Every four years since 1796 the United States holds a presidential election. Every four years since 1896 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stages an Olympic spectacle, or at least a summertime athletic extravaganza.1 That U.S. election cycles and Olympic quadrennials fall in the same year is purely coincidental. That presidential contenders frequently invoke American Olympians to polish their populist bona fides, illustrate key aspects of their platforms, and bask in the reflected glow of golden triumphalism is no accident. The incorporation of narratives about American Olympians into presidential combat underscores the power of sport in U.S. political discourse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)
- Social Sciences(all)