Open Access Articles- Top Results for 1980 Summer Olympics

1980 Summer Olympics

Games of the Script error: No such module "Roman". Olympiad
File:Emblem of XXII Olympic Games.svg
Emblem of the games
Host city Moscow, Soviet Union
Nations participating 80[1]
Athletes participating 5,179
(4,064 men, 1,115 women)[1]
Events 203 in 21 sports
Opening ceremony 19 July
Closing ceremony 3 August
Officially opened by Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Leonid Brezhnev
Athlete's Oath Nikolay Andrianov
Judge's Oath Aleksandr Medved
Olympic Torch Sergei Belov
Stadium Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium
File:Moscow torch.jpg
1980 Summer Olympics Torch

The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad (Russian: И́гры XXII Олимпиа́ды, tr. Igry XXII Olimpiady), was an international multi-sport event held in Moscow, Soviet Union, in present day Russia.

The 1980 Games were the first to be staged in Eastern Europe.

Led by the United States at the insistence of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 65 countries boycotted the games because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, though some athletes from some of the boycotting countries participated in the games, under the Olympic Flag.[2] This prompted the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Host city selection

The only two cities to bid for the 1980 Summer Olympics were Moscow and Los Angeles. The choice between them was made on 23 October 1974 in the 75th IOC Session in Vienna, Austria.[3]

1980 Summer Olympics bidding result[4]
City Country Round 1
Moscow 23x15px Soviet Union 39
Los Angeles 23x15px United States 20

Participation overview and boycott

File:Olympic boycott 1976 1980 1984.PNG
Boycotting countries shown in blue
File:Moscow Olymp vil winter.JPG
Olympic Village as it appeared in February 2004

80 nations were represented at the Moscow Games - the smallest number since 1956. Six nations made their first Olympic appearance in 1980: Angola, Botswana, Jordan, Laos, Mozambique, and Seychelles. Cyprus made its debut at the Summer Olympics, but had appeared earlier at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Sri Lanka competed for the first time under its new name (previously as Ceylon), Benin had competed previously as Dahomey and Zimbabwe competed for the first time under that name (previously as Rhodesia).

Although approximately half of the 24 countries that boycotted the 1976 Summer Olympics (in protest at apartheid in South Africa) participated in these games, the 1980 Summer Olympics were disrupted by another, even larger, boycott led by the United States in protest at the 1979 Soviet war in Afghanistan. The Soviet invasion spurred Jimmy Carter to issue an ultimatum on January 20, 1980 that the US would boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan within one month.[5]

65 countries and regions invited did not take part in the 1980 Olympics. Many of these followed the United States' boycott initiative, while others cited economic reasons for not coming.[5][6] Many of the boycotting nations participated instead in the Liberty Bell Classic (also known as the "Olympic Boycott Games") in Philadelphia. However, the nations that did compete had won 71% of all medals, and also 71% of the gold medals, at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. As a form of protest against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, fifteen countries marched in the Opening Ceremony with the Olympic Flag instead of their national flags, and the Olympic Flag and Olympic Hymn were used at medal ceremonies when athletes from these countries won medals. Competitors from three countries – New Zealand,[7] Portugal, and Spain – competed under the flag of their respective National Olympic Committees. Some of the teams that marched under flags other than their national flags were depleted by boycotts by individual athletes, while some athletes did not participate in the march.[citation needed] The impact of the boycott was mixed. Some events, such as field hockey and equestrian sports, were hard hit. Others such as boxing, judo, rowing, swimming, track and field and weightlifting had more participants than in 1976.

Athletes from 25 countries won Olympic gold (the same total as in the 1984 Games and one fewer than in the 1976 Games) and competitors from 36 countries became Olympic medalists.[citation needed]

Italy won four times more gold medals than they won in Montreal and France multiplied its gold medal talley by three. Romania won more gold medals than it had at any previous Olympics. In terms of total medals, the Moscow Olympics was Ireland's most successful games since Melbourne 1956. The same was true for Great Britain. "Third World" athletes qualified for more events and took more medals than they did at any previous Olympics. 21% of the competitors were women – a higher percentage than at any previous Olympics.

Events, records and drug tests overview

There were 203 events – more than at any previous Olympics.

