1980 Summer Olympics boycott

1980 Summer Olympics Boycott

1980 Summer Olympics boycott

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The 1980 Summer Olympics boycott of the Moscow Olympics was a part of a package of actions initiated by the United States to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan. It preceded the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott carried out by the Soviet Union and other Communist friendly countries.

Background

The 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan spurred Jimmy Carter to issue an ultimatum on January 20, 1980 that the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan within one month.

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 act. An African 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 countries – including Japan, West Germany, China, the Philippines, Argentina and Canada. Some of these countries competed at the Olympic Boycott Games in Philadelphia. Notably, United Kingdom and France supported the boycott but allowed their athletes to participate if they...
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