Friendship Games

Posted: August 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I hope that all of you are enjoying the Summer Olympic Games in London.

So here’s a something that maybe some of you do not know about.

On the 24th of December 1979, the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan. The Summer Olympic Games of 1980 were to be held in Moscow, Russia.

Then on the 20th of January 1980, United States President Jimmy Carter called for the Soviets to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan or the United States would boycott the Games.

The USSR would be in this fight until 1989. So the United States kept their word and led about 65 other nations to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.

Four years later, the Summer Olympic Games would be held in Los Angeles, California. The Soviet Union would then boycott the Games and would lead members of the Eastern Bloc to also boycott them.

Many would believe that the Soviet Union did this as an act of revenge for the United States to boycott in Moscow. United States President Ronald Reagan had remarked his belief that the reason why the Soviet Union had boycotted the Games in Los Angeles was because they were afraid that their athletes would defect from the communist nation.

The nations who boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympic Games were:

Soviet Union
Bulgaria
East Germany
Mongolia
Vietnam
Laos
Czechoslovakia
Afghanistan
Hungary
Poland
Cuba
South Yemen
North Korea
Ethopia
Angola

Later other nations simply decided that they were not going to participate such as Iran, Libya, Albania.

These boycotted nations decided that they were going to have their athletes participate in what they had called The Friendship Games.

The event was held from the 2nd of July through 16 September 1984, hosted in nine nations: Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, North Korea, Mongolia, Poland, and the Soviet Union.

So who participated in The Friendship Games??

The list of nations that I had found while researching this fascinating piece of history are as follows:

Afghanistan
Algeria
Angola
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
China
Colombia
Cuba
Czechoslavkia
Denmark
East Germany
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Great Britian
Greece
Hungary
India
Italy
Japan
Laos
Lebanon
Madagascar
Mongolia
Morocco
Netherlands
Nicaragua
North Korea
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
South Yemen
Soviet Union
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Tanzania
Venezuela
Vietnam
West Germany
Yugoslavia
Zimbabwe

While the boycotting countries were represented by their strongest athletes, other states sent their reserve teams, consisting of athletes who failed to qualify for Los Angeles. So not ALL countries who participated were nations that were boycotting the games in 1984. Call it, the “B- Squad” if you will.

Some athletes were represented as clubs or teams, and not necessarily nations.

At the end of it all, The medal table  should have been to no surprise. The top three winning nations in the Friendship Games were:  Soviet Union, East Germany, Bulgaria.

Have you heard about this? Did you know that this happened in 1984??

 

 

 

 

 

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