Sports Diplomacy from A to Z
Mega events such as the Olympic Games and World Cup present unique opportunities for sports diplomacy on a global stage. But they're not the only vehicles for sports-related international exchange with meaningful and lasting impact. Check out CPD's coverage of all things athletic, from American Football to Indian Yoga and more.
- Why the Patriots' Super Bowl Win Is Bigger Than the U.S. by Joey Krassenstein. In a piece published following Super Bowl XLIX, the author asked, "Could American football be the next ping pong?"
- NFL Games in London, Sports Diplomacy Takes Center Stage by Michael Duffin. Thanks to sports diplomacy, American and British sports fans alike began to take interest in the football that their counterparts were watching.
- The Role of Football in U.S. Public Diplomacy by Alvin Snyder. According to the author, it was "[t]oo bad for President George W. Bush that political public opinion surveys weren't conducted at U.S. football games."
- The Dodgers go to Cuba by Paige Parker. The PD implications of a baseball goodwill mission to Cuba.
- Basketball Diplomacy: Lunch with the North Korean Team. Watch some highlights from Ryan Duffy and Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea to exercise basketball diplomacy with Kim Jong Un.
- Dennis Rodman and Sports Diplomacy Gone Awry by Markos Kounalakis. In the personally tragic case of former basketball pro Dennis Rodman in North Korea, the embrace of Kim Jong Un and his policies sting like a bee.
- Basketball Diplomacy in CNN's Court by R.S. Zaharna. Veteran NBA star Dennis Rodman took a shot at “basketball diplomacy” in North Korea and showed how professed good intentions can go afoul.
- UN Peacekeepers Scale Mt. Kilimanjaro on Peace Mission. A video follows the expedition of UN peacekeepers who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to promote a message of world peace.
- Cricket Diplomacy and the World Cup by Paul Rockower. According to the author, "In the subcontinent, there is really only one religion that unites India, Pakistan and Bangladesh: cricket."
- Cricket Diplomacy and Pakistan by Paul Rockower. "Amid the debates about American aid to Pakistan, and the public diplomacy attempts to gain Pakistani 'hearts and minds,' there is one measure which would gain Pakistani support: Cricket Diplomacy," said one APDS blogger.
- George Balanchine: The Public Diplomat Behind the Ballet Master by Mariami Khatiashvili. Learn about the impact of one man's cultural bridge between the United States and Georgia.
- The "Jewels" of Ballet Diplomacy. Three ballet companies from different countries came together for an international performance.
- Two Halves, One Whole: Punjabi-Mexican Dance. Half and Halves is an artistic collaboration devoted to telling the story of California's Punjabi-Mexicans.
- Hijab-Wearing Dance Group Brings People Together Through Hip-Hop. Award-winning dance group We're Muslim Don't Panic is on a mission to stamp out Islamophobia with hip-hop.
- Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Paddles into Israel. Watch as Israeli citizens embraced the ancient Chinese sport of Dragon Boating.
- Kontinental Hockey League: Soft Power of the Tough Game by Stanislav Budnitskiy. Writing from Ottawa, the author discussed the soft power benefits of the Russian-led KHL.
Mixed Martial Arts
- The McGregor Effect: The Soft Power Impact of Mixed Martial Arts by Madison Jones. A look inside the global reach of the sport.
- Olympic Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula by Robert Dunbar. The joint North Korea-South Korea women's hockey team to compete at this year's Winter Games marked a new step in Olympic history.
- Olympics: Once More 'A Symbol of Hope and Peace in Our Troubled Times' by Alan Abrahamson. Read what this award-winning sports journalist said about the Olympic movement's role in global peacebuilding.
- Sports Diplomacy at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Arirang TV looked at the impact of the 2018 winter games on North Korea-South Korea relations in this video.
- Special Olympics: A Uniquely Valuable PD Asset by Barry Sanders. Reflect back on the 2015 Opening Ceremonies in Los Angeles.
- Running for a Reason. Check out this interview with Mina Guli became an advocate for the UN's sustainable development goals by running 40 marathons in 40 days.
- The Spirit of India Run by Navdeep Suri. A discussion of the public diplomacy impact of a cross-India run.
- U.S.-Cuban Skateboard Diplomacy. Watch American skateboarders from Cuba Skate bridge U.S.-Cuban foreign relations with skateboard diplomacy, empowering Cuban youth and facilitating diplomatic reconciliation between the two nations.
- The Role of Non-State Actors in Sports Diplomacy by Neftalie Williams. CPD Photo Essay: Skateboarders from the United States and Brazil forge meaningful ties around a half-pipe in São Paulo.
- A World Cup Love Story. Peru starts a global conversation with a video message to its contenders at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
- Empowerment Through Soccer. A video from Deutsche Welle News explored how one community leader harnessed the combined power of sports and education diplomacy to teach youth vital lessons about health, self-worth and cooperation.
- The Beautiful Game: Soccer and National Identity. Listen to CPD's interview with Roger Kittleson about The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil
- Soccer Diplomacy at the FIFA World Cup: Cross-Cultural Relations Redefined on the Pitch by Kimiya Shokoohi. The complex allegiances of Steven Beitashour, the Iranian team's American player.
- A NAFTA World Cup in 2026? The U.S., Canada and Mexico submitted a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Watch CPD's 2014 roundtable discussion on the topic, featuring Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan.
- U.S. Sports Diplomacy with Iran: USA Volleyball Cup. Watch the U.S. State Department and USA Volleyball's efforts to bring Team Iran to the United States.
- New Article on Yoga Diplomacy. Peter Martin's contribution to Foreign Affairs on how the Modi Administration is strategically using India's intellectuals, emigrants, and yogis to enhance the country's soft power.
- Yoga as Indian Soft Power by Sonali Singh. Is India taking full advantage of yoga's soft power potential?
- The Public Diplomacy of Celebrity Athletes. Using Dennis Rodman as a case study, this article examines the role of high-profile athletes in sports diplomacy.
- Bringing States Closer Through Sport. Michał Marci Kobierecki looks at Great Britain’s use of sports diplomacy to foster relationships with former colonies.
- First-Ever World Indigenous Games Held in Brazil. CCTV took viewers inside the Amazon for a look at the historic games in this video.
- Military-to-Military Sports Diplomacy by Anna Velikaya. How sports create a space for international militaries to interact.
- Sports Diplomacy is the New Comeback Kid by Carrie (Walters) Nohr. A look at the U.S. State Department's ECA initiatives during Karen Hughes' tenure.
- Sports Mega-Events and States' Soft Power Strategies. How and why do governments leverage global athletic events? Find out in this article by UK authors.
Icons are courtesy of Flat Icon Basic License and are attributed to the following creators: Smashicons (American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Hockey, Mixed Martial Arts, Olympic Games, Skateboarding, Soccer, Volleyball, Yoga, Miscellaneous), Freepik (Climbing, Dragon Boating), Nikita Golubev (Dance), and DinosoftLabs (Running).