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“Behind the Scenes”: The Secret Life of Harry Bosco

John D. Fair

From 1914 to 1957, athlete, author, and artist Harry Paschall entertained physical culturists with his striking images, wisdom, and wit. As a columnist and editor for Strength & Health, he gained notoriety for his pungent writing style and controversial views, enhanced by cartoons of Bosco, a superstrong hero who defends Paschall’s views on health, fitness, and weight training. Behind the scenes, however, suspicions always lurked that Paschall’s idealistic portrayals were not reality-based. Some suspected that Paschall harbored anti-Semitic sentiments and his articles were as much political statements as physical culture contributions. This perspective stems largely from Harry’s scathing portrayal of Bosco’s antithesis, Weedy Man, a caricature of training methods espoused by the rival Weider organization which stressed form rather function. By unpacking evidence of Harry Bosco’s life, it is possible to determine how much anti-Semitism, alcoholism, homophobia, and an unhealthy lifestyle played a role in his intemperate actions and death.

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The Politics of Canada’s Return to International Hockey in 1977: Hockey Diplomacy?

Jay Scherer

In 1977, the Canadian men’s national hockey team returned to international competition, marking the end of a controversial boycott launched in 1970 by Canadian ice hockey officials in protest of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s refusal to allow professionals to participate in international tournaments. However, Canada’s much-heralded presence at the 1977 World Championships in Vienna, Austria, was memorable for mostly the wrong reasons. The hastily assembled team of professionals finished fourth, out of medal contention, and engaged in repeated acts of brutality against its opponents. The team’s poor performance and unsportsmanlike conduct subsequently prompted Iona Campagnolo, the minister of state for Fitness and Amateur Sport, to commission a study on Canada’s role in international hockey. Drawing from archival diplomatic communications, this article explores the changing political and economic dynamics that shaped the series of negotiations and compromises that culminated in Canada’s return to international competition in 1977 and the fallout from its performance there. It argues that Canada’s return to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championships in 1977 with a team of professionals marked a pivotal moment in the history of international hockey, further propelling the sport into a new era of commodification and accentuating the decline of the traditional amateur ideal—developments that consolidated the power of the National Hockey League in international hockey and over the Canadian men’s national team.

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“They Couldn’t Win and Didn’t Want to Lose”: The 1982 Inter-District Championship Final (Fiji Soccer)

Kieran Edmond James and Yogesh Nadan

In this article, we review one iconic match in Fiji soccer history, the 1982 Inter-District Championship Final, when bad light stopped play after ten kicks each in the penalty shootout with penalty goals tied at 6–6. In interviews with ex-administrators and players from the match, we learn that Ba reneged upon a “gentlemen’s agreement,” between the two team presidents, not to turn up for any replay match scheduled for outside of Nadi, the original venue. Ba turned up at the replay venue and claimed the trophy much to the disgust of Nadi supporters and officials. Because the Indo-Fijian community “controls” coaching and administrative positions in soccer, it is able to fashion and refashion how Indigenous Fijian men’s bodies are presented and administered within the sport. Significantly, race and class combine to make it difficult for Indigenous ex-players to move into coaching and administrative positions in soccer postretirement.

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Volume 53 (2022): Issue 1 (May 2022)

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“Californian ‘Start-’Em-Young’ System”: The Golden State and US Swimming, 1954–1964

Matthew R. Hodler and Maureen Smith

Each Olympics, the American swimming team is comprised of swimmers from universities and club teams from across the country. California has produced elite swimmers since the first Olympics where US swimmers won a medal (1904), and its clubs and teams developed into national and international swimming powers in the post-World War II rejuvenation of the Olympics. This article investigates the ways the California Age Group swimming program shaped the American swimming culture as it rose to prominence in global competitions in the 1950s and 1960s, identifying the aquatic enterprise as an early iteration of youth sport as a serious, commercialized, and commodified pastime. Additionally, we explore how California Age Group swimming served as a site for young girls (and boys) to be a part of the American nationalist project in the post-war pre-Title IX era, an era when there were otherwise few sporting opportunities for girls.

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Erratum. “Californian ‘Start-’Em-Young’ System”: The Golden State and US Swimming 1954–1964

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“Home” to Some, But Not to Others: It’s Time to “Step Up” 1

Carly Adams

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“There Is No First Attack in Karate”: The Emergence of “Sport Karate” During the Allied Occupation of Japan

Jooyoun Kim and Eunjung Kim

Following the Second World War, martial arts in East Asia underwent various changes. This study focuses on the change from traditional martial arts to sports-oriented martial arts. It examines the emergence of karate as a sport during the Allied occupation of Japan. Kanbukan, founded in Japan by the Korean Kwaebyeong Yoon, was promoted as a sport version of karate that differed from traditional forms. Consequently, following the end of the war, Kanbukan introduced protective gear, held the first competition, created the first rules of the competition, published the first magazine, and formed the first international organization. “Sport Karate” is a detailed symbolic example of acculturation to a Western-centered culture in East Asian sports history. It is necessary to recall the legacy of Kanbukan and to reflect on the historical significance of Sport Karate, which facilitated the transition of traditional martial arts to sports.

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Moving Boarders: Skateboarding and the Changing Landscape of Urban Youth Sports

Tolga Ozyurtcu