The boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles followed four years after the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The boycott involved 14 Eastern Bloc countries and allies, led by the Soviet Union, which initiated the boycott on May 8, 1984. Boycotting countries organized another major event, called the Friendship Games, in July and August 1984. Although the boycott led by the Soviet Union affected a number of Olympic events that were normally dominated by the absent countries, 140 nations still took part in the games, which was a record at the time.
The USSR announced its intentions to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics on May 8, 1984, citing security concerns and "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States." A US official said the country had ignored suggestive comments by the Soviets in the weeks building up to the announcement and that, in spite of all the indications, the United States was "absolutely dumbfounded" when the official announcement arrived.
After the announcement, six more nations joined the boycott, including Bulgaria, East Germany (on May 10), Mongolia and Vietnam (both May 11), and Laos and Czechoslovakia (both May 13). China formally confirmed that it would be present at the games in Los Angeles, while the Laotians and Czechoslovaks announced their decision to boycott the event.
Later, Afghanistan also decided to boycott the event, becoming the eighth country to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics. Even later, Hungary (May 16) and Poland (May 17) became the ninth and tenth communist countries to join the boycott. Hungary claimed the lives of its athletes would be put in danger if they were to spend time in Los Angeles. On the other hand, Poland said that the United States was engaging in a "campaign aimed at disturbing the Games".
On May 24, Cuba became the eleventh country to announce its participation in the boycott, making front-page news in the United States because it was a "serious blow to boxing and baseball". South Yemen was the twelfth country to remove itself from the event (May 27); the Los Angeles Times stated that this was due to their "Marxist" connections. North Korea was the thirteenth nation to boycott the 1984 Olympics. Ethiopia became the first African state to participate in the boycott, followed by Angola.
Iran had earlier decided to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics because of "United States interference in the Middle East, its support for the regime occupying Jerusalem, and the crimes being committed by the U.S.A. in Latin America, especially in El Salvador". Iran and Albania were the only countries to not attend both the 1980 Moscow and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Libya also boycotted the Olympics after Libyan journalists were refused entry into the United States in July, along with the 1983 ban upon US exports to Libya and a renewal of bans upon travel to Libya by holders of US passports. Libya and Ethiopia were the only nations to boycott both the 1976 Montreal and 1984 Los Angeles Games.
In addition, Albania did not attend any games from 1976 to 1988, although there was no official explanation for their absence at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and 1988 Seoul Olympics. Politically, Albania allied with China after the Sino-Soviet split, remaining antagonistic towards the Soviet Union; however, it also opposed China's rapprochement with the United States in the late 1970s, resulting in the Sino-Albanian split. A similar antagonism towards both superpowers existed in Iran since 1979. This resulted in Iran and Albania boycotting both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics independently without endorsing the boycott on the opposing side.
Jimmy Carter declared that the United States would boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, with 65 other countries joining the boycott. This was the largest Olympic games boycott ever. In 1984, three months before the start of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the Soviet Union declared it would "not participate" in the Games. The Soviets cited a number of reasons, namely the commercialization of the games which, in their opinion, went against the principles of the Olympic movement (indeed the XXIII Olympiad ended up being the first Olympics since 1932 to make a profit by a host country, due to the high cost of the Olympic Games) and a claimed lack of security for their athletes. The issue of commercialization did gather some criticism from foreign delegations, who were unfamiliar with this trend in the Olympic movement. However, the IOC later declared the Games "a model for future Olympics" due to a surplus of USD 223 million for the hosts and relying on existing venues. The majority still viewed the boycott as more of a retaliatory move by the Soviets.
Most of the world's media interpreted the Soviet boycott as retaliation for the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games, which had been in response to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, whereas the Soviet media repeated the government line that the boycott was a safety measure to protect their own athletes. However, no threat to Eastern Bloc athletes was ever discovered, and the athletes from the Eastern Bloc country that did attend the 1984 games in Los Angeles—Romania—encountered no problems, and in fact were widely cheered above all other visiting nations at the Opening Ceremonies when they marched into the Coliseum. Romania ended up finishing third in overall medal count at the Games.
