Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jay Martin

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© 2012 Katherine M. Bonneau


By observing each unique Olympic Game, it is evident that some games were more successful than others at creating an event that is based solely around the concept of a unified sporting culture. Looking at some of the most controversial Olympics in history, it is interesting to see how the host city selection, government, political atmosphere of the time, and the games themselves defined the overall nature of the event. The Berlin Olympics of 1936, the Mexico City Olympics of 1968, the Munich Olympics of 1972, and the Beijing Olympics of 2008 are each very different and occurred at very different times. However, they all ultimately have one thing in common; politics found a way to be the defining factor in each situation. Regardless of how hard a host city attempts to honor the Olympic Charter's goal of creating an atmosphere of unity and peace, politics is omnipresent. "In the words of former International Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage, politics is a 'savage monster' always ready to ravage the Olympic movement" (Cha, 5).

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.