36 World records, 39 European records and 74 Olympic records were set. In total this was more records than were set at Montreal. New Olympic records were set 241 times over the course of the competitions and world records were beaten 97 times. Three Olympic records set in 1980 still stood as of 2008 – East German women 4×100 meter relay 41.6 seconds (broken by Jamaica in 2012); Soviet Nadezhda Olizarenko 800 meters, 1:53.43; Modern Pentathlon Soviet Anatoli Starostin 5568 points.[citation needed]

Prince Alexandre de Merode of Belgium, Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission, stated: "There were 9,292 drug tests. None positive".[citation needed]

Media and broadcasting

Major broadcasters of the Games were USSR State TV and Radio (1,370 accreditation cards), Eurovision (31 countries, 818 cards) and Intervision (11 countries, 342 cards).[8] Asahi TV with 68 cards provided coverage for Japan, while OTI representing the Latin America received 59 cards and the Seven Network provided coverage for Australia (48 cards).[8] NBC, which had intended to be another major broadcaster, canceled its coverage in response to the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics, and became a minor broadcaster with 56 accreditation cards,[8] although the network did air highlights and recaps of the games on a regular basis. (ABC aired scenes of the opening ceremony during its Nightline program, and promised highlights each night, but the next night, the show announced that they could not air any highlights as NBC still had exclusive broadcast rights in the USA.) The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation almost canceled their plans for coverage after Canada took part in the boycott and was represented by nine cards.[8] The television center used 20 television channels, compared to 16 for the Montreal Games, 12 for the Munich Games, and seven for the Mexico City Games. During the opening ceremony, Salyut 6 crew Leonid Popov and Valery Ryumin sent their greetings to the Olympians and wished them happy starts in the live communication between the station and the Central Lenin Stadium. They appeared on the stadium's scoreboard and their voices were translated via loud speakers.[9]

Spectators and commemoration

File:Platinum coin 150r USSR 1978.jpg
150-rubles platinum coin (reverse)
The Games attracted five million spectators, an increase of 1.5 million from the Montreal Games. There were 1,245 referees from 78 countries.[citation needed] A series of commemorative coins was released in the USSR in 1977–1980 to commemorate the event. It consisted of five platinum coins, six gold coins, 28 silver coins and six copper-nickel coins.[citation needed]


According to the Official Report, submitted to the IOC by the NOC of the USSR, total expenditures for the preparations for and staging of the Games were 862.7 million rubles, total revenues being 744.8 million rubles.[citation needed]

Olympic games handover

At the closing ceremony, the Los Angeles city flag, rather than the United States flag, was raised to symbolise the next host of the Olympic Games. This followed the raising of the Greek flag to symbolize the past and that of the Soviet Union to represent the present. It was the first time that a future host city had refused to allow their national flag to be used.The ceremonial Olympic flag had been handed over to Moscow at the opening ceremony and was kept by the city authorities until 1984.

Opening ceremony

Highlights of the different events

File:USSR stamp 1977 6k.jpg
1977 USSR commemorative stamp issued for the archery event


  • Tomi Poikolainen of Finland, who had not finished any of the previous 3 days shootings higher than 4th, came from 4th on the last day to win the men's archery competition, scoring 2455 points. He won gold just three points ahead of a Soviet.
  • The women's archery gold was won by Ketevan Losaberidze (USSR) who was also the world, European and Soviet champion.
  • The women's archery silver was won by Natalia Butuzova (USSR). In 1979 she had set nine national records and three world records.
  • The U.S. archery team was one of the strongest ever fielded but due to the boycott the team never had a chance to prove itself. The team which held every record also had the 20 year old phenom William Graham from Virginia. Graham would most likely have won gold but was denied and never tried out for the team again.


