Episode 105: Author Harry Blutstein on the Melbourne 1956 Olympics


It’s a Bucket List episode! Alison’s been dying to talk about the infamous Blood in the Water water polo match from Melbourne 1956, and Jill’s wanted to talk about the contentious football match between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia from Helsinki 1952. We get to cover BOTH of them this week with Harry Blutstein, author of the book “Cold War Games: Spies, Subterfuge and Secret Operations at the 1956 Olympic Games,” which looks at how politics and history played out at the Melbourne 1956 Olympics (also known as “The Friendly Games”). Hear some amazing stories of the issues with the Soviet Union, Hungary, Yugoslavia, China and Taiwan.

Be sure to check out Harry’s website for more stories — and if you’re one of our Patreon patrons, we’ll have some bonus audio from this interview for our Bronze level and above patrons. Our Patreon patrons also get a first look at our new sponsorship with PinCollector.com.

In our Team Olympic Fever Update, the dulcet tones of Jason Bryant are in Tokyo to announce at the wrestling test event. Also, Charlie White and Meryl Davis were on Talks At Google — check it out here!

We’ve also got a bunch of updates about doping and Tokyo 2020, including this new bus and curb (or “kerb”) design.

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Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

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