According to the Soviet Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs B.T. Shumilin at a meeting in December 1979, the Soviet leadership saw the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow as not only a unique opportunity but also a huge responsibility: “For the first time in the history of the Olympic Movement, the Games are taking place in a socialist country, a country which advocates the strengthening of security of nations, facilitates a wide international cooperation, and is unshakable…in its implementation of Leninist world politics of peace.”1 During the Cold War, international sport was one of the areas where the East and the West would seek to demonstrate to each other the superiority of their respective political systems. Interestingly, however, Robert Edelman (2006) notes that, during the pre-Olympic period, the theme of the Cold War was largely absent from the Soviet discourses. The Olympics were already popular in the Soviet Union by 1952, following the first successes of the Soviet athletes in Helsinki. To the Soviet sport leaders at the time, the Olympics would be an opportunity to leave the international isolation of the Stalinist period behind and present to the world the new Soviet leadership as peaceful and progressive (Prozumenshchikov, 2004: 191).
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