Among those subscribing to the "revenge hypothesis" was Peter Ueberroth, the chief organizer of the 1984 L.A. Games, who expressed his views in a press conference after the boycott was announced, on the same day that the Olympic torch relay in the United States began in New York City. U.S. President Ronald Reagan later stated his belief that the Soviets feared some of their athletes might defect. As well, President Reagan and his administration agreed to meet all of the demands of the Soviet Union in turn for the Soviet Bloc's attendance at the 1984 Olympics, marking a stark contrast in Reagan's "hawkish" views on Cold War foreign policy. As more countries withdrew, the IOC announced on the deadline week that it would consider extending the deadline for entry into the Olympics. The three top medal winners from the 1980 Games (which was the subject of a boycott by sixty six nations) in Moscow were among the boycotters, and media analysis noted this would weaken the field of competitors in a number of sports. However, it was later disclosed that both the Soviet Union and East Germany boosted their performances with the help of state-run steroid programs.
Documents obtained in 2016 revealed the Soviet Union's plans for a statewide doping system in track and field in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Dated prior to the country's decision to boycott the Games, the document detailed the existing steroids operations of the program, along with suggestions for further enhancements. The communication, directed to the Soviet Union's head of track and field, was prepared by Dr. Sergei Portugalov of the Institute for Physical Culture. Portugalov was also one of the main figures involved in the implementation of the Russian doping program prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics. Filmmaker and director of 2017 movie Icarus Bryan Fogel has said that stricter doping controls might have been the main reason for the Soviet boycott.
Listed in the chronological order of their withdrawal, not by alphabetical or any geographical order.
Ten communist and socialist countries, six from Africa, did not join the Soviet-led boycott and instead sent teams to the 1984 Summer Olympics.
In the Season 4 episode, "Lisa's First Word", of the U.S. television show The Simpsons, Krusty Burger is featured in a promotion where the characters get free food if they receive a slip that features an event that was "won" by the United States. The promotion was rigged, as was said in the episode, where every game card was to be in an event that "Communists never lose". However, almost immediately after that is said, word of the boycott is spread and the rigging backfires. Krusty Burger loses so much money on the promotion that Krusty publicly states that he will "personally spit in every 50th burger".
The Krusty Burger promotion paralleled a real-life McDonald's scratch-card promotion from the 1984 Olympics. The promotion was called "If the US Wins, You Win!" and gave away Big Mac hamburger sandwiches for every gold medal, fries for every silver medal, and Coca-Cola beverages for every bronze.
The events of the boycott as well as the earlier 1980 Summer Olympics boycott were referenced in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, when the character Revolver Ocelot explains to Venom Snake what had transpired during the nine years he was in a coma.
The boycott of the '84 Summer Olympics also receives a brief offhanded mention in Peter Bogdanovich's 1990 comedy Texasville, which takes place earlier that summer. In an opening scene, a radio announcer mentions that while the majority of Soviet Bloc countries will not participate in the Games, Ceaușescu's Romania is expected to attend.
The Soviets organized the Friendship Games, a full-scale multi-sport event, for boycotting countries. The Games were contested in 22 Olympic disciplines (all except association football and synchronized swimming), and in non-Olympic table tennis, tennis, and sambo wrestling. The Soviet Union dominated the medal table, winning 126 gold and 282 total medals.
