Olympic Boycott

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Gil Craddock

1984 Olympic Boycott

The summer Olympics of 1984 was a very exciting Olympic trial. It was full of controversy, records, and it was held in the near and dear Los Angeles. This was during the cold war against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union decided to boycott the Olympics held in Los Angeles to prove that the U.S would not control them.

In 1979 The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Afghanistan was an ally of the U.S., so on March 21 President Jimmy Carter stated that the U.S. would be boycotting the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow. 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 action of course did provoke a response because the next Olympics were held in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union and fourteen other Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics. Surprisingly Afghanistan also boycotted the Olympics, even though the U.S.S.R. caused these series of boycotts by invading them. The Soviets saying the United States would engage in a "campaign aimed at disturbing the Games" and that “the White House intended to permit any possible massacre of Soviet athletes in their apartments.”

This gave an advantage to the U.S. on the track because Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries often dominated the long distant events. In fact the three top medal winners from the 1980 Games in Moscow were among the boycotters. This also gave an advantage to the U.S. in baseball because Cuba often was often a top contender, and being that they were communist they boycotted as well as the U.S.S.R.

In retaliation the to the U.S. boycotting the Moscow Olympics the Soviet Union did the same. It created some controversy, but also made it an epic remember able Olympics. It gave the U.S. a chance to take over the podium, and they fulfilled their opportunity....
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