Of "mermaids" and "fairies", "dinosaurs" and "dwarfs"Analysis of the perception of "east" and "west" on the basis of the Olympic Summer Games of 1972, 1976, 1992 and 1996by Martin SpitzerDue to the lack of success of domestic athletes at Olympic Summer Games, the bigger part of Austrian sports news coverage focuses on international athletes and results. On the basis of the Austrian newspaper coverage in the "Presse" and the "Kronenzeitung" the perception of the political "East" and "West" during and after the Cold War is analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. In the 1970s the Austrian press sympathises generally with the athletes of the USA. Exceptions are primarily from the GDR in cases where the attractiveness of female athletes is considered more important than their origin. The achievements of the USSR are hardly mentioned. In the 1990s the attention of the press focuses significantly on the USA. The media coverage concentrates mainly on disciplines in which the US athletes are dominant. The athletes of the former USSR are observed closely especially in 1992, and they are pictured in a more positive manner than in the 1970s. On the contrary, athletes from Germany are hardly mentioned. Because of the broad media coverage on athletes of the USA, these are described in a more differentiated way. The Peoples Republic of China is perceived as quite similar to the former countries under the rule of Communist parties.Body stereotypes, primarily concerning skin colour or figure, lose significance in the course of those twenty years. On the contrary, gender stereotypes rather persist. The conception of "East" and "West" changes geographically, especially with the emergence of the Peoples Republic of China, but the ascribed gender characteristics show by trend a significant continuity.