CIA looked into possible conspiracy behind Soviets' surprise upset in 1972 Olympics

CIA looked into possible conspiracy behind Soviets’ surprise upset in 1972 Olympics

Report in Agency’s unclassified archives shows interest in showing the fix was in against the American basketball team

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Edited by Beryl Lipton

A journal entry from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Legislative Counsel uncovered in the CIA’s declassified archives shows Agency interest at the possibility of a conspiracy behind the Soviets’ surprise victory over the American basketball team in the 1972 Olympics.

Though the context is redacted, the journal contains a report, apparently sourced from an article, describing the controversial final three seconds of the game, where the Soviet team was able to squeak out a buzzer-beating victory.

Though overshadowed by other events of the 1972 Olympics, there has long been rumors of a conspiracy against the American team, whose record prior to that game was 63-0 with seven consecutive gold medals. The CIA report was clearly sympathetic to this view.

The American team contested the loss and to this day have refused the silver medal. If the Agency, perhaps at the behest of somebody in Congress, was able to uncover evidence that the fix was indeed in, then they either sat on it or it was to no avail. For their part, the Soviet victory became a huge point of national pride and just last year was dramatized into the feature film Going Vertical - the Russian answer to Miracle,, if you will - which has gone on to become the country’s highest-grossing domestic film of all time.

Read the full report embedded below.

Image via Three T Productions