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10 Conn. L. Rev. 259 (1977-1978)
The Political Uses and Abuses of Sports

handle is hein.journals/conlr10 and id is 275 raw text is: THE POLITICAL USES AND
by James A.R. Nafziger* and Andrew Strenkf
United States sports officials, journalists, politicians, and the
public often ignore the relationship between sports and international
politics. In 1976, after United States team members won fewer gold
medals at the Montreal Olympic Games than either the Soviets or the
East Germans,2 the President's Commission on Olympic Sports was
established to determine what factors impede.       the United States
from fielding its best teams in international competition. The Com-
mission's two-volume Final Report was published in January 1977.3
Although the Report discusses such domestic concerns as the need for
a central sports organization, franchise disputes, athlete's rights, and fi-
nancial difficulties, it minimizes the role which sports play in United
States foreign policy. Instead of recognizing ways in which sports
competition is in fact used to further our national political objectives,
the Final Report deplores the actions of governments which deny an
athlete the right to take part in international competition, calls
upon world sports leaders to take whatever steps are necessary to
eliminate the misuse of the Games, and notes with deep regret the
declining ability of the nations of the world to separate sport from
* B.A., M.A., University of Wisconsin; J.D., Harvard Law School; Member, Wisconsin
Bar;, Associate Professor of Law, Willamette University; Fulbright Visiting Professor,
National Autonomous University of Mexico.
f A.B., University of Southern California; M.A., Julius Maximillain University of
Bavaria; Ph.D. Candidate, University of Southern California.
1. Throughout this article the terms sport and sports will refer to those activities
which are physical in nature, which involve competition in fixed, well-defined roles and
positions, which have formally recorded histories and regulations, and which involve
actors who belong to formally organized institutions.
2. Soviet team members won 47 gold medals, East Cerman team members won 40,
and United States team members won 34. 107-108 OLY. tPIC REV. 479-504 (1976).
MISSION ON OLYMPIC SPORTS, 1975-1977 (1977) [hereinafter cited as Fw'CAL REPORT].
4. Id. at 1. The FINAL REPORT thus continues the present trend in American scholar-
ship. There have been few studies published in the United States on the use of sports
in international politics; see, e.g., R. LAPCHICK, THE POLTICS OF RACE AND INrE&NA-

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