May 20, 2024
Columns

When North Korea shined at the ‘Olympics of the Left’

Before North Korean athletes ever participated in the Olympic games, they found success at GANEFO in Indonesia

The Soviet Union and aligned states had a tense relationship with the early Olympic movement, to say the least. In the early years of the competition, the USSR saw the Games as dangerously capitalist and “bourgeoisie.” 

In response, the Soviets created their own Spartakiad games, inspiring mass games throughout the communist world, including North Korea’s Arirang Mass Games.

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