdominated Athletics of which composed a staggering 40% of the total U.
S. medalcount. More specifically 100-meter gold medalist and Dallas Cowboys widereceiver Bob Hayes was greatly cherished, not only setting a world record butalso setting an emblematic figure for the African American community in theUnited States, during a fundamental era for the development African-Americancivil rights.
On the other hand, the Soviet Union also counted with a strongteam specifically High jump winner Velriy Brumel and Hammer throw winnerRomuald Klim, amongst the Press sisters. So at this point we can see the Westversus the East in its purest form, demonstrating the ongoing rivalry betweenboth nations without setting a clear champion as athletes from both sides hadan extremely high performance rate. Although, the issue in which the UnitedState stood out was in the availability and the number of Olympic athletes itcounted with. Unlike the United States, the Soviet Union did not subsidize asmany sports institutions throughout the country as the U.S did. that led to thelimited number of athletes, hence being a possible factor for its sporting inferioritywith respect of that of the United States’.