  • Ethiopian Miruts Yifter won the 5000 meter and 10000 meter athletics double, emulating Lasse Virén's 1972 and 1976 performances.
  • "I have a 90% chance of winning the 1,500 meters" wrote Steve Ovett in an article he did for one of Britain's Sunday papers just before the start of the Olympics. After he won the 800 meter Olympic gold, beating world-record holder Sebastian Coe, Ovett stated that he would not only win the 1,500 meter race, but would beat the world record by as much as four seconds. Ovett had won 45 straight 1,500 meter races since May 1977. In contrast Coe had competed in only 8 1,500 meter races between 1976–1980. Coe won the race, holding off Ovett in the final lap. Ovett finished third.
  • Aided by the absence of American opposition, Allan Wells beat Cuban Silvio Leonard to become the first Briton since 1924 to win the Olympic 100 meter race. It was the closest 100 m race at the Olympics in 28 years, ending with a photo finish in which both runners timed at 10.25 seconds.[citation needed]
  • Gerd Wessig – who had made the East German team only 2 weeks before the Games – easily won the gold medal with a 2.36m (7'9") high jump. This was 9 cm higher than he had ever jumped before.
  • The 1980 Olympic women's long jump competition produced a surprise when the 3rd string Soviet jumper, Tatiana Kolpakova, bested her compatriots and other competitors by setting a new Olympic record of 7.06m (23'2").
  • Poland's Władysław Kozakiewicz won the pole vault with a jump of 5.78m (18'11.5") – only the 2nd pole vaulting world record to be established during an Olympics. The previous time had been at the Antwerp Olympics 1920.
  • In the pole vault competition, despite pleas for silence in three languages, jeers, chants, and whistles among the different factions in the crowd supporting French, Soviet, and Polish pole vaulters could be heard. Immediately after Kozakiewicz secured his gold medal, he responded to the jeering French crowds with an obscene bent elbow gesture. This gesture is now referred to in Polish as "Kozakiewicz's gesture".
  • In the pole vault an athlete topped the Olympic record by 15 cm (6"), yet finished fourth. Similarly, athletes who broke the Olympic record in men's high jump by 5 cm (2"), the women's long jump by 13 cm (5"), and the women's javelin by 60 cm (2'), wound up no better than fourth. A total of 12 track and field athletes performed so well that their scores would have won any previous Olympics, yet failed to win a medal at Moscow.
  • In the long jump competition, three women beat Script error: No such module "convert". for the first time ever in one competition.
  • Waldemar Cierpinski of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) won his second consecutive marathon gold.
  • Bärbel Wöckel, also of the GDR, winner of the 200 metres in Montreal, became the first woman to retain the title.
  • Tatiana Kazankina (USSR) retained the 1,500m title that she had won in Montreal.
  • In the women's pentathlon the Soviet Nadezhda Tkachenko scored 5,083 points to become the first athlete to exceed 5,000 points in the event during Olympic competition.
  • Although she won the silver medal in the pentathlon, Olga Rukavishnikova (USSR) held the world record for 0.4 seconds as she finished 1st in the last event of 800m. That gave her the shortest reign of any world record holder ever.
  • Soviet walker Anatoly Solomin was leading the 20 km walk with 1 lap to go when he was disqualified. The race was won by a hitherto little known Italian, Maurizio Damilano, in an Olympic record time.
  • For the first time in the history of the Olympics all 8 male participants in the long jump final beat the mark of 8 meters.
  • Spain and Bulgaria earned their first ever medals in Mens track.
  • Lutz Dombrowski (GDR) won the long jump gold. His was the longest jump recorded at sea level and he became only the 2nd human to jump further than Script error: No such module "convert"..
  • In the triple jump final Viktor Saneyev who won gold at Mexico, Munich and Montreal won silver behind his compatriot Jaak Uudmäe.
  • Yuriy Sedykh (USSR) won gold in the hammer throw event. 4 of his 6 throws broke the world record of 80m. No hammer thrower in the world had ever achieved this before. As in Montreal the USSR won gold, silver and bronze in this event.
  • Evelin Jahl (GDR) the 1976 Olympic champion won discus gold again. She won with a new Olympic record – 69.96m. She had been undefeated since Montreal.
  • Cuba's María Caridad Colón won the women's javelin setting a new Olympic record and beating the favored Soviet throwers.
  • Sara Simeoni of Italy won the women's high jump, setting a new Olympic record. She had won a silver in the 1976 Games and would go on to win a silver in the 1984 Games.
  • In track-and-field six world records, 18 Olympic records and nine best results of the year were registered.
  • In women's track and field events alone either a world or Olympic record was broken in almost every event.
  • Daley Thompson of Great Britain won the gold in the Decathlon. He won gold again at the L.A. Olympics.
  • Soviet Dainis Kula won gold in the men's javelin. He also had the best sum total of throws, showing his consistency. He finished ahead of his teammate Alexander Makarov.
  • IAAF President Adrian Paulen of the Netherlands said "Whereas at the 1976 Games in Montreal the Jury of Appeal had to deal with 16 protests, the fact remains that in Moscow there were only two. This was the smallest number of protests at any Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964".


