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View Full Version : How on Earth did Moscow get the Olympics?


welshneil
22-03-2006, 01:35 PM
I am old enough to vaguely remember the Moscow Olympics but I was wondering if anyone can remember the initial decision to hold them there in 1980? Surely the cold war was at its peak when the decision was made and it'd be akin to, say, deciding to hold them in North Korea or Albania at the moment!

Was it an attempt at cooling of heated relations between Eastern Europe and the West? To me it surely defies logic that such a strict communist state with a terrible human rights record at the time was allowed to gain so much positive publicity way back then.

danibutcher
22-03-2006, 01:53 PM
Yeah, you make a good point there. Although there was obviosly enough contoversy and worry that many countries boycotted the event, including the US, Canada, Argentina, China, West Germany.
The decision was made in 1974 and they beat Los Angeles 39 - 20. But the boycott was regarding the 1979 soviet invasion of Afghanistan, this led 65 nations to not participate.

calne eagle
22-03-2006, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by danibutcher
the boycott was regarding the 1979 soviet invasion of Afghanistan, this led 65 nations to not participate.

Indeed it was.

Sending your forces into Afghanistan because you don't like the political regime. Tsk........

david sylvian
22-03-2006, 02:00 PM
hmm - north korea today stands apart as one of the few communist/totalitarian regimes left

in the mid 70s, half the world's population and most of it's land-mass was run by communist/totalitarian regimes - therefore moscow would not have found it tricky to get, say, poland to vote for them!!!

welshneil
22-03-2006, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by david sylvian
hmm - north korea today stands apart as one of the few communist/totalitarian regimes left

Along with that great success story that is Cuba!

Steve H
22-03-2006, 02:04 PM
And, erm, China?

And Vietnam...

leelouca
22-03-2006, 02:10 PM
and the next olympics is in the communist country of China

calne eagle
22-03-2006, 02:18 PM
Whose human rights record is not v good.

Riccardo
22-03-2006, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by calne eagle
Whose human rights record is not v good.

Doesn't seem to stop American business' dealing with them though.

Anyway, sport and politics shouldn't mix...should they ?

calne eagle
22-03-2006, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by welshneil
Along with that great success story that is Cuba!

Well, in terms of literacy levels and healthcare, it could be described as such.

Had to laugh at this from a Google search, though:


Upside Down World - Cuba and Venezuela: A Bolivarian PartnershipLiteracy and Healthcare without Borders ... With the help of Cuba and Venezuela, a program to eradicate literacy will begin in July, 2006. ...
upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/180/1/ - 39k


Hmm - I thought some of the younger members of the BBS had their own campaign for that :D

calne eagle
22-03-2006, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Riccardo
Anyway, sport and politics shouldn't mix...should they ?

The age-old conundrum........

Strathclyde Eagle
22-03-2006, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Riccardo
Anyway, sport and politics shouldn't mix...should they ?
Isn't that why we didn't boycott the 1980 games?

If we had boycotted those games I doubt anyone today would ever have heard of Allan Wells. Instead of that he gets to go around Scotland opening up centres who can't spell his name correctly on the plaque commemorating the opening. :bash:

calne eagle
22-03-2006, 03:17 PM
And indeed if the USA hadn't boycotted those games the same would probably apply.

Do they always spell it 'Alan'?

Jack Regan
22-03-2006, 03:19 PM
Allan Wells, Daley Thompson, Seb Coe, Steve Ovett.

Anyone who won a medal at either the 1980 or 1984 Olympics.

Your medals are worthless due to the nations that boycotted both games.

They're about as much use as a Commonwealth Games medal.

joyce the voice
22-03-2006, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by welshneil
I am old enough to vaguely remember the Moscow Olympics but I was wondering if anyone can remember the initial decision to hold them there in 1980? Surely the cold war was at its peak when the decision was made and it'd be akin to, say, deciding to hold them in North Korea or Albania at the moment!

Was it an attempt at cooling of heated relations between Eastern Europe and the West? To me it surely defies logic that such a strict communist state with a terrible human rights record at the time was allowed to gain so much positive publicity way back then.

I'm writing having done no research at all, but my guess would be that it had something to do with the disastrous 1976 Olympics in Montreal (?) Didn't they lose tons of money, and hence no-one wanted to host the games after that?

CPFC Guy
22-03-2006, 03:25 PM
I'm not gonna complain about the boycotting, as a result of all those countries not joining in Great Britain came highest in the medal table ever :)

Moscow was the capital of one of the two world superpowers of the time. The IOC doesn't make decisions politically (that goes against the idea that the olympics comes above politics) and so they picked Moscow to host it since was probably the best contender in terms of resources, moeny, transport etc.

Strathclyde Eagle
22-03-2006, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by calne eagle
Do they always spell it 'Alan'?
At least one did.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4718299.stm

Strathclyde Eagle
22-03-2006, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by CPFC Guy
The IOC doesn't make decisions politically (that goes against the idea that the olympics comes above politics)
But it certainly makes decisions financially.

Decision to have the 1980 games in Moscow took place before the 1976 games in Montreal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Summer_Olympics

Strathclyde Eagle
22-03-2006, 03:32 PM
Description of the games as a result sounds utterly surreal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_boycott_of_the_1980_Summer_Olympics