In an ABC News "Closeup" titled "The Other Olympic Game," airing tonight at 8 on Channel 7, correspondent Stone Phillips tells us the following:

"The Olympic Games are a competition among nations, a battleground for national pride."

"{In the Soviet Union}, Olympic champions are more than sports idols, they are national heroes."

"In the Soviet Union, there is no separation of sport and state."

"{The 1984 Los Angeles Olympiad} was the Olympic Games brought to you by private enterprise."

"In the Soviet Union, the Olympics are an important tool for foreign policy."

And all of this in the show's first 15 minutes!!

This is ABC News going not quite up close and personal, with a rather boring and rather unappealing look at the how East and West use the Olympic arena as a political battleground. Much of Phillips' script sounds like a primer for preschoolers; this is a one-hour documentary that clearly could have been edited down to an ABC news break, or at the most, a segment on "World News Tonight."

Phillips and producer Jeff Diamond concentrate on the fractious Olympic movement since 1968, when African nations started exerting political clout. Interspersed in the reporting are glimpses of such Olympic stars as Kip Keino, Mark Spitz, Sugar Ray Leonard, Olga Korbut and Mary Lou Retton. It is unspectacular footage (the whole show looks drab), designed to set the athletic backdrop at each Games while the ideological wheels are turning.

ABC draws a link between the Soviet Union and Third World countries, and through that establishes the one bit of news to surface during the report -- that Third World nations, with Soviet help, had launched a plan by 1976 to create a UNESCO-sponsored organization to replace the International Olympic Committee and perhaps create a rival Games.

What exactly happens to this "New World Sports Order" is a bit unclear. The 1980 U.S.-led boycott of the Summer Games in Moscow was a blow to the IOC -- which always had accused Eastern bloc and Third World nations of trying to politicize the Games -- and subsequently, new IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch went on a diplomatic mission to promise Third World leaders a greater say in Olympic decision making.

But other aspects of this East-West rift are left unsolved. The 1986 Goodwill Games -- the Olympic-style competition with the Soviets and Ted Turner as business partners -- are mentioned, but it isn't explored whether they were an outgrowth of the Soviets' 1976 anti-IOC efforts or an independent phenomenon. And in an area in which ABC might have shed significant new light -- the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul -- we get little indication of how deeply political unrest or boycotts may touch these Games.

Near the show's end, Phillips intones: "The East-West struggle for control of the Games, for the prestige and the money, will continue." Oh.