  • Basketball was one of the hard hit sports due to the boycott. Though replacements were found, five men's teams including the defending Olympic Champion United States withdrew from the competition in addition to the US Women's team.
  • In the Women's competition, the host Soviet Union won the competition beating Bulgaria for Gold, Yugoslavia won Bronze.
  • The Mens competition featured only the second instance of the US Men's Basketball team failing to win Gold with the first one being in Munich. Yugoslavia took home the gold beating Italy in the final. The hosts, Soviet Union, winners in 1972, won the bronze.


  • Teófilo Stevenson of Cuba became the first boxer to win three consecutive Olympic titles in heavyweight, the only boxer to win the same event in 3 Games. (László Papp from Hungary was the first boxer to win three titles). In boxing Cuba won 6 gold, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes, a haul only equaled once before in the entire history of the Olympics (by the USA at St. Louis in 1904 when there were hardly any other boxers from other nations present). The USSR won 1 gold medal, the same as Italy, Yugoslavia, East Germany and Bulgaria.
  • The Val Barker Trophy is presented by the International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) to the competitor adjudged to be the best stylist at the Games. The winner was Patrizio Oliva of Italy who won gold at light-welterweight. In his final Oliva defeated Serik Konakbaev (USSR). In 1979 Konakbaev had beaten Oliva in the final of the European Championships.
  • Donald F. Hull, U.S. president of the Amateur International Boxing Federation (IABA) said "I consider the organization of the present boxing tournament to be the best among the last 3 Olympics".


All events in canoeing and rowing took place at the Moscow Canoeing and Rowing Basin in Krylatskoye
  • The prophets of the canoeing world had predicted that the USSR would triumph in at least 9 of the 11 classes for which there were gold medals to be won at the 1980 Olympic regatta. At Montreal the USSR had won 6 of 11 titles and at Munich 6 out of 7.
  • Sergei Postrekhin (USSR) was favored to win the single canoe 1,000 metres gold but is beaten by Lubomir Lubenov of Bulgaria.
  • In canoeing Australia won its first medal since 1956.
  • Ivan Patzaichin (Romania) won gold medals over a 16-year period,1968–1984.
  • Apart from the boycott of the LA Olympics Birgit Fischer (East Germany) won medals in each Olympics from 1980–2004. In the 500 metres kayak singles for women she won gold in Moscow, silver in Seoul, gold in Barcelona.
  • Uladzimir Parfianovich of the USSR won 3 gold medals in canoeing.


  • Lothar Thoms of East Germany won the 1,000 metre individual pursuit cycling gold, breaking the world record by nearly 4 seconds.
  • The surprise winner of the bronze in that race was Jamaica's David Weller who also broke the 16 year old world record.
  • In the 4,000 metre team pursuit qualifying heats new world indoor records were set 8 times.
  • In the 4,000 metre individual pursuit the Olympic flag was flown for all 3 medal winning positions – Switzerland gold, France silver, Denmark bronze. Robert Dill-Bundi became the 1st Olympic champion in the history of Swiss cycling.
  • The 189 kilometer individual road race gold was won by Sergei Sukhoruchenkov (USSR). British team manager Peter Crinnon called it "The greatest exhibition of power riding ever". Sukhoruchenkov is voted best racer in the world by the International Amateur Cycling Federation.
  • In this race only a photo-finish can tell the next 2 finishers apart, giving the silver medal to the Polish cyclist and the bronze to a Soviet cyclist.
  • The cycling team road race is won by the Soviet team as they had done in Munich and Montreal.
  • In cycling world records were toppled 21 times.


