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1984 Summer Olympics boycott: Wikis


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The Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, United States followed the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

The boycott involved 14 Eastern Bloc countries and allies, including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany (but not Romania), that refused to participate in the 1984 Olympics. The USSR announced its intentions on May 8, 1984, citing security concerns and claiming that "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria [were] being whipped up in the United States"[1], but most observers saw it as revenge for the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games, enforced by President Jimmy Carter, in response to the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. 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. President Ronald Reagan later stated he believed the Soviets feared some of their athletes might defect.

Iran was the only country not to attend both the 1980 Moscow and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. For different reasons, Libya also boycotted.

The boycott affected a large number of Olympic events that were normally dominated by the absent countries. Boycotting countries organized another major event, called the Friendship Games, in July-August, 1984.


Boycotting governments

Incomplete map of olympic boycotts, showing 1984 boycotting countries in red and orange

15 or 17 (from different sources) in all, list not complete

Soviet Bloc

Despite being considered part of the Soviet Bloc,  Romania permitted its athletes to participate, while  South Yemen may not have participated because they were not invited by the IOC.


The boycott in popular culture

In The Simpsons Season 4 episode "Lisa's First Word", 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 claims he will spit in every 50th burger towards its end.

The Krusty Burger promotion paralleled a real-life McDonald's scratch-card promotion from the 1984 Olympics that also lost them money. The promotion was called "If the US Wins, You Win!" and gave away Big Macs for every gold medal, fries for every silver medal, and Coca-Cola beverages for every bronze; like the Krusty Burger promotion, McDonald's lost money. (McDonald's promotion lost money due to employees handing out promotion cards at will instead of with purchases as was intended.)[2]

See also


  1. ^ Burns, John F. (9 May 1984). "Moscow Will Keep Its Team From Los Angeles Olympics". New York Times. 
  2. ^ "If Tonga wins, you win!". 


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