This week, we all read “While the World Watched,” and my group read “Lifting Round the World.” While these two articles cover very different topics, certain aspects connect them. For example, in both articles, the Argentine and US governments used sports to show their governments in a positive light to the rest of the world. In Argentina, the dictators that ruled the country didn’t care about sports. However, General Videla, who had never attended a football game before, went to all of Argentina’s games when they hosted the World Cup. The General cared about projecting an image of power to their enemies at home and abroad. In the US, some popular weightlifters went on world tours to show the strength of the US. They were out there to promote the US to other countries that were on the fence about capitalism or communism. It was another place where the US and Soviet battles took place during the Cold War.

Before reading this article, I knew about some events during the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. In class, we talked a little bit about some of the things going on during this time and how the 1978 World Cup was both a joyous time for some Argentinians and a difficult time. The 1978 World Cup was difficult for many people, as many Argentinians were being taken prisoner, held captive, and many times killed for having different beliefs than the dictator. For many, it is difficult to hear or see anything involving this World Cup and current World Cups, as it brings back these terrible times. The World Cup makes some survivors feel like things that happened to them can happen again.

One new thing that I learned after reading this article was how bad the torture was of some people in Argentina. I had no idea how gruesome some of the things these prisoners went through. Reading some of this stuff was difficult, and I empathized with these people. I didn’t know that mothers had their babies taken away from them and given to other families. It’s devastating that this happened to so many people. Another thing that I learned was that, at first, many people wanted the military to get involved. Two years before the World Cup, in 1976, the military was asked to seize power because Argentina was in a civil war. The military eventually did seize power. However, many people didn’t realize what would happen in the upcoming years. While reading the article “Lifting Round the World,” I found most of the information was new. I never followed weightlifting, so I didn’t know much about the sport or its history. I found it interesting that the US used weightlifting to try and build better relations with countries around the world during the Cold War that were deciding between the US and USSR. I would have thought the US would have turned to a more popular sport with athletes who were known worldwide to help them in this endeavor.