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Sport in the Cold War Podcast

October 5, 2015


Subscribe to the Sport in the Cold War podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud 


The Global History of Sport in the Cold War and the Woodrow Wilson Center announce the launch of a podcast series that demonstrates how sport was used on both sides of the Iron Curtain and around the world as a tool for political, social, and cultural prestige.

The Sport in the Cold War podcast is hosted by Vince Hunt, a multi-award winning British radio producer, who travelled the world conducting interviews for BBC Radio 2's flagship documentary series in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics. Each podcast revolves around an archive document, artifact, or event that changed the course of sporting history, and provides fascinating anecdotes based on cutting-edge archival research of scholars from around the world to illuminate portrayals of broad and unusual vistas of Cold War history.

Available October 5, the first three episodes of Sport in the Cold War feature:

  • the “cinematic” Cold War and US-USSR tensions on the silver screen played out in movies like Rocky IV.
  • President John F. Kennedy demanding answers after the US national ice hockey team fared badly at the World Championships in 1963, following a deeply embarrassing 17-2 loss to Sweden.
  • how fear of the Stasi skewed East German football and produced a ten-year winning run for Dynamo Berlin, until East German soccer fans could stand it no more and moved into protest mode,

“Sport in the Cold War” may be accessed at the Wilson Center Digital Archive and Soundcloud. New podcasts will be added every-other Monday.

The Global History of Sport in the Cold War project is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is run by UC San Diego, the University of Cambridge, UK, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington. Via a series of meetings, book publications and electronic resources, it aims to re-evaluate the role of sport in the Cold War and scrutinize the common master narrative of East-West sporting tension in a global context. To do so, it taps into the latest archival research from some eighty scholars from many nations and humanistic disciplines - from the US, USSR and their former Allies to Thailand, Cuba and South Africa. 

Related Program

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more