  • As Aleksandr Portnov waited to do a 2 and 1/2 reverse somersault in the springboard final, cheers broke out in three adjoining swimming pool during the closing stages of Salnikov's world record breaking 1,500m swim. The diver delayed his start until the noise had subsided but, as he took his first steps along the board, even greater cheers broke out as Salnikov touched in under 15 minutes. Under the rules Portnov, having started, could not stop before take-off. He crashed badly. On protest to the Swedish referee G.Olander he was allowed to repeat the dive and went ahead again of Mexico's Carlos Girón. Later protests by Mexico against the re-dive and by East Germany that their Falk Hoffmann wanted to re-dive after allegedly being disturbed by photographic flashlights were both turned down by the International Amateur Swimming Federation (FINA). FINA President Javier Ostas of Mexico stated that the decision taken by the Swedish referee was the "correct one. FINA assessed all the Olympic diving events and considers the judging to have been objective". Portnov remained the winner with Giron taking silver and Cagnotto of Italy bronze.
  • Martina Jaschke (East Germany) was 4th after the preliminary high dives, behind 2 Soviets and a Mexican, but came back to win gold on the second day of competition.
  • Irina Kalinina (USSR) won gold in the springboard final. As a result of her 10 dives in the preliminaries she amassed a unique number of points : 478.86. In the previous 4 years no diver had scored so many.
  • In this final the Mexican judge A.Marsikal allowed Karin Guthke (East Germany) re-take a dive. Guthke then won bronze ahead of the Soviet Zhanna Tsirulnikova.


  • In the individual show jumping event Poland's Jan Kowalczyk and the USSR's Nikolai Koralkov each had 8 faults, but Kowalczyk won gold as his horse completed the course the quicker. So Poland won the last of the 203 gold medals contested.
  • Austrian horsewoman Elisabeth Theurer, despite the decision of the federation of equestrian sports of her country not to participate in the Olympics, was flown to Moscow by former racing driver Niki Lauda. Theurer won the gold medal in the dressage competition.
  • The oldest medalist at the Moscow Olympics was Petre Rosca (Romania) in the dressage at 57 years 283 days.


  • Soviet foil fencers, who had taken possession of all the World and Olympic titles, were not among the 6 challengers in the finals. The Soviet 5 time world champion Alexander Romankov won a bronze.
  • France took 4 golds in fencing, an Olympic record in the post World War II era.
  • In the team sabre fencing final, for the 5th Olympics in a row, Italy and the USSR met. The USSR won as they did in Tokyo, Mexico and Montreal.
  • In the men's foil final the USSR and France record 8 wins each but the Frenchmen made more hits and this won them the gold.


Pins released by the USSR for the football event of the Olympics (with a British 50 pence coin for size comparison)
  • The USSR were favorites to win gold in football but won bronze instead. Czechoslovakia won the gold medal beating German Democratic Republic (East Germany) 1:0 in the final. After many years in the doldrums, Olympic football had a revival in 1980 when the matches attracted nearly 2 million spectators.


  • Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin won a medal in each of the eight gymnastics events, including three titles. He was the first athlete to win 8 medals at an Olympics. He scored several 10s, the first perfect scores in men's gymnastics since the 1924 Paris Olympics.
  • Nikolai Andrianov who had won gold on floor at both Munich and Montreal was pipped this time by Roland Bruckner of East Germany. Andrianov retained the vault title he had won in Montreal.
  • Zoltán Magyar (Hungary) retained the Olympic title on pommel horse that he had won in Montreal. He was also 3 times World champion and 3 times European champion on this piece of apparatus.
  • In women's gymnastics the USSR won 1 medal in the All-Around competition. In each Olympics before this they had always won 2 and in Rome 1960 had won all 3. In the Friendship Games at Olomouc '84 and at Seoul '88 they would win 2 again. In the Team Competition they won the gold medal for the eighth time, continuing the "gold" series started in 1952.
  • In the women's gymnastics event finals, a Romanian gymnast medals on each piece of apparatus for the first time:
  • In women's gymnastics there was a judging scandal when the Romanian head judge refused to post the score of her fellow Romanian Nadia Comăneci. This score gave Comaneci a silver medal behind Yelena Davydova of the USSR, but the Romanian judge, Mili Simionescu, tried to persuade the other judges to increase Comaneci's score so that she would win gold. After the Olympics, Simionescu was severely criticized by the International Gymnastics Federation. Before the Los Angeles Olympics, the United States gymnastics federation proposed a change in the rules so that a head judge cannot interfere and meddle in the scoring of competitors.


  • East Germany beat the USSR 23–22 in the handball final to take their first medal of any sort in the men's event.

