mar 21, 1980 - Olympics boycott
In protest for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American President (Jimmy Carter at the time), called for the United States team to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics. He issued this ultimatum saying that if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan by midnight of February 19th 1980, the American team would boycott the Olympic Games. An official announcement of the boycott was made on the 21st of March 1980.
Other countries including Japan, West Germany, China and Canada joined in the boycott whilst others such as Great Britain and France sent a smaller number of athletes than usual.
Some of the participating countries - Australia, Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, France, great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Spain and Switzerland were not represented by their national flags at the opening, closing or medal ceremonies. They competed under the Olympic flag. As a result there were a few medal ceremonies were three Olympic flags were raised.
The boycott was a sign of international protest of the Americans towards the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, showing the world that the US and Soviets remained on opposing sides.
The Soviets responded in a similar fashion during the following Olympics. In 1984, the American city of Los Angeles hosted the Olympic Games. The Soviet Union (and their allies) boycotted these games. They gave their reason as concerns over the "safety of their athletes in an anti-communist environment".
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