Friday, November 14, 2008

Moscow Olympics in 1980

In 1980, the United States led a 61-nation boycott of the summer Olympics held in Moscow that year. U.S. President Jimmy Carter called for the boycott to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. But well before the invasion of Afghanistan, before the Iranian hostage crisis involving 52 American hostages, before the oil shock that sent oil prices to historic highs in 1979-80, Carter’s presidency was in shambles.

How the Boycott of the Olympics Came to Be:
Neville Trotter, an extreme right-wing conservative in Britain’s Parliament, asked Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to lead a worldwide boycott of the Moscow Olympics.“Another venue should be found,” he said, “and if necessary the games should be postponed for a year. This is the one lever we have to show outrage at this naked aggression by Russia. We should do all we can to reduce the Moscow Olympics to a shambles.”In fact, Saudi Arabia was first to pull out, in protest over Soviet aggression on Islamic land. On Jan. 17, 1980, the Muhammad Ali Amateur Sports Club, funded and supported by Muhammad Ali, announced that its 32 member boxers and athletes—several of whom were favored to win medals—would boycott the games.In his State of the Union message on Jan. 23, Carter announced the boycott: “I have notified the Olympic Committee that with Soviet invading forces in Afghanistan, neither the American people nor I will support sending an Olympic team to Moscow.” The next day, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 386-12 to support Carter’s call. Among those opposed to the boycott were Phil Gramm of Texas and John Conyers Jr. of Michigan. The Boycotting Nations: In all, 61 nations boycotted the Moscow summer Olympics — but less than half the nations of the Middle East did. The nations that boycotted are as follows: Albania Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belize Bermuda Bolivia Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile People's Republic of China[4] [5] Côte d'Ivoire Egypt El Salvador Fiji Gabon Gambia West Germany Ghana Haiti Honduras Hong Kong Indonesia Israel Japan Kenya South Korea Liberia Liechtenstein Malawi Malaysia Mauritania Monaco Morocco Netherlands Antilles Niger Norway Pakistan Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Philippines Saudi Arabia Singapore Somalia Sudan Swaziland Thailand Togo Tunisia Turkey United Arab Emirates United States Uruguay U.S. Virgin Islands Zaire

I thought the posters for the Olympics were very interesting. They look nothing like posters for the Olympics today.


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