Listening to the Locals, Promoting His Presidential Agenda: Lord Killanin’s 1973 Latin American Tour


  • Cesar R. TORRES SUNY Brockport - Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Physical Education


Lord Killanin, Latin America, 1973, Reforms, International Olympic Committee


In 1972, Lord Killanin succeeded Avery Brundage as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Early in his tenure as IOC president, Killanin received an invitation to attend the twelfth congress of the Pan-American Sports Organization to be held in Santiago, Chile in late May 1973. He embraced the opportunity and transformed the trip to Chile into a tour that included several Latin American countries. This article traces Killanin’s Latin American tour, touching upon the major developments of each stopover, including accomplishments and complications, and their significance. In doing so, this article shows that by heeding the concerns, successes, and projects of those in charge of regional Olympic and sport bureaucracies, Killanin gained a thorough understanding, and formed an opinion, of the organization as well as the state of Olympic and sport matters in the region. At the same time, this article also demonstrates that Killanin took advantage of the journey throughout Latin America to consolidate and enlarge his network of contacts in the region and to familiarize regional Olympic, sport, and political leaders, and the general public, with his vision for the Olympic Movement.






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