100 Olympic Tidbits: The US-led Boycott

Following the African boycott of Montreal four years earlier, a much bigger boycott would hit the 1980 Olympics. The United States led a boycott of the Moscow Games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Sixty-seven countries, including the Philippines, snubbed the Games, reducing the number of participating countries to just 80, the lowest since 1956. Other countries supported the boycott but allowed their athletes to decide for themselves whether they would participate or not. As such, athletes from known US allies such as Great Britain and Australia competed, including British runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, who engaged in two memorable showdowns in the 800m and 1500m.

With no stiff opposition from the West, the hosts  romped away with gold medals by the cartful, winning 80. Close ally East Germany was second with 47, while Cuba was a distance third with just eight.(Source: Olympic.org)

Editor's Note: To celebrate the 100-day countdown to the London Games, we will be publishing 100 tidbits about the Olympics. Come back to Yahoo! PH Sports, as we publish a new tidbit everyday.


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