Jews and the Olympic Games: the clash between sport and politics : with a complete review of Jewish Olympic medallists

Paul Taylor

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Abstract

There is a collection of stories making up the history of the Jews at the Olympic Games. This is partly due to the prodigious - and widely underestimated - success of Jewish athletes at the Games, but also owing to the special history of the Jewish people in the twentieth century - first, as victims of racism in Europe and then, following the establishment of modern Israel in 1948, in the ongoing struggle for peace in the Middle East. Many of the athletes depicted here fought battles both on and off the running track. The personal drama and enduring humanity of their stories goes beyond sport and embraces politics, heroism and resilience. The Olympic Games served to combat persecution: in sport, the best competitor always wins. On these equal terms, such political and racial interference is rendered impotent. No story so illustrates the interaction between sport and politics as the story of Jewish athletes and the Games. Each major event at the Games related to the Jews is covered in depth. From the first Olympics in Athens in 1896, through to the disasters and triumphs of Munich 1972 and beyond, Jews and the Olympic Games - which features a list of the more than 250 Jewish medallists at the Games and sixteen pages of pictures of Jewish athletes - is an account of the conflict between sport and politics.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBrighton ; Portland, Or.
PublisherSussex Academic Press
ISBN (Print)1903900875
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Jewish athletes--History
  • Olympics--Political aspects--History
  • Jews--Social conditions

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