Field hockey

  • Women's field hockey was an Olympic sport for the first time. Six countries competed: Austria, India, Poland, Czechoslovakia, USSR, and Zimbabwe. The gold medal was won by the team of Zimbabwe ahead of the firm favorites of the USSR who won bronze. Zimbabwe did not learn it would get a place in the tournament until 35 days before the Games began and chose its team only the weekend before the opening ceremony. None of their players had prior playing experience on an artificial surface. They had not trained at all together before the tournament and warmed up by playing some friendly matches with different Soviet club teams.
  • India won a record 8th title in men's field hockey.


  • In Japan's absence, the USSR was expected to improve its showing in judo but wound up with 5 medals, the same as Montreal, despite the fact that there were 2 more weight categories. 15 countries shared the medals in judo, more than the record 12 countries in Munich and Montreal.

Modern Pentathlon

  • In the men's Pentathlon Anatoly Starostin (USSR) became the youngest ever Olympic champion in this sport.
  • 26 competitors scored over 5,000 points. In Munich 12 topped this mark and in Montreal 21.
  • It was the 1st time ever at either a world championship or an Olympics that as many as 8 teams topped the 15,000-point level.
  • In the modern pentathlon George Horvath (Sweden) recorded a perfect score in the pistol shoot. It had been achieved only once before, at the 1936 Olympics.


  • East Germany dominated rowing, winning eleven of the fourteen titles. The East German men won 7 out of 8 events, foiled from achieving a clean sweep by Pertti Karppinen of Finland (who defended his Olympic title from Montreal). East German women won 4 of their 6 events. The Soviets had been expected to win most of these titles considering their success at Munich and Montreal.
  • The East German women's eights team win gold despite only having been selected 3 months before the Olympics began.
  • In the rowing eights with coxswain the British team win silver just 0.74 seconds behind East Germany. The Britons had never rowed together before the Olympic trials and had only 10 weeks to prepare for Moscow. The stroke, Richard Stanhope, had never stroked on an 8-man shell before and in the final their steering broke.


  • Sailing event was held in Tallinn, Estonia which was at the time one of the Soviet republics.
  • Soviet sailor Valentyn Mankin won a gold medal in "Star" class. He won Olympic champion titles in "Finn" and "Tempest" classes before, and as of 2007 remains the only sailor in Olympic history to win gold medals in three different classes.
  • Finland (gold) won its first gold Olympic yachting medal and Ireland (silver) won its first ever Olympic yachting medal.
  • The USSR had its worst Olympic regatta since Mexico 1968.
  • In 1980 the medals were awarded to yachtsmen from 12 countries, the widest medal distribution in the sport at an Olympics.


  • The 3-day skeet shooting marathon was won by Hans Kjeld Rasmussen of Denmark, the 2nd Olympic gold for Danish shooters since the 1900 Paris Games.
  • In the smallbore rifle, prone event, Hungarian Károly Varga captured the gold and equalled the world record despite having broken his shooting hand just prior to the competition.


  • Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) won three gold medals in swimming. He became the first man in history to break the 15 minute barrier in the 1500 metre freestyle, swimming's equivalent of breaking the 4-minute mile. He missed the 1984 Games because of the boycott but won gold again in this event at Seoul 1988.
  • Salnikov also won gold in the 4x200m relay and the 400m freestyle. In the 400m freestyle he set a new Olympic record which was just eleven-hundredths of a second outside his own world record.
  • In the Montreal final of the 400m freestyle the 7th and 8th place finalists finished in over 4 minutes. In Moscow 16 swimmers finished in under 4 minutes and 8 of them didn't make the final.
  • Duncan Goodhew of Great Britain won the 100 metres breaststroke, beating Miskarov, a strongly favoured Soviet, into second place by half a second.
  • Sweden's Bengt Baron, participating in his 1st major international competition, won gold in the 100 meter backstroke ahead of 2 Soviets.
  • In the men's 4×100 metres medley relay each of the 8 teams taking part in the final broke its country's national record.
  • The first Australian gold since 1972 came in the 4×100 men's medley relay.[10] The Australians had been expecting to win silver behind the hot favourites from the USSR but with Neil Brooks swimming the final leg, the Australians swam the 2nd fastest time in history.
  • East German women dominated the swimming events, winning 9 of 11 individual titles, both the relays and setting 6 world records. They also won all 3 medals in 6 different races. In total they won 26 of the available 35 medals.
  • Barbara Krause (East Germany) became the first woman to go under 55 seconds for the 100 m freestyle.
  • Backstroker Rica Reinisch (East Germany) was 20th in the world rankings for 100m in 1979 and not in the top 100 for the 200 m. At the Olympics she broke the world records in both distances winning golds.
  • In the 100m butterfly Caren Metschuk (East Germany) beats her more experienced team-mate Andrea Pollack to win gold.
  • Petra Schneider (East Germany) shaved 3 seconds off the world record in the 400m medley.
  • As in Montreal the Soviet women made a clean sweep of the medals in the 200m breaststroke.
  • Yulia Bogdanova (USSR), the recent world title winner in the 200m breaststroke did not qualify for the Olympic final, the title in this event was won by her teammate Lina Kačiušytė.
  • The Soviet women swimmers in the 4×100 metres freestyle relay were disqualified.
  • Michelle Ford (Australia) won the 800m freestyle more than 4 seconds ahead of her East German rivals.
  • In swimming 230 national, 22 Olympic and 10 World records were set.
  • Poland won its first ever swimming medal.
  • The youngest male gold medallist of these Olympics was Hungarian backstroke swimmer Sándor Wladár, 17 years and 1 week old.


