Election Connection

Politics as Sport

While the Olympics tries to separate itself from politics, many who've participated the games find themselves drawn to the political arena.


From gold medal basketball star-turned Senator-turned Presidential candidate Bill Bradley, to decathlete Bob Mathias, to Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an Olympian with the 1964 judo team, the U.S. has a long history of linking sports and politics.

But Olympian politicians are hardly limited to the U.S. A comprehensive list from U.K. online magazine First Post features a cross-section of athlete-politicians from around the globe.

Beyond the Olympics, there are dozens of Congressmen, city councilmen, and mayors who've played sports at the college and professional levels.

While Democrat Bill Bradley may be the most famous American athlete-politician, he's nearly alone on the left. In this piece from May 2006, NPR sports commentator Frank DeFord ponders why so many of those athletes in politics are Republicans.

A photo gallery from Sports Illustrated puts the athlete-politicians into context.

And if you have lingering questions about politics, sports, China, or anything in between, NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner and panel of experts will take questions on this week's Insider Forum.

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