chapter  5
12 Pages

The Sports Policy of the Soviet Union, 1917–1941

WithJAMES RIORDAN

The policy pursued by Soviet leaders in international sport in the period following the October 1917 Revolution in Russia up to 1941 was unique. Not only did the Communist leaders turn their backs on world sport, including the Olympic Games, they attempted to form a new pattern of sports relations based on ‘worker (i.e. ‘communist worker’) sport’ or ‘physical culture’. For the first time a major state declared sport to be a political institution which played a significant part in the class war between workers and bourgeoisie, between the new socialist state and the capitalist world.