The link between sport and war goes back to ancient times, when a truce of 30 days was observed throughout the Greek world during their Olympic games.
Sport has always been a key factor in Australian culture and national identity. The Australian obsession with sport has spilled over into theatres of war from the beginning, as writer Les Carlyon and journalist Barrie Cassidy discuss.
The Australian War Memorial's travelling exhibition Sport and war tells remarkable stories of courage and achievement, revealing the importance of sport to Australians serving overseas as well as the wartime experiences of some of our most loved sport heroes.
Les Carlyon is a respected journalist and writer, author of the award-winning Gallipoli, a former editor of The Age and editor-in-chief of the Herald & Weekly Times group, and has won two Walkley award for journalism, the Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year award in 1993 and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Melbourne Press Club Quill awards.
Barrie is a veteran Australian political journalist, host of the ABC's Insiders program, a regular political commentator, a former ABC political correspondent and was former prime minister Bob Hawke's personal press secretary from 1986 to 1991. He's also a Collingwood supporter.
This discussion, held at the State Library of Victoria on 19 August 2008, was part of the program of events for the Sport and war exhibition at the Australian War Memorial.