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Subject: Olympic Boycotts: Can It Happen Again?

Written By: Indy Gent on 11/02/02 at 10:24 p.m.

As you know in 1980, American's and most of their Allies (except the UK, which was required to go) boycotted the Soviet Olympic Games in Moscow to protest the Communist invasion of Afganistan (my how times change  ::)). In turn, the Soviet Union and most of the Communist nations (except China, Yugoslavia, and Romania) boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles. In all, athletes like Kurt Thomas and Mary Decker were denied their shot at Gold. My question, to those old enough to remember, is did you agree with them then? And do you think that another Olympic boycott is possible in, like say, Beijing in 2006?

Subject: Re: Olympic Boycotts: Can It Happen Again?

Written By: FussBudgetVanPelt on 11/03/02 at 06:31 a.m.

Whilst I realise it's cliche and over-simplistic of me, Indy, all I could say is if I were an athlete who had slogged my guts out for years building up to that event, and then someone told me I couldn't go, I would be mightily peeved....

Reagrdless of whatever my own political opinions were.

Subject: Re: Olympic Boycotts: Can It Happen Again?

Written By: Race_Bannon on 11/03/02 at 08:24 a.m.

We should not have boycotted the Olympics then and we shouldn't in the future unless under some extreme reason.  While it may not be completely the case the Olympics are supposed to be seperate of politics and it was a damn shame that the athletes at the time could not compete in the prime of their era.

Subject: Re: Olympic Boycotts: Can It Happen Again?

Written By: XenaKat13 on 11/03/02 at 05:30 p.m.

I don't think they should have been boycotted at all back then.  The Olympics are supposed to be about putting aside political and ideological differences to have a friendly sports competition.

The United States competed fairly and apparently happily against the (then) U.S.S.R. in previous Olympic competitions despite the Cold War.

Only if a country is actively at war with the host country should the games be boycotted, IMO.

Do I think they will be boycotted again?  Yes, because the precedent has now been set.  By whom?  Only time will tell...

Subject: Re: Olympic Boycotts: Can It Happen Again?

Written By: kaz on 11/04/02 at 04:56 a.m.

"except the UK, which was required to go"

The U.K. athletes were NOT required to go.  It was left for them to choose whether to compete or not.  Many U.K. athletes felt (rightly IMO) that sport and politics should not interfere with each other.  Some of the British didn't go to Moscow in 1980 but most did.

As to whether there could be another boycott I'm not sure.  I think Bejing could be another flash point.  Lots of people are unhappy with the political situation in CHina but whether they feel sufficiently strongly to arrange a boycott it's hard to tell.  I guess if something serious (like Tianamenn (sp?) Square) happened again then people may have second thoughts.

Subject: Re: Olympic Boycotts: Can It Happen Again?

Written By: the_OlLine_Rebel on 11/04/02 at 08:48 p.m.

a)  I don't mind that there was a boycott at all.  In some ways it's a bummer, but mostly because people whine about a lack of "real competition" when someone's not there.  It's a shame some athletes miss their chance, but frankly, politics and moral issues are bigger than sports, and you can't separate that no matter all the platitudes about it.

b)  The '84 Olympics were boycotted merely to get back at the US.  Just to clarify since a reason was given for the '80 - but nicely left out for the '84 (as it usually is in any such discussion).

c)  Mary Decker competed in the '84.  I don't recall if she ran in multiple events but unfortunately, she was tripped in her big medal round and hurt.

d)  Incidentally, the '84 Olympics were terrific.  Cannot personally compare them to others, but just wanted to put in my verification that they were marvellously staged.  1 of the few times I can say, "Vive la' L.A.!"