1980 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXII. Olympics
1980 Olympic Games logo
Venue: Moscow ( Soviet Union )
Stadion: Luzhniki Olympic Stadium
Opening ceremony: July 19, 1980
Closing ceremony: 3rd August 1980
Opened by: Leonid Brezhnev (Head of State)
Olympic oath : Nikolai Andrianow (athlete)
Alexander Medved (referee)
Disciplines: 27 (21 sports)
Competitions: 203
Countries: 80
Athletes: 5217, of which 1124 women
Montreal 1976
Los Angeles 1984
Medal table
space country G S. B. Ges.
1 Soviet Union 1955Soviet Union Soviet Union 80 69 46 195
2 Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR GDR 47 37 42 126
3 Bulgaria 1971Bulgaria Bulgaria 8th 16 17th 41
4th CubaCuba Cuba 8th 7th 5 20th
5 Olympic flag.svg Italy 8th 3 4th 15th
6th Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary 7th 10 15th 32
7th Romania 1965Romania Romania 6th 6th 13 25th
8th Olympic flag.svg France 6th 5 3 14th
9 Olympic flag.svg Great Britain 5 7th 9 21st
10 PolandPoland Poland 3 14th 15th 32
... ... ... ... ... ...
19th Olympic flag.svg Switzerland 2 - - 2
21st AustriaAustria Austria 1 2 1 4th
Complete medal table

The 1980 Summer Olympics (officially called the XXII Olympiad Games ) took place from July 19 to August 3, 1980 in Moscow ( USSR ). They were the second boycott games after the Montreal Summer Games four years earlier. The opening and closing ceremonies were held in the Central Lenin Stadium . While the Soviet capital hosted most of the Olympic competitions, the football tournament was held in Moscow, Leningrad , Kiev ( Ukrainian SSR ) and Minsk ( Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic ), and the sailing competitions were relocated to Tallinn in the Estonian SSR .

The teams of the USSR and the GDR , which were already leading the medal scoring in Montreal, dominated a large part of the competitions and won more than half of all medals awarded. The most successful athlete was the Soviet gymnast Alexander Ditjatin , who won eight medals, including three gold, four silver and one bronze. The swimmer Caren Metschuck from the GDR was the most successful in the women with three gold and one silver medal.



Moscow made the first attempt in 1970 to apply to host the 1976 Summer Olympics . It argued with the "moral right" to be able to host the games as the capital of the largest state in the world and one of the most successful nations in sport. Nevertheless, the city was defeated in the vote in Amsterdam in the second round Montreal with 28:41 votes.

A new candidacy was announced just one year later. The only contending candidate was Los Angeles . As with Lake Placid only one candidate's bid for the Winter Games in 1980 given and Denver hosting the Winter Games in 1976 had returned, Moscow was the favorite in the vote, at the 75th IOC Session on 23 October 1974 City Hall in Vienna took place . It was assumed that the delegates would not award the Summer Games to an American city again that same year after the Winter Games. As expected, Moscow, which presented itself in an exhibition in the Volkshalle of the Vienna City Hall together with the rival candidate Los Angeles and the candidate for the Winter Games, Lake Placid, clearly won the vote.

Result of the ballot:

place country Ballot
Moscow Soviet Union 1955Soviet Union Soviet Union 39
los Angeles United StatesUnited States United States 20th


Overview of Olympic boycott

Since the teams from the Netherlands , Spain and Switzerland stayed away from the 1956 Olympic Games in response to the Soviet army's suppression of the Hungarian uprising in the same year , the boycott of major sporting events has been seen as a legitimate means of reinforcing political demands. In the ongoing East-West conflict , the Western powers and the Eastern Bloc countries also made use of this means. In protest against Soviet interference in Hungary , the USA and Canada decided not to take part in the 1957 Ice Hockey World Cup in Moscow; in return, the Eastern Bloc countries boycotted sporting events in the NATO countries if teams from the GDR were refused entry or there was disagreement about the political status of the hosts (e.g. South Korea or West Berlin ).

