Olympic Boycotts



The instrument of an Olympic Boycott was first implemented by the African Olumpic Committee , which threatened that if (Apartheid) South Africa would be allowed to participate, the African nations would refuse to attend the games.
In 1979, Soviet troops entered AFGHANISTAN. US President Jimmy Carter announced that the US would, under these circumstances, not participate in the 1980 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Moscow. The NOCs of most western European countries joined the boycott, although individual British and French athletes attended.
The Olympic Games of 1984 were scheduled to be held in LOS ANGELES; this time they were boycotted by the athletes from the socialist camp (except RUMANIA and Yugoslavia).
Thus both the 1980 and 1984 Summer Games saw the absence of major athletic powerhouses. The WINTER GAMES were not affected by the boycott (despite the 1980 Games being held in LAKE PLACID, US).

The 1988 Olympic Games were held in SEOUL, South Korea, another Cold War hotspot. Communist North Korea called on the communist nations to boycott the games, but the Chinese, the USSR, the GDR and the other Eastern European teams participated, using the opportunity to harvest medals again. The series of Olympic boycotts was over, the Olympic idea had outlasted the Cold War.

The MEDAL RACE became a three-way race, EAST GERMANY joining in, overtaking the US in the Summer Games of Montreal 1976. The US was not able to keep up in the WINTER GAMES, where the East Germans claimed first rank in Sarajevo 1984.
Doping became a major issue, the East Germans claiming almost all medals in women's swimming events.


Summer Olympic Games, Gold Medals, Selected Nations
Place, Year No. of Events Gold Medals
USA
Gold Medals
USSR
Gold Medals
FRG
Gold Medals
GDR
Similarly the CIA supported a coup d'etat in Argentina (1976), where General VIDELA copied the Chilean model; many intellectuals were arrested, then to 'disappear'.

US policy in Latin America concentrated on 3 major goals : (a) prevent any state to be taken over by communism, (b) protect US economic interest, for instance land of facroties owned by US citizens, and (c0 combat the rising illegitimate trade in narcotics. In the pursuit of the first two goals, US policy often supported dictators under whose rule human rights were regularly volated, the assassination of ARCHBISHOP ROMERO of El Salvador - in church during holy mass, being just an extreme example of that policy (he had dared to speak out against corruption, injustice, human rights violations). Another consequence was the deterioration of the economies of many Latin American countries, which saw runaway inflation (a phenomenon which also occurred in countries where there had been little US interference.)

In 1983, the leftist government of the tiny Caribbean island of GRENADA, Commonwealth member, had Cuban advisors on the island and was working on an airfield designed as a base for long-range bombers, not necessars
Gold Medals
USA
Gold Medals
USSR
Gold Medals
FRG
Gold Medals
GDR
Sapporo 1972
Innsbruck 1976
Lake Placid 1980
Sarajevo 1984
Calgary 1988
36
37
38
39
46
3
3
6
4
2
8
13
10
6
11
3
2
0
2
2
4
7
9
9
9





EXTERNAL
FILES
DOCUMENTS Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, from Summer Olympics Statistics by S.J. Darmoni
Medal Standings, Winter Olympics, from darmoni.net
VIDEOS



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on July 8th 2001, last revised on November 15th 2004

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