Author: Juliet Suess
Dean Jorge Gonzalez visited Professor Derek Shearer’s Diplomacy and World Affairs (DWA) 284: Sports and Diplomacy in a Globalized World last Tuesday. He spoke excitedly about his six trips to the World Cup and one trip to the Olympic Games in London. His talk alluded to larger themes of sports as soft power and the diplomatic abilities of major sporting events.
He spoke about sporting events giving people around the world a common ground to begin conversation. At the South Africa World Cup 2010, he learned about the end to apartheid and its affect on the population. It is within the context of the World Cup that he could open a conversation about these issues with members of a completely different culture than his own.
Gonzalez also shared the story of his hiring at Occidental, one month delayed as a result of his “absolutely necessary” trip to the World Cup to cheer Mexico to victory. And the story of canceling meetings in order to hop on a last minute plane to London to see Mexico win the gold medal.
Finally, he laid out the plan for Mexican victory in the next World Cup, which started with the firing of the previous coach which will catapult them to a great victory in Brazil in 2014.
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