Essay on Political And Social Contexts Of The 1948 Summer Olympics

Essay on Political And Social Contexts Of The 1948 Summer Olympics

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1. List the main international political issues and individuals that affected the Olympic games you selected? Point format is required.
This paper explores the political and social contexts of the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London.
1. The 1948 Summer Olympics was the first sporting event of this magnitude after the Second World War. The “Austerity Games” of 1948 were a stark contrast against the extravagant, and propagandistic tradition set by the 1936 Berlin Games, the last games before the War (Hampton, 2012). The total budget of the Organizing Committee was about £750 000 (Baker, 1994).
2. The loss of economic support from the US, still reeling from the war, crippled the UK economy and forced the new Labor Government to introduce a number of constraining policies of austerity, to meet the expenses towards the war, and reconstruction (Beck, 2008).
3. Many utilities in the country were being nationalized. Rationing had continued for people, despite the end of the war, even as the economy stumbled back on track.
4. There had been significant marginalization of sports during the war, and the 1944 Olympics were cancelled. A moratorium was announced on the broadcasts of sports in the early phases of the war, and this continued for a while after the war (Phillips, 2007), affecting the coverage of the Olympics.
5. Post Office line restrictions and petrol rationing were continuing, severely restricting participation and removing all glamour from the much-revered sporting event.
6. Lord Burghley, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the event, and a spokesman for the Olympics, highlighted the economic difficulties and rallied people to show self-sacrifice and restraint to endorse the holding of the Games in London and bring the...


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...ics were starkly different from the previous games. There was no glamour, and no nationalistic advertisement. The overall sentiment of the event was to promote international peace and global cooperation, following the devastating events of the war. Britain realized this was an important opportunity for the country to position itself as a leader in the attempts to establish peace in the world. Britain had already led the allied forces, and this was the perfect opportunity to cement its position as a global leader – especially since it had lost its imperial powers and its economy was still floundering (Phillips, 2007). The British Olympic Association (BOA) took a surprising stand and did not project the aura of invincibility that it had projected during the 1908 games. Instead, London clearly showed its vulnerability, and showed its embattled side with honest pride.


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