Thursday’s Podcast: The History of the Olympics

A bright spot in a pretty dismal week: having the chance to record a new episode of The 252 with Chris Moore and Sam Mulberry.

This week we talked about student responses to our hypothetical scenario of Bethel leaving Division III for Division I of the NCAA, but most of our attention focused on the Olympic Games, as our History and Politics of Sports class started a two-week unit on sports and international relations.

• Chris explained why students are reading and reviewing Victor Cha’s Beyond the Final Score: The Politics of Sport in Asia and unpacked the geopolitical and cultural significance of the 2008 Opening Ceremony in Beijing.

Fireworks display during the 2008 Opening Ceremony – Creative Commons (wuqiang_beijing)

• Then we narrowed down student nominations of the most significant moments in Olympic history to a new Mount Rushmore. Jesse Owens’ gold medal performance in Berlin and the Smith/Carlos protest in Mexico City easily finished 1-2 in the race, but it was hard work picking from many other worthy moments, including the first televised Games, the terrorist attack in Munich, the Miracle on Ice, multiple Olympic boycotts, and significant Olympic firsts for women and disabled athletes.

You’ll have to listen to find out our final four. As always, you can stream or download this and every episode of The 252 from Podbean, Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else that hosts Channel 3900. 

Oh, and here are this week’s “Three to See”:

Chris Moore: Robert Coover’s 1968 novel, The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

Sam Mulberry: the 2003 karate episode of Cheap Seats (“Mystery Science Theater meets ESPN Classic”)

Chris Gehrz: the new season of “Marbula One” on YouTube