  • The prominent nation in both volleyball competitions was the USSR; only once had their teams failed to reach the final. The Soviet men and women had lost only 6 games between them in the 5 Olympics since volleyball was incorporated into the list of Olympic sports at Tokyo 1964.

Water polo

  • Hungary won a bronze medal in waterpolo. This continued their run of always winning a medal in this event since 1924.


  • The standard of weightlifting was the highest in the history of the Olympics. There were 18 senior world records,2 junior world records, more than 100 Olympic records and 108 national records set.
  • The oldest of weightlifting's Olympic records – the snatch in the lightweight class set in 1964 – was bettered 13 times.
  • 56 kg: Daniel Núñez (Cuba) won gold ahead of the favourite Yurik Sarkisian (USSR).
  • 60 kg: Viktor Mazin (USSR), holder of all the world records in this class, was the expected winner with a new Olympic record total. But if only Marek Sewelyn (Poland) had succeeded with his last jerk, he would have scored a surprise win. After fixing the 162.5 kg bar overhead, he let it fall while making a faulty recovery.
  • 90 kg: After the 1976 Olympic champion and undisputed favourite, David Rigert (USSR) failed to register a snatch, Peter Baczako (Hungary) became the surprise winner.
  • Yurik Vardanyan (USSR) became the 1st middleweight to total more than 400 kg.
  • In the super heavyweight class Vasily Alexeyev (USSR) Olympic champion at Munich and Montreal, 8 times world champion and who in his career set 80 world records, failed to make a single lift.
  • The new category in weightlifting – up to 100 kg – was won by Ota Zaremba of Czechoslovakia.


  • In Greco-Roman wrestling Ferenc Kocsis of Hungary was declared the winner of the 163 pound class when the Olympic and Soviet defending champion Anatoly Bykov was disqualified for passivity.
  • 1980 witnessed the first ever "Graeco" to win a Greco-Roman title at an Olympics; Greece's Stilianos Migiakis took the gold in the featherweight division.
  • In the 106 pound freestyle wrestling final Italy's Claudio Pollio put Soviet grappler and twice world champion Sergei Kornilaev to the mat to take an unexpected gold on point standings.
  • None of the experts rated the Bulgarian welterweight freestyle wrestler Valentin Raitchev. He had no experience of international competition but won gold.
  • The Soviet national head coach said that Nikolai Balboshin – the reigning Olympic champion from Montreal – was unbeatable in his heavyweight division. However Balboshin failed to win a medal.

Closing ceremony

Both the opening and closing ceremonies were shown in Yuri Ozerov's 1981 film Oh, Sport - You Are Peace! (Russian: О спорт, ты - мир!).


¹ New facilities constructed in preparation for the Olympic Games. ² Existing facilities modified or refurbished in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Medals awarded

The 1980 Summer Olympic programme featured 203 events in the following 21 sports:


All times are in Moscow Time (UTC+3)
 ●  Opening ceremony     Event competitions  ●  Event finals  ●  Closing ceremony
Date July August



Field hockey
Football (soccer)

Modern pentathlon


Water polo

Total gold medals 5 7 10 12 19 15 22 22 10 16 14 11 19 20 1
Date 19th
July August

Medal count

This is a list of all nations that won medals at the 1980 Games.

