page contents Cold War rivalries split the Olympics in Moscow in 1980 – The News Headline

Cold War rivalries split the Olympics in Moscow in 1980

EDITORS — With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a yr on account of the coronavirus pandemic, The Related Press is taking a look again on the historical past of Summer season Video games. Listed below are one of the vital highlights of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

The Chilly Battle made for many years of annoying Olympic battles between the US and the Soviet Union. In 1980 that contention break up the Olympics altogether.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter, dealing with re-election, driven for the U.S. to boycott the primary Olympics held within the Soviet Union after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in December 1979.

Because the Soviets received medal after medal in Moscow, U.S. athletes got token medals at a White Space reception. The boycott got here simply months after the U.S. had hosted the Wintry weather Olympics in Lake Placid, beating the Soviets Four-Three within the “Miracle on Ice” ultimate.

Carter recruited boxing legend Muhammad Ali to criss-cross Africa with an attraction to nations to enroll in the boycott. Of the 5 international locations Ali visited, 3 competed in Moscow anyway.

The U.S., China, Canada, West Germany and far of South The united states stayed house. Many Ecu nations fudged the problem, sending groups who took phase beneath the Olympic flag. 4 years later, the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles as retaliation.

The Soviet warfare in Afghanistan rumbled on in the course of the 1980 Olympics. Boxers and wrestlers despatched through Afghanistan’s pro-Soviet government have been held up as heroes through the Soviet media, which reported they’d defied threats of bodily hurt to compete. Some Afghan athletes had defected to Pakistan as an alternative.

It was once a show off of ideology up to carrying fulfillment. The primary venue was once Moscow’s Central Lenin Stadium, now higher referred to as Luzhniki, which additionally held the football Global Cup ultimate in 2018. The Soviets and their allies held up carrying successes as a validation in their political methods.

Slightly a decade later, the Soviet Union could be a factor of the previous because it fractured into 15 newly unbiased nations. To nowadays, many older Russians keep in mind the Olympics with satisfaction as a time when their nation proved it would host a prestigious global match, even with Western international locations looking to destroy the birthday celebration.

A era of Russian kids beloved Misha, the cuddly endure mascot. His farewell on the ultimate rite, flying away clutching a host of balloons, was once referenced within the 2014 Wintry weather Olympics in Sochi when a brand new Russian endure mascot shed a tear and blew out the Olympic flame.


With the U.S. out of the image, the Chilly Battle medal-table contention was once long gone and Soviet athletes have been head and shoulders above the remaining.

They completed with 195 general medals, greater than any nation at any Olympic Video games sooner than or since, forward of East Germany with 126. Britain’s 21 medals have been essentially the most for any non-Communist nation.

Swimmer Vladimir Salnikov churned up the pool with 3 gold medals and a global file, whilst gymnast Alexander Dityatin received a medal in 8 occasions, an Olympic file matched simplest through U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps in 2004 and 2008.

It was once arduous for strange Soviet voters to look at the Olympics, despite the fact that. Commute to Moscow from different towns was once limited all over the Video games and locals have been warned to restrict social touch with other people from non-Communist nations.

East Germany’s medal haul was once huge for a rustic of slightly 16 million other people. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Germany was once reunified and the East’s huge state-run doping program was once printed.


Heading into 1980, few had Scottish sprinter Allan Wells down as the favourite to win 100-meter gold. He did it anyway.

With the U.S. workforce staying house it was once a fight between Wells and Cuban runner Silvio Leonard. They began on reverse aspects of the observe for the general; Leonard in lane one, Wells in lane 8.

They have been neck-and-neck the entire method down the observe and got similar instances however Wells dipped marginally faster to take the win on a photograph end. The Olympic anthem was once performed, now not “God Save The Queen,” as Britain nodded to the boycott through competing with out nationwide symbols.

To turn out his win wasn’t only a fluke of the boycott, Wells raced the main U.S. sprinters two weeks later at a meet in West Germany and beat them too.

A 2015 documentary through the BBC alleged that Wells had taken the banned steroid stanozolol all over his profession. He strongly denies doping.


The Moscow boycott put 1976 fencing gold medalist Thomas Bach on a trail to turning into president of the Global Olympic Committee, and formed how he reacted to Russian doping many years later.

He advised West German Olympic officers to ship a workforce at a convention in Would possibly 1980 however was once outvoted. After being mentored in sports activities politics whilst running for Adidas, Bach joined the IOC and was once elected president in 2013. Rower Anita DeFrantz sued the U.S. Olympic Committee in her marketing campaign towards the boycott and is now an IOC vice-president.

When fashionable doping in Russia was once printed, Bach and the IOC opted towards except for Russia from the 2016 Olympics. Bach has cited his revel in of the boycotts when arguing towards banning any nation, and to again up IOC laws fighting athletes making gestures of protest.

“We should be politically impartial as a result of in a different way we might precisely finally end up in this sort of divisive and boycott scenarios,” he mentioned in January. The boycotts in Moscow and Los Angeles “introduced the Olympic Video games on the level of dying” and had “no impact in any way” on nations’ overseas coverage, he added.


Extra AP sports activities: and—Sports activities

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