Why some countries refused to participate in the 1980 Moscow Olympiad

Moscow has already nominated for the 21st Summer Olympics, but the victory was won by the Canadian city of Montreal. And when considering the bid to host the next Olympics, Moscow won against Los Angeles with a vote ratio of 39:20. In many ways, this was the merit of the chairman of the Sports Committee of the USSR S.P. Pavlov, who has done a huge organizational and preparatory work.

To hold the Olympics in Moscow and some other cities of the USSR, where the competitions were to take place (Kiev, Leningrad, Tallinn, Minsk, Mytishchi), built and reconstructed 78 sports sports constructions. Strict security measures were taken, thanks to which no athlete or tourist suffered during the Olympics. The symbol of the games was the cute bear cub Misha.

Alas, politics intervened in the preparation and holding of this great sporting holiday. In December 1979, Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. Many countries, especially members of the NATO military-political bloc opposed to the Warsaw Pact organization, saw this as a perfect excuse for launching a propaganda war. As a result, 65 countries of the world, including strong in summer sports USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea, announced a boycott of the Olympics. Many countries sent to Moscow far from the strongest compositions of their national teams, besides performing not under their national flags, but under the flag of the International Olympic Committee. Some athletes came to the USSR by permission of their Olympic committees individually. Under these conditions, the national team of the USSR won an unprecedented number of gold medals — 80.

As hard as Soviet propaganda tried to downplay the scale and significance of the boycott, the moral damage suffered by the USSR was great. Although the Olympics were universally accepted and held at a very high level. That is why the USSR and many of its Warsaw Treaty allies resorted to retaliating boycotts of the next Olympics in Los Angeles.

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