Anna Bożena Włodarczyk (Polish pronunciation: [ˈanna bɔˈʐɛna vwɔˈdart͡ʂɨk]; born 24 Mar 1951 in Zielona Góra) is a Polish athlete. She is the 1980 European long jump champion.Benur Pashayan
Benur Pashayan (Armenian: Բենուր Փաշայան; born 13 February 1959) is a former Soviet Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler. He was a two-time World, European, and Soviet Champion. Pashayan also won a gold medal at the 1984 Friendship Games during the Olympic boycott.Boycott olympics
Boycott Olympics may refer to:
Olympic boycotts, generally
African boycott of the 1976 Summer Olympics
1980 Summer Olympics boycott
1984 Summer Olympics boycottGlynis Nunn
Glynis Leanne Nunn-Cearns (née Saunders, formerly Nunn), OAM (born 4 December 1960) is a former Australian heptathlete, the first Olympic champion in the event. Born in Toowoomba, Queensland, she began competing in athletics at age 9, when she was a student at Toowoomba South State School.
She starred in several events, and was thus a natural competitor in the pentathlon (which was replaced by the heptathlon in 1981). In 1978, she qualified for the Commonwealth Games, but could not compete because of an injury.
By the time of the 1982 Commonwealth Games held in Brisbane, she had married decathlete Chris Nunn, and that year the couple moved to Adelaide in South Australia where Chris was studying for a physical education degree at the South Australian College of Advanced Education. In the first heptathlon competition at the Games, she upset the English favourite and took the title. At the inaugural World Championships a year later, she was placed 7th.
Because of the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott, Nunn was one of the medal candidates for the Olympic title, too. The competition was incredibly close, with five athletes fighting for the medals. After the competition, there was confusion about who had won, but when the smoke cleared, Nunn had scored 6390 points, five more than runner-up Jackie Joyner-Kersee. In addition to her gold medal, Nunn was also placed fifth in the 100 m hurdles event, and seventh in the long jump.
After the Olympics, Nunn abandoned the heptathlon, and switched to hurdling. She was hampered by many injuries, but managed to win a bronze medal in the high hurdles event at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. She quit sports in 1990.Gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics
At the 1984 Summer Olympics, two different gymnastics disciplines were contested. In addition to the fourteen artistic gymnastics events contested, for the first time at the Olympics, a rhythmic gymnastics event was contested–the women's individual all-around. All of the gymnastics events were held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles from July 29 through August 11. Several teams who had qualified to compete were absent as a result of the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott, including the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, and North Korea.
This was the first time in Olympic competition that eight gymnasts were allowed to move onto an apparatus final, instead of the previous six.
The USSR and other satellite countries organized an 'Alternate Olympics' where the USSR, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and other Eastern Bloc nations competed.Gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics – Women's artistic team all-around
These are the results of the women's team all-around competition, one of six events for female competitors in artistic gymnastics at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The compulsory and optional rounds took place on July 30 and August 1 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
Due to 1984 Summer Olympics boycott, USSR women's national gymnastics team did not participate in the 1984 Olympics. The 1984 Olympics marked the first time that the USSR did not win the gold medal in Olympic women's team all-around competition, since the 1948 Summer Olympics. Romania won gold in this event for the first time in history.Gyula Pálóczi
Gyula Pálóczi (13 September 1962 – 28 January 2009) was a Hungarian athlete who specialized in the long jump and triple jump. He won two medals at the European Indoor Championships, and due to his versatility the European Athletic Association has called him "the most successful jumper Hungary has ever produced".Liberty Bell Classic
The Liberty Bell Classic was a 1980 track and field athletics event organized by The Athletics Congress as part of the 1980 Olympic boycott and held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on July 16 and 17, 1980. It was named after Philadelphia's Liberty Bell.
