In the last fifty years Russian sport has risen to world domination, especially in the Olympic Games, where Soviet athletes were preeminent in so many areas, then fallen into apparently terminal decline, and after that risen again. Not only did Russia host this year’s Olympic Games, it will also host the 2018 World Cup, and will soon have an annual Formula 1 Grand Prix, while Russian teams and individual athletes are once again prominent in the world’s major sports.
This course will try to answer those questions by looking at diverse materials, including belles lettres, scholarship, and individual testimony.
What was sport in Russia like before the Soviet period?
- What happened after 1917 and what made Soviet sport so successful internationally;
- what did this have to do with the sports and games pursued by ordinary people in the Soviet Union;
- how did people look at the sporting success of the USSR;
- what caused the decline, what has propelled the revival;
- what are the favored recreational sports of Russians today;
- what is the role of spectator sports in modern Russian society?
Attendance at lectures, class participation; in-class mid-course test; short final paper. This course will use the i>clicker response system.
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