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Inter-Korean sporting contacts in and around the Olympics over the past 60 years suggest that there is a close relationship between politics and sports. For divided nations such as the two Koreas, which by their very rationale are involved in a highly-charged competition for legitimacy with their other ‘part-nation’, the Olympics have been a particularly potent arena for political posturing and manoeuvring. This paper examines the troubled history of the two Koreas’ endeavours to enter the Olympic movement and then out-do each other; the fruitless efforts to agree on a joint Olympic team (from early negotiations in Hong Kong in 1963 through to the present day); and the potential Chinese role in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which means so much to China.


CAPS Working Paper Series No.186 (Aug 07)

Recommended Citation

Bridges, B. (2007). Playing games : the two Koreas and the Beijing Olympics (CAPS Working Paper Series No.186). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: