This article looks at the ways in which the Gerald Ford administration involved itself in the United States Olympic program. Though short in tenure, Ford’s administration dealt with four Olympic-related issues and acted in the best interest of the US Olympic Movement in each case: the creation of the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports, funding for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games, the revocation of Radio Free Europe’s press credentials in Innsbruck, and the status of the Republic of China’s team in Montreal. It argues that Ford understood the distinction between presidential support for the Games and too much presidential interference in the Olympic Movement and that his administration always acted appropriately. Though often overshadowed by his successor Jimmy Carter’s outright interference in American sporting diplomacy, Ford’s legacy regarding American amateur sport and particularly the Olympic Games should be positive.
Erin E. Redihan is with Worcester State University, Worcester, MA.