chapter  8
Epilogue: The Legacy of the Mexico City Olympics
Pages 15

Games would never be the same again. Yet only a wild optimist would assert that the 1968 games represented a breakthrough in the developed world’s previous grip on the

International Olympic Committee (IOC). For various reasons, few of which have anything to do with Mexico’s competence as a host, never again has a country from the developing world hosted the summer Olympics. In this concluding study,

therefore, we revisit some of the objectives behind Mexico’s desire to stage the games to gauge the extent to which these were achieved. In doing so, the student movement

and its bloody end are considered within the context of a broader picture: how this tragic, unforeseen event has impinged on the ways in which the Mexican elite wished

to instil lasting, more positive images of their nation. We also consider how the experience of hosting the Olympics affected Mexico’s staging of the football World

Cup in 1970. In particular we explore how the differing agendas of the two organizing committees underlined many of the social and cultural tensions discussed in earlier parts of this collection. In considering the long-term legacy of the Olympic Games,

we go beyond quantitative criteria to explore the extent to which the rhetoric of unity and humanity encapsulated by the Olympic ethos was sufficiently strong to have a

lasting effect on Mexican society.