The U.S. Congress voted $10 million to fund alternative tournaments in several Olympic sports, to which athletes from boycotting countries would be invited. Besides the Liberty Bell Classic, the U.S. Gymnastics Federation held an International Invitational tournament in Hartford, Connecticut. Earlier in the year, the United States had considered holding other games in Côte d'Ivoire, Italy, Japan, West Germany or China.The IAAF prohibited any official track and field meets that would clash with the Olympic meet, and so the Liberty Bell began three days before the Moscow Games opened (ten days before the Olympic athletics events began). The Liberty Bell came the day after the prestigious Bislett Games in Oslo and many eligible athletes declined to compete, including 17 of the 34 champions at the US Olympic Trials. The winning performances in two events, men's 110 m hurdles and 400 m hurdles, were better than those in Moscow.List of Olympic medalists in basketball
Basketball is a sport contested at the Summer Olympic Games. A men's basketball tournament was first held at the 1904 Olympics as a demonstration; it has been held at every Summer Olympics since 1936. In the 1972 Olympics, the final game between the United States and the Soviet Union was a controversial one, as the game was ended and replayed twice by a FIBA (International Basketball Federation) official without the authority to do so, before the Soviet Union won their first gold medal, which would have been won by the United States if the game was not started against the rules. The U.S. filed a formal protest but was rejected by FIBA. As a result, the United States refused to accept the silver medal, and no player has ever claimed his medal. After a protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott in response. Both boycotts affected basketball at the Olympics, as both had successful basketball teams at the time. The advent of the state-sponsored "full-time amateur athlete" of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage. The Soviet Union entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession, but many of whom were in reality paid by the state to train on a full-time basis. In April 1989, through the leadership of Secretary General Borislav Stanković, FIBA approved the rule that allowed NBA players to compete in international tournaments, including the Olympics. In the next Olympics, the 1992 Summer Olympics, the "Dream Team" won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics Basketball, with an average winning margin of 44 points per game, and without calling a time out. By this time, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia no longer existed, but their successor states continued to be among the leading forces. Two newly independent countries of the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union, Croatia and Lithuania, won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
The USA's Teresa Edwards is the all-time leader for the most Olympic medals in basketball, with four gold and one bronze. Nine players have won four medals: the USA's Lisa Leslie, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi (each with four golds with the women's team) and Carmelo Anthony (three golds and one bronze with the men's team), the Soviet Union's Gennadi Volnov (one gold, two silver, one bronze) and Sergei Belov (one gold, three bronze), and Australians Kristi Harrower and Lauren Jackson (both with three silvers and one bronze). Leslie, Bird, Catchings, and Taurasi are the all-time leaders for the most consecutive gold medal wins in basketball. Six other individuals, all American, have won three golds—Katie Smith, Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and Carmelo Anthony—and 23 other players, not including the previously mentioned, have won three medals.The United States is by far the most successful country in Olympic basketball, with United States men's teams having won 15 of 18 tournaments in which they participated, including seven consecutive titles from 1936 through 1968. United States women's teams have won 8 titles out of the 10 tournaments in which they competed, including six in a row from 1996 to 2016. Besides the United States, Argentina is the only nation still in existence who has won either the men's or women's tournament. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and the Unified Team are the countries no longer in existence who have won the tournament. The United States are the defending champions in both men's and women's tournaments. As of the 2016 Summer Olympics, 90 medals (30 of each color) have been awarded to teams from 20 National Olympic Committees.
