Sports in Society and Politics behind the Iron Curtain. Joyful Games or Serious Battles?
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject History Europe - Other Countries - European Postwar Period, grade: 1, University of Vienna (Institut für Zeitgeschichte), course: 'Hammer and Tickle'- A History of Communist Europe Told Through Communist Jokes, language: English, abstract: In the Soviet Union, sport was an important part of everyday life, aiming to increase the health of the citizens and to make them fit for work. However, sport was controlled by the state and used as a major force to show the advantages of the communist ideology over capitalism. In the framework of the Cold War where the existence of two hostile world powers, the Soviet Union and the United States of America, were confronting each other, sports became an obvious field for international competition and for defeating the ideological opponent. In this paper, it will be examined why sports gained more and more popularity in everyday life and how it was used as political force. The impact of policy will be shown on the specific example of ice hockey, one of the most popular sports on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In other words, it will be outlined how sport lost its innocence and became serious fun, a kind of weapon to wage war.
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