What is meant by the term ?shop window? as it applies to sport How has this changed since the demise of the Soviet bloc countries and the growth of professional sport
Health benefits were claimed to be a major priority in the policies of mass participation adopted by the Eastern bloc regimes of the 1960?s, 70s and 80s. There were rather more sinister agendas, reminiscent of Adolph Hitler?s ?youth movement? and the Nazi party?s subsequent attempts to take over the Olympic movement in the Games of 1936 in the cause of National Socialism.
These, so called, political overtones were also manifest in the later East German, Soviet and Cuban use of major sporting occasions to parade their political doctrines to the rest of the world. This, today, still occurs in China where the national identity is promoted in the workplace and the school room and fostered by elitist programmes of excellence, as suspect in some cases as those of the former Soviet bloc.
The transformation of amateur sports into professional ones has clearly stimulated many governments into embracing sport as a tool of national promotion. In both the ideological and the commercial sense, the sporting ?shop window? now provides a truly global medium
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