Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Foreign Languages

Reader 1

Hans Rindisbacher

Reader 2

Paul Buchholz

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© 2013 Katherine A. Evans


This thesis examines the planning and organization of the Munich 1972 and Seoul 1988 Olympic Games with a specific focus on how the South Korean and West German governments attempted to use the Games to positively change their images abroad. Both countries attempted to distance themselves not only from their own war torn pasts, but also from their Communist counterparts, East Germany and North Korea. The West German government (and the Munich Olympic Committee) hoped to create a “peaceful” and “carefree atmosphere” that would directly counter images of Nazism, and the South Korean government (and the Seoul Olympic Committee) sought to use the Olympics to legitimize a military dictatorship and prove the country’s economic growth following the Korean War. By giving the Games so much importance, however, both governments transformed the Olympics into a flashpoint for international and domestic conflicts, and unforeseen events, such as the Black September terrorist attack, the South Korean democracy movement, and North Korea’s demands to co-host the Games, changed and defined the public images of both the Games and their host countries.


This thesis is written in German.

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