The Californization of Olympian Love Olga Fikotová and Harold Connolly's cold war romance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

At the height of the Cold War, as nuclear Armageddon between the Western bloc and the Eastern bloc loomed, a ray of hope appeared at the 1956 Olympics. An American gold medalist named Harold Connolly and a Czech gold medalist named Olga Fikotová fell in love. After a whirlwind courtship in front of the world press corps, they married and migrated to the United States, becoming global celebrities. They eventually settled near the golden beaches of California. The narratives about their romance constructed by the media and by the Connollys themselves proclaimed that California dreams could win the Cold War without resort to weapons of mass destruction by employing the engines of mass consumption. From the 1950s through the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, that idea remained endlessly fascinating to the American public and to the advocates of soft-power strategies in Olympic arenas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-61
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Sport History
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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cold war
love
gold
Warsaw Pact
weapon of mass destruction
VIP
narrative
Cold War
Romance
Olympics
1950s
Eastern Bloc
Celebrity
Weapons of Mass Destruction
World Press
Ray
Armageddon
Soft Power
Courtship
1990s

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Cite this

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The Californization of Olympian Love Olga Fikotová and Harold Connolly's cold war romance. / Dyreson, Mark.

In: Journal of Sport History, Vol. 46, No. 1, 01.03.2019, p. 36-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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