I’ve mentioned it to couple of people, to be met with blank looks. It was this weird synchronised gymnastics display put on every year in a vast stadium, mainly by winsome pubescent girls as I remember, and seemingly always in Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile elderly men in hats, possibly the local Politburo, looked on. I was too young to appreciate the We Celebrate Our Glorious Socialist Youth vibe of the event, although I think I had already picked up enough of distaste for things Eastern Bloc to find it vaguely creepy.
It was shown for a few years by the at-the-time only commercial network here, in its “cheesy Saturday afternoon sports” slot, I think without any care or possibly even awareness on their part of the political overtones of the event. It was presented more in a spirit of “foreigners, what will they get up to next?” But they also made out that Spartakiada was a really big deal in the Eastern bloc, with the youth of that part of the world’s highest aspiration being to form huge geometric patterns in a parade ground outside Prague.
So basically, it was like an Olympic opening ceremony, except a bit more regimental and Nuremberg Rally-ish, and apparently people in Communist countries went nuts for it. Anybody else remember it?