Even in the run-up to the determination of the venue for the 1980 Summer Olympics, there were already a few votes in the United States to make a possible award to Moscow subject to conditions. After the election of Moscow, voices increased to make the participation of American athletes dependent on the question of the treatment of opponents of the regime in the Soviet Union, which was supported by the open boycott of the Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky . The western states saw this as an effective means of exerting pressure against their political opponents, since they speculated on the Soviet interest in allowing their first games to run undisturbed for reasons of prestige. In addition, the economic damage that would be caused by an American absenteeism was also taken into account. In the USA, the non-accreditation of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty , formerly co-financed by the CIA and now declared government broadcasters by the Carter administration , which had already been refused admission by the IOC at the previous Innsbruck Winter Games, was discussed as a reason for a possible boycott because they didn't conform to IOC rules. The situation was similar with the Soviet visa refusal for Israel because of its sports relations with South Africa .

After Soviet troops marched into Afghanistan in December 1979, US President Jimmy Carter announced a catalog of punishments in response to this in January 1980, in which, in addition to various embargoes, an Olympic boycott was publicly considered for the first time. After the IOC strictly rejected a “change of the venue for the Olympic Games” in a press release, Carter threatened, if the Soviet stance remained unchanged, with a worldwide boycott of participation, in which he also demanded solidarity from the US-American allies. While the governments of Great Britain and Canada pledged their full support, the foreign ministers of 36 Islamic countries also agreed to boycott the Games. In addition, the former world boxing champion Muhammad Ali traveled to Africa on behalf of Carter in order to win over other countries for this project. On the other hand, the Soviet party leadership ordered a campaign in which the embassies and all state organizations with relations abroad, especially in Third World countries, had to advertise participation in the Olympic Games.

In February 1980 the IOC declared unanimously at its 82nd IOC session in Lake Placid that only the NOCs of the individual states are authorized to accept or decline the invitation to the Olympic Games. This decision was preceded by the demand of US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance , who at the same place called on the IOC during his opening speech to withdraw the Olympic Games from Moscow because of the invasion of Afghanistan. Since the 1980 Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, the USA only aggressively demanded the boycott after it had already ended, in order to rule out negative consequences for its own games. The US National Olympic Committee USOC then voted on April 12, against the will of the majority of its athletes, for a boycott, after the US government had previously threatened tax sanctions in the event of a contrary resolution. The NOK for Germany also followed the recommendation of the German government and voted at its general meeting on May 15, 1980 - after fierce debates with 59:40 votes - also to stay away from the games. Most of the Western European NOK, on ​​the other hand, opposed the recommendations of their governments and agreed a differentiated form of protest, such as not taking part in the Olympic ceremonies or running under the Olympic flag instead of their own national flag. With the exception of a few members of the military, who were banned from participating in the Moscow Games by the government, the decision on whether to send the athletes was left to the respective national sports associations. While the equestrian associations followed US President Carter's call for a boycott in order not to discredit the chairman, since the Duke of Edinburgh, as the husband of the British head of state, has to follow the government, the other sports associations generally followed the NOK agreement .

Worldwide, a total of 42 NOK joined the Olympic boycott, the majority of which were Third World or Islamic states. A further 24 NOK refused to participate or left the invitation unanswered for financial or sporting reasons.

Consequences of the boycott

In addition to the financial losses for the Soviet hosts due to the lack of US Olympic tourism and the loss of western TV broadcasting rights, the US television company NBC also suffered direct damage in the hundreds of millions, primarily due to a lack of advertising income. Furthermore, numerous small and medium-sized companies in Western Europe and the USA suffered losses that had invested in the business of Olympic licensed products.

The signaling effect of the boycott on politics, which some hoped for, however, failed to materialize. The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet armed forces continued unabated, with the troop strength increasing from 85,000 to around 115,000 soldiers over the next eight years. In addition, the West tried not to endanger the “political thaw” of recent years, and so the United States resumed contact with the USSR in May 1980, two months before the start of the Olympic Games. There was also no interest from the West German side in jeopardizing the German-Soviet rapprochement that was initiated years ago . Three weeks before the opening of the Games, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt paid a two-day visit to the Soviet leadership around Leonid Brezhnev , during which new trade and economic relations between the Federal Republic and the USSR were contractually agreed.

The fears of a Soviet counterboycott for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles , which had been ignored up to that point, were, however, proven to be true four years later.


