A balance of power : women’s artistic gymnastics during the Cold War and its aftermath / Georgia Cervin

Cervin, Georgia

Edited by University of Western Australia. Perth - 2017

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) entered Olympic competition in 1952, when the first appearance of the USSR started forty years of ascendancy. By 2000, emphasis on spectacle and risk had replaced its balletic origins. This research traces such development of WAG during the Cold War and its aftermath, through exploration of the differing responses to Soviet domination in the United States, Australia and the international gymnastics federation (FIG). It pursues this through semi-structured oral histories, print media sources and uniquely among studies of gymnastics – the archives of the FIG and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In doing so this thesis has two aims: first, to make sense of WAG’s development with consideration of international sporting governance, and second, to position it within wider understandings of the Cold War.

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