Olympic Studies Center

The 1968 U.S. Olympic Team Oral History Project

Olympic Studies is a primary research focus at the Stark Center. The Stark Center’s staff has contributed a number of publications to the Olympic Studies field, including:

  • Articles
  • Presentations
  • and most recently, a book by Dr. Thomas Hunt. Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping, 1960–2008 is a thoroughly researched chronicle of doping in the Olympics that connects the issue to global political relations.

In addition, the Todd-McLean Library at the Stark Center holds over 30,000 thousand books as well as periodicals and other media. Relevant topics represented in the collection are:

  • Drugs and the Olympic Movement
  • Olympic Weightlifting
  • Olympic Wrestling
  • Official Olympic Reports
  • Training for Olympic Sports
  • Olympic Ephemera from the collections of Beth Rowley, Bob Hoffman, and Harold Weiss

Related Resources (off-site) 

International Olympic Studies Center

More scholarly references and sources on Olympism

Find the “1968 Olympics Oral History Project Exhibit” here

New research from friend-of-the-Stark Center, Dr. Brennan Berg

Image of an interview of Dr. Brennan Berg at University of Memphis

In addition to his research, Dr. Berg worked with us on the 1968 Olympics Oral history project. Click the image above to view the video interview (off-site).

Now Closed: The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center at the University of Texas Austin hosted the The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936 exhibition from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The exhibit examined those games from a larger socio-cultural context, specifically the treatment of Jews around the time of the Games. This initiative was made possible through a partnership with the Texas Program in Sports and Media in the College of Communications and through gifts from Kenneth Goldberg, Sandy Gottesman, and Kirk Rudy. The Austin American Statesman, KVUE, and KUT 90.1 sponsored the exhibit. The Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at UT Austin was a scholarly programming partner for the exhibition. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibitions program is supported in part by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibition Fund established in 1990. The traveling exhibitions are also supported by Dr. and Mrs. Sol Center.

The Stark Center is known for its physical culture collection but has rich resources in Olympic studies. As part of the opening of this exhibit the Stark Center is sharing parts of its collection. The pictures below are a portion of a collection depicting Olympic history. Cigarette packages came with coupons which could be sent to the manufacturer in exchange for 50 pictures.
Collection of Jan and Terry Todd

The first meeting of the Organizing Committee for the modern Olympics. Second from left is Baron Pierre de Coubertin who is often credited with being the architect of the modern Olympic Games.The start of the 100 meter Olympic Final during the 1896 Games in Athens. American Thomas Burke won the event in 12 seconds.The Indian Hockyteam in the Olympic Village during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.Track and Field at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris was held on a 500 meter grass field in the Bois de Boulogne.The Panathenaic Stadium shown here was built in 1896 to host the modern Olympic Games.Italian Dorando Pietri finishing the 1908 Marathon. He was later disqualified for receiving assistance before the finish line. The eventual winner was American Johnny Hayes.The entrance of the Swedish Gymnastics team in front of the Swedish royal family.Harry Denis of the Dutch Soccer team leads the Olympic oath while holding the Dutch flag in front of the other competing nations.From L to R: Ville Ritola, Paavo Nurmi, and Edvin Wide compete in the 10000 Meter Run at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Nurmi won the race in a new Olympic Record but fell short of his own World Record.The 1932 Olympic Marathon. Juan Carlos Zabala (L) of Argentina won the event in a new Olympic Record of 2:31:36.Athletes congregate in front of the Olympic Village in Los Angeles.The entrance to the Olympic Village in Paris in 1924. These Olympics were the first to have an Olympic Village.American Avery Brundage: future President of the International Olympic CommitteeAmerican Avery Brundage: future President of the International Olympic Committee


Guy Walters provides a comprehensive study of the 1936 Olympic Games including the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in his book Berlin Games: How Hitler Stole the Olympic Dream . Walters analyzes the People’s Olympiad, a counter-Olympics to those held in Berlin but were eventually cancelled due to the Spanish Civil War. Both weeks of the Olympic Games are covered in separate chapters with great detail. Walters’ study combines narrative and historical scholarship to tell the story of the Nazi Olympics.