Historical Social Research

Eva Maria Gajek: More than Munich 1972. Media, Emotions, and the Body in TV Broadcast of the 20th Summer Olympics. [Abstract]

The Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 are regarded as the turning point for TV broadcast in Olympic history. The architecture, ceremonial character and the course of the sports competitions were adapted intensely to the needs of the visual medium. This article focuses on television coverage at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The goal is to discuss how the medial array of technology changed the event and its perception. Using the example of the ABC television recordings of the marathon race, it is shown how the body was increasingly used by TV broadcasting stations as an argument and as legitimation to experience sports via mass media. At the same time, this visual presence of the athlete's body also opened a wider horizon for interpretation. Emotions, performance pressure, and failure were important references in the interpretation of the sports hero and thus also changed the perception of sport itself.

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