This research traces the development of Women's Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) during the Cold War and its aftermath. Cold War rivalry heightened the importance of Olympic competition as a demonstration of soft power and national ascendancy. It influenced Olympic policy toward gender, inspired cheating in the gymnastics arena, and saw gymnasts used as political emissaries. The international gymnastics federation successfully handled the sport's growing popularity and, through public relations and rule changes, countered external criticism. Through its re-evaluation of WAG this thesis enhances understanding of sport's place in both Cold War diplomacy and the broader socio-cultural history of the twentieth century.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||1 May 2017|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2017|