Let the Games Begin: A Look at North and South Korea's Political Relationship Through the Olympic Games

Sydney Pattison Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Vivian Deno Butler University
The Cold War is responsible for creating the political and ideological separation of North and South Korea. The Olympic games serve as an informative political checkpoint and allows this turbulent relationship between the Koreas to be viewed internationally. Though the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s mission is to help the games remain neutral by promoting unity, the Olympic games have been a platform for politics to spill onto an international stage. The summer games in Sydney, Australia 2000 serves as an example, when North and South Korea marched united as one Korea in the opening ceremonies under the Unification Flag. A similar showing happened during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Here, North and South Korea, not only marched in the opening ceremonies together, but they also competed as one Korea. Let the Games Begin examines how the IOC navigates their message of neutrality and unity, and promoting sport as free from state, while allowing North Korea to compete in the games. It also seeks to examine the tumultuous relationship between North and South Korea, created by the Cold War, by examining their relationship through sport and the Olympic Games. The project uses official IOC documents to examine how the two countries may be promoting or hindering the Olympic mission. Along with news articles and clips to examine protests to the Olympic demonstrations of unity, and looking at archival research involving sport and politics, and applying it to the Koreas.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:15 PM
Jordan Hall 278