Two gold medal-winning teams, both U.S. men's teams, were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. The 1960 team featured four players who would eventually enter the Hall of Fame, a head coach who would enter the Hall as a contributor, and a team manager who entered the Hall as a coach. The 1992 team, better known as the "Dream Team", had 11 future Hall of Fame players, along with three coaches who were inducted to the Hall as coaches (one of whom was previously inducted separately for his accomplishments as a player).On June 9, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee announced that 3x3 basketball would become an official Olympic sport as of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, for both men and women.László Szalma
László Szalma (born 27 October 1957) is a retired Hungarian long jumper. He won six medals at the European Indoor Championships—two gold, three silver and one bronze—and finished fourth at the 1980 Olympic Games and the 1983 World Championships. His career best jump of 8.30 metres, achieved in July 1985 in Budapest, is the current Hungarian record.Michal Barda
Michal Barda (born 27 June 1955) is a Czech former handball goalkeeper and coach who competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics.Nataliya Yatsenko
Nataliya Ivanovna Yatsenko (later known as Nataliya Fedorenko, born 6 September 1961) is a Soviet rower.Natalya Shubenkova
Natalya Mikhaylovna Shubenkova (Russian: Наталья Михайловна Шубенкова; born 25 September 1957) is a Russian former Soviet heptathlete. As of 2015, she ranks as the 11th highest all-time female scorer in the heptathlon, based on a score of 6859 she achieved in 1984. That ended up being the second highest score in 1984, bested only by Sabine John, and stood as the Soviet record for six years. She was unable to participate in the 1984 Olympics due to the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott.Shubenkova was part of the Soviet athletic team from 1980 to 1992, and won several nationwide championships in the heptathlon. Other top performances included a fourth-place finish at the 1988 Olympics, and a bronze medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games.After retiring from competitions, Shubenkova served as a sports administrator in her native Altai Krai. Her son Sergey Shubenkov won the world title in 110 metres hurdles in 2015.Nikolay Balboshin
Nikolay Fyodorovich Balboshin (Russian: Николай Фёдорович Балбошин, born 8 June 1949) is a retired Soviet heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler. He rarely lost a bout in the 1970s, winning five world titles, six European titles, and an Olympics gold medal in 1976. At the 1976 Olympics he pinned all his five opponents, in total spending less than 17 minutes on the mat. He was the Soviet flag bearer and a clear favorite at the Moscow Olympics, but injured an Achilles tendon in the second bout and withdrew from the tournament. He recovered by 1984, when he won his last Soviet title and was selected for the 1984 Games, but could not compete because of the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott by the Soviet Union. He retired from competitions to become a wrestling coach n Moscow. In 2006 he was inducted into the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame.Balboshin was born in East Germany, where his father, a career military officer, was serving at the time. He is married to Nina Balboshina and has a son Nikolai (born 1973) and a daughter Yelena (born 1979). He took up wrestling when his family moved to Moscow and trained together with his elder brother Vladimir. His career was marred by injuries. In the 1960s he broke his arm at a junior wrestling competition. In 1972 he was included to the Soviet national team to compete at the 1972 European championships and Summer Olympics, but lost that season after tearing a knee tendon. He won the Soviet, European and world titles in 1973 while recovering from a shoulder injury, which also bothered him next year when he lost the European championships final to Kamen Goranov. In 1975 he won the European title, but injured a hip at the world championships and placed fourth.Oksen Mirzoyan
Oksen Mirzoyan (Armenian: Օգսեն Միրզոյան, born 11 June 1961) is a former Soviet Armenian weightlifter and European, World and Olympic Champion. Mirzoyan was awarded the Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR title in 1984 and the Honored Coach of Armenia title in 1998.Venissa Head
Venissa Anne Head (born 1 September 1956 in Merthyr Tydfil) is a former international track and field athlete from Wales.Weightlifting at the 1984 Summer Olympics
The weightlifting competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles consisted of ten weight classes.
The 1984 Summer Olympics boycott meant that the most dominant forces in weightlifting at the time, the USSR and Bulgaria did not take part. This left the field wide open.Yekaterina Fesenko
Yekaterina Fesenko (Russian: Екатерина Фесенко, born August 8, 1958) is a Russian athlete who competed for the USSR. She was born in Krasnodar. After her marriage in 1992, she appeared in the charts under the name of Yekaterina Grun or Yekaterina Fesenko-Grun (Russian: Екатерина Фесенко-Грунь).Yurik Sarkisyan
Yurik Sarkisyan (Armenian: Յուրի [Յուրիկ] Սարգսյան, born August 14, 1961 in Samaghar, Armenian SSR) is a former Soviet Armenian weightlifter. He was awarded the Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR title in 1982. In 2007, Yurik Sarkisyan included into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame weightlifting.
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