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Moscow 1980

Boycott

A US-led boycott reduced the number of participating nations to 80, the lowest number since 1956, as part of a series of measures to protest against the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Olympic firsts

Aleksandr Dityatin of Russia earned medals in every men's gymnastics event to become the first athlete to win eight medals at one Olympic Games. Super-heavyweight Teófilo Stevenson of Cuba became the first boxer to win the same division three times, and Gerd Wessig of East Germany became the first male high jumper to break the world record at the Olympic Games.

British duel

British middle-distance runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe faced each other in a memorable confrontation. In the 800m, Ovett won the gold medal ahead of his compatriot. Six days later, a determined Coe redeemed himself in the 1500m. He took the gold, while Ovett managed only a bronze.

Last-minute gold

The boycott deprived the inaugural women’s field hockey tournament of all of its entrants except the hosts, USSR. Zimbabwe responded to a late invitation, selecting members less than a week before the Games and rushing to Moscow, then surprised everyone by finishing first.

NOCs: 80
Athletes: 5,179 (1,115 women, 4,064 men)
Events: 203
Volunteers: n/a
Media: 5,615 media (2,865 written press, 2,930 broadcasters)

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.

Ceremonies

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)

Moscow 1980 Emblem

The official emblem was created by Vladimir Arsentyev. Above the Olympic rings we find parallel lines in the shape of a pyramid, and a five pointed star which serves as a reminder of the flag of the Kremlin.

Moscow 1980 Medals

On the obverse, the traditional Olympic symbol of victory: the goddess Nike holding a laurel wreath; in the lower right-hand corner, a fragment of the colosseum, above it, the inscription in Cyrillic Igry XXII Olimpiady Moskva 1980 (Games of the XXII Olympiad Moscow 1980). On the reverse, a stylised Olympic Bowl with a burning flame (not burning a burning flame) against the background of a stadium arena. The upper right-hand segment, carries the insignia of the Moscow Olympics. The name of the sport appears on the rim.

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Moscow 1980 Mascot
Misha

The bear's full name is Mikhail Potapych Toptygin.

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Moscow 1980 Torch

Number of torchbearers: around 5 435 including 3 000 in USSR
Total distance: around 5 000 km including 1 170 in Greece and 2 302 in USSR
Countries crossed: Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and USSR

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Moscow 1980 Poster

It featured the emblem of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow: a section of a running track rising into an architectural silhouette typical of Moscow and a five-pointed star topping the silhouette.

Moscow 1980 Official Reports

The Organising Committee published its official report, “Games of the XXII Olympiad”, in three sets, in French, English and Russian. Each consisted of three volumes (Moscow, Tallinn, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk; Organization; Participants and results). Volume 3 was bilingual, and was the same for the French and English editions.





  • Moscow 1980
    • Moscow 1980

      12 Mar 2014 |
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      The Organising Committee published its official report, “Games of the XXII Olympiad”, in three sets, in French, English and Russian. Each consisted of three volumes (Moscow, Tallinn, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk; Organization; Participants and results). Volume 3 was bilingual, and was the same for the French and English editions.




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