Cold War Games: Espionage, Spies and Secret Operations at the 1956 Olympic Games

Harry Blutstein

Cold War Games: Espionage, Spies and Secret Operations at the 1956 Olympic Games
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Cold War Games: Espionage, Spies and Secret Operations at the 1956 Olympic Games

Harry Blutstein

The 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games have become known as the ‘friendly games', but East-West rivalry ensured that they were anything but friendly. From the bloody semi-final water polo match between the USSR and Hungary, to the 46 athletes who defected to the West, sport and politics collided during the Cold War.

There were glimmers of peace and solidarity. Cold War Games also tells the love story between Czechoslovak discus thrower Olga Fikotová, and American hammer thrower Hal Connolly, and their struggle to overcome Cold War politics to marry.

Cold War Games is a lively, landmark book, with fresh information from ASIO files and newly discovered documents from archives in the USSR, US and Hungary, revealing secret operations in Melbourne and showing just how pivotal the 1956 Olympic Games were for the great powers of the Cold War.

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