The 1980 Summer Olympics boycott of the Moscow Olympics was a part of a package of actions to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
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Though the Games have aimed to be an arena free of politics, the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan spurred United States President Jimmy Carter to issue an ultimatum that the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did not withdraw from the country by 12:01 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on February 20, 1980; the official announcement confirming the boycott was made on March 21.
The pros and cons of the boycott were further discussed in several interventions at the 1980 Bilderberg meeting held towards the end of April in Aachen. The debate partly surrounded the perception that the action could be perceived on the worldwide stage as a sentimental rather than a strategic reaction. An American representative at the event stated that a boycott would be an effective symbolic protest because of its dramatic visibility to the citizens of the Soviet Union, regardless of whether or not the action provoked a response.
The United States was joined in the boycott by some other populous countries - including Japan, West Germany, China, the Philippines and Canada. Some of these countries competed at the Olympic Boycott Games in Philadelphia. Notably, the United Kingdom, France, and Greece supported the boycott but allowed their athletes to participate if they wished (the U.S. did not). The United Kingdom and France sent a much smaller delegation of athletes than usual. Nevertheless, the delegation of the United Kingdom was the largest among Western Europe, with 170 athletes applying to compete. Spain, Italy, Sweden, Iceland and Finland were other principal nations representing western Europe, though Italian athletes belonging to military corps did not attend the Games, due to the government's support of the boycott, which severely affected many events. Some American-born athletes who were citizens of other countries, such as Italy and Australia, did compete in Moscow.
At the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletes from a number of countries, including Australia, Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Spain, and Switzerland, marched under the Olympic Flag, instead of their national flags, a fact that the Soviet TV coverage alternately ignored and criticized. Moreover, although the government of New Zealand officially supported the boycott, five athletes from that country competed independently and marched under their NOC's flag . Altogether, the athletes of 16 countries were not represented by their national flags, and the Olympic Anthem replaced their national anthems at medal ceremonies. As a result, there were a few ceremonies where three Olympic Flags were raised.
Because Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau was unable to travel to Moscow because of the boycott, Sandra Henderson and Stéphane Préfontaine, the opening cauldron lighters at the previous games, were sent in his stead to participate in the Antwerp Ceremony at the opening ceremony, and at the closing ceremony, the Los Angeles city flag — rather than the United States flag — was raised to symbolize the next host of the Olympic Games.
Even though only 80 nations participated, more world records were set in Moscow than in 1976 in Montreal.
Sixty-two countries did not participate in the Olympics despite being invited. While most of these did not go to Moscow because of the boycott, a number adduced economic reasons.
* Antigua and Barbuda
* Cayman Islands
* Central African Republic
* Chinese Taipei***
* Côte d'Ivoire
* El Salvador
* Flag of Haiti Haiti
* Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong
* Netherlands Antilles
* Papua New Guinea
* Saudi Arabia
* South Korea
* United Arab Emirates
* United States
* Virgin Islands
* West Germany
* Flag of Zaire Zaire
*Albania, Argentina, China did not attend the Games, but not due to the boycott.
**Iran, Mozambique and Qatar did not attend the Games because they were not invited by the International Olympic Committee.
***Chinese Taipei / Taiwan did not attend because of the 1979 Nagoya Resolution, in which the People's Republic of China agreed to participate in the IOC if the Republic of China/Taiwan were referred to as "Chinese Taipei".
Nations that did not participate in the Opening Parade
7 countries attending the Games did not participate in the Opening parade:
* San Marino
National teams paraded by their own officials[clarification needed]
* Great Britain
Nations under the Olympic Flag by their own athletes
4 National teams participated at the Games under the Olympic flag and by their own athletes:
* Puerto Rico
Nations that competed under their NOC flag
* New Zealand
1984 Summer Olympics
The 1984 Summer Olympics, the next to be held, took place in Los Angeles, United States. There, 14 nations did not participate due to a Soviet-led boycott, along with two other countries. On May 8, 1984, the Soviet Union issued a statement that the country would boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles due to "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States". Thirteen Soviet allies joined the boycott. Iran was the only country which did not participate in either Moscow or Los Angeles.
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