The American Boycott
The Olympics were disrupted by another, even larger boycott, this one led by U.S. president Jimmy Carter, part of a package of actions to protest the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Carter engaged in extensive arm-twisting to gain support from other nations. Some governments, like those of Great Britain and Australia, supported the boycott but allowed the athletes to decide for themselves whether to go to Moscow. No such freedom of choice was allowed U.S. athletes, as Carter threatened to revoke the passport of any athlete who tried to travel to the USSR. In the end, 67 nations did not participate with 45 to 50 of these nations likely being absent because of the U.S.-led boycott. Eighty nations did participate - the lowest number since 1956.
Just in time for the victory
The boycott deprived the inaugural women’s field hockey tournament of all of its entrants except the host Soviet Union. Five weeks before the Opening Ceremony, a late invitation went out to Zimbabwe to send a team. Members were selected less than a week before the Games and rushed to Moscow, where they surprised everyone by finishing first.
The twins' victory
Observers of the medal ceremony for the men’s coxless pairs rowing event might have been excused for rubbing their eyes. Both the gold - and silver-medal winning teams were identical twins. Bernd and Jorg Landvoigt of East Germany took first place, while Yuri and Nikolai Pimenov of Russia finished second.
In a socialist country
The Olympic Games are held in a socialist country for the first time ever.
Misha is sad
During the closing ceremony, Misha the bear, Olympic mascot of the 1980 Moscow Games appears with a tear in it's eye.
Moscow 19 July 1980, human's pyramids and mosaic.
Official opening of the Games by: President Leonid Brezhnev
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Sergei Belov (basketball)
Olympic Oath by: Nikolay Andrianov (artistic gymnastics)
Official Oath by: Aleksandr Medved (wrestling)