In the aftermath of a calamitous British performance at the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced a plan to consolidate the various units of the British Empire into a single Olympic team for the forthcoming 1916 Berlin games. Casting their eyes ahead towards Berlin, an event generating extra importance given the continued escalation of Anglo-German antagonism, the BOA conceived that a unified Greater Britain team would solidify colonial and dominion relations with the old mother country and salvage Britain’s self-perceived reputation as the leader of modern sport. Efforts to maintain Britain’s global sporting position by welding the United Kingdom and its colonial possessions into a formidable Olympic team faced stern opposition. The growing political independence of Britain’s colonies and dominions, coupled with the perilous administrative task of selecting, organizing, and financing a transcontinental British team compounded problems with the BOA’s imperial ambitions.


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pp. 45-62
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