The preparations for the Olympic Games in Moscow were supported by the highest levels in the state and party leadership. Ignati Novikov, an expert in construction and energy supply and a former companion of Leonid Brezhnev, was appointed president of the organizing committee.

The financing of the games was based on three pillars. About half of the income was achieved through an Olympic lottery, which was held in other socialist countries in addition to the Soviet Union. Another source of money was license fees for various articles and broadcasting rights, including for the skillful marketing of the mascot Mishka, which also gained enormous popularity during the games in western countries. The third pillar for financing was a coin program that consisted of 45 commemorative coins with Olympic motifs made of gold, silver and copper-nickel, 45 percent of which were sold in Western Europe alone.

Mascot "Mishka" in Kiev (2010)

For half of the Olympic buildings, it was possible to fall back on existing competition venues that only had to be expanded or renovated. Nevertheless, expensive new buildings were also required, which in the end accounted for more than half of the total expenditure of 862.7 million rubles. This contrasted with income of 744.8 million rubles, which left a deficit of 117.9 million rubles. In addition, there was “non-Olympic-related expenditure” in the billions, which were primarily used as investments in infrastructure, such as B. the extension of the motorway ring around Moscow or the construction of the airport Sheremetyevo II , so that the deficit can be estimated far higher.

Buses were mainly used to solve the transport problem and to prevent traffic chaos. The USSR Ministry of Transport delegated around 4,000 buses and drivers from all over the Soviet Union to Moscow. It also identified special connecting roads between sports facilities and accommodation as "Olympic routes", on which one lane of the roadway could only be used by vehicles with accreditation . During the Games, truck traffic was largely banned from these routes.

Logo and mascot

The emblem of the games comes from the Latvian graphic artist Vladimir Arsentjew and emerged as the winner in a competition in 1975 in which 8,500 people submitted a total of 26,000 suggestions. It shows a stylized tower in the style of socialist classicism and at the same time symbolizes the career in a stadium. The mascot of the cartoonist and children's book illustrator Viktor Tschischikow was a brown bear with the official name Misha , whose pet form Mishka , however, became the common name. There was also a mascot of the sailing competitions in Tallinn, the seal named Vigri . The pictograms were developed by Nikolai Belkow , a modern pentathlon and graphic artist from Leningrad, and differed from Otl Aicher's designs for the 1972 and Montreal Games in Munich in their rounded corners. In addition, the pictograms gained dynamism due to the image edges being cut twice by the characters.


With 80 teams, the number of participating countries was the lowest it had been in Melbourne since 1956 . Liberia attended the opening event with seven athletes, but then withdrew their team. 16 countries did not participate under their national flag : New Zealand competed under the silver fern flag of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, 15 other countries chose the Olympic flag. The following list shows all participating countries and the number of their athletes.

Team strength of the nations
Basketball player Sergei Below lighting the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony on July 19, 1980
Europe (3,770 athletes from 28 nations)
America (547 athletes from 15 nations)
Africa (507 athletes from 22 nations)
Asia (413 athletes from 13 nations)
Oceania (131 athletes from 3 nations)
(Number of athletes)
* first participation in summer games

Torch relay

Olympic Games Moscow 1980 torch
The coin, the Soviet Union, 1 ruble, 1980. The XXII. Olympic Games, Moscow.

The torch for the Moscow Olympics was made of silver-lacquered aluminum with two gold-colored rings. The emblem of the Moscow Games was printed in red and "Moscow Olympics 1980" in Cyrillic letters . A mixture of propane and butane gas was used as fuel in order to achieve a burning time of approx. Eight to ten minutes per torch . In total, workshops in Leningrad made 6,200 copies of the torch.

The Olympic torch was lit on June 19, 1980 in Olympia by the Greek actress Maria Moscholiou using a concave mirror and passed on to the Greek student Atanasios Kosmopoulos as the first torchbearer. After a total distance of 5000 km, of which 1170 through Greece , 935 through Bulgaria , 593 through Romania and 2302 through the Soviet Union , the fire, carried by almost 6000 runners, arrived in Moscow on July 18, the day before the opening ceremony. During several ceremonies, the fire was lit at various representative locations in Moscow.

During the opening ceremony, the triple jumper Viktor Saneