chapter  1
Patriotic Pastimes: The Role of Sport in Post-Revolutionary Mexico
ByKeith Brewster 1
Pages 19

When Mexico hosted the Centra] American Games in 1926, its government sought to use the event to convince international observers that the nation had emerged from years of bitter civil war to resume its traditional role as the region's political and cultural leader.[l] Yet while the pomp and ceremony of the games may have provided a temporary sense of well-being, the occasion could not fully mask the disquiet that lay close beneath the veneer of normality. The wounds of the Mexican Revolution (1910-17) went much deeper: the country's economic infrastructure was severely damaged; political authority had devolved to semi-autonomous provincial leaders with sufficient military clout to get their way; as poorer Mexicans called for social justice; the wealthy demanded social control. Many refused to accept that the violent conflict had run its course: radicals pushed for greater political change while reactionary voices sought to turn the clock back. Clearly, it would take more than a few gold medals to convince onlookers that Mexico had returned to the stable, economic development that had characterized the late nineteenth century.