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Olympic emphasis has shifted

In the summer of 1968, practical considerations kept star at home

Updated: August 2, 2012, 1:37 PM ET
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | ESPN.com

In 1968 the Olympics were more political and less lucrative.

Professional athletes could not compete and fewer sports were contested. Politics played a much bigger role because the Cold War overshadowed all international events. Western democracies were held up in comparison to the countries that followed communist and socialist policies. Internally, many of the participating countries also were dealing with growing dissent, as marginalized members of society began to more forcefully ...

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