When it’s more than a game

In the wake of the Iran’s soccer team wearing opposition armbands in a match this week, Judah Grunstein at World Politics Review has a list of his “admittedly U.S.-centric” top 5 international sports events with political significance. His explanations are worth reading, but here’s the bare list: U.S. vs. USSR, 1980 Olympic hockey. Hungary vs. ...

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584710_090618_soccer2.jpg
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 17: Nekounam Javad of Iran wears symbolic green wrist bands before the 2010 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers match between Iran and South Korea at Seoul World Cup Stadium on June 17, 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images)

In the wake of the Iran's soccer team wearing opposition armbands in a match this week, Judah Grunstein at World Politics Review has a list of his "admittedly U.S.-centric" top 5 international sports events with political significance. His explanations are worth reading, but here's the bare list:

U.S. vs. USSR, 1980 Olympic hockey.

Hungary vs. USSR, 1956 Olympic water polo.

In the wake of the Iran’s soccer team wearing opposition armbands in a match this week, Judah Grunstein at World Politics Review has a list of his “admittedly U.S.-centric” top 5 international sports events with political significance. His explanations are worth reading, but here’s the bare list:


  1. U.S. vs. USSR, 1980 Olympic hockey.

  2. Hungary vs. USSR, 1956 Olympic water polo.

  3. Jesse Owens vs. Adolph Hitler, 1936 Olympics.

  4. Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, 1936 and 1938 World Heavyweight boxing title.

  5. U.S.-USSR, 1972 Olympic basketball.



Can you think of any others you would add?

Getty Images 

<p> Michael Wilkerson, a journalist and former Fulbright researcher in Uganda, is a graduate student in politics at Oxford University, where he is a Marshall Scholar. </p>

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