File:1980 Summer Olympics bronze medal.JPG
A "bronze" medal – actually tombac – from the 1980 Summer Olympics

To sort this table by nation, total medal count, or any other column, click on the File:Sort both.gif icon next to the column title.

   *   Host nation (Soviet Union)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Soviet Union Soviet Union (URS)* 80 69 46 195
2 East Germany East Germany (GDR) 47 37 42 126
3 Bulgaria Bulgaria (BUL) 8 16 17 41
4 Cuba Cuba (CUB) 8 7 5 20
5 Italy Italy (ITA) 8 3 4 15
6 Hungary Hungary (HUN) 7 10 15 32
7 Romania Romania (ROU) 6 6 13 25
8 France France (FRA) 6 5 3 14
9 Great Britain Great Britain (GBR) 5 7 9 21
10 Poland Poland (POL) 3 14 15 32
11 Sweden Sweden (SWE) 3 3 6 12
12 Finland Finland (FIN) 3 1 4 8
13 Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia (TCH) 2 3 9 14
14 Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (YUG) 2 3 4 9
15 Australia Australia (AUS) 2 2 5 9
16 Denmark Denmark (DEN) 2 1 2 5
17 Brazil Brazil (BRA) 2 0 2 4
Ethiopia Ethiopia (ETH) 2 0 2 4
19 Switzerland Switzerland (SUI) 2 0 0 2
20 Spain Spain (ESP) 1 3 2 6
21 Austria Austria (AUT) 1 2 1 4
22 Greece Greece (GRE) 1 0 2 3
23 Belgium Belgium (BEL) 1 0 0 1
India India (IND) 1 0 0 1
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (ZIM) 1 0 0 1
26 North Korea North Korea (PRK) 0 3 2 5
27 Mongolia Mongolia (MGL) 0 2 2 4
28 Tanzania Tanzania (TAN) 0 2 0 2
29 Mexico Mexico (MEX) 0 1 3 4
30 Netherlands Netherlands (NED) 0 1 2 3
31 Ireland Ireland (IRL) 0 1 1 2
32 Uganda Uganda (UGA) 0 1 0 1
Venezuela Venezuela (VEN) 0 1 0 1
34 Jamaica Jamaica (JAM) 0 0 3 3
35 Guyana Guyana (GUY) 0 0 1 1
Lebanon Lebanon (LIB) 0 0 1 1
Total (36 NOCs) 204 204 223 631

List of participating and non-participating countries and regions

In the following list, the number in parentheses indicates the number of athletes from each nation that competed in Moscow. Nations in italics competed under the Olympic flag (or, in the cases of New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, under the flags of their respective National Olympic Committees):

Participating National Olympic Committees
  • 22x20px Liberia, with 7 athletes, withdrew after marching in the Opening Ceremony and took part in the boycott.
File:1980 Summer olympics team numbers.gif
Number of athletes sent per nation

See also

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  1. ^ a b "Moscow 1980". Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Cousineau, Phil (2003). The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Great Games. Quest Books. p. 162. ISBN 0835608336. 
  3. ^ "IOC Vote History". Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "The Olympic Boycott, 1980". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Partial Boycott – New IOC President". Keesing's Record of World Events 26: 30599. December 1980. 
  7. ^ "New Zealand Olympic Committee". Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d 1980 Summer Olympics Official Report from the Organizing Committee, vol. 2, p. 379
  9. ^ Invalid language code.History – Moscow-1980
  10. ^ "Norman May on australianscreen online". Retrieved 3 March 2011. 


Further reading


  • Corthorn, Paul (2013). "The Cold War and British debates over the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics". Cold War History 13 (1): 43–66. doi:10.1080/14682745.2012.727799. 
  • Evelyn Mertin, The Soviet Union and the Olympic Games of 1980 and 1984: Explaining Boycotts to their Own People. In: S. Wagg/D. Andrews (Eds.) East plays West. Sport and the Cold War, 2007, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 235–252, ISBN 978-0-415-35927-6.

External links

Preceded by
Summer Olympic Games
Host City

XXII Olympiad (1980)
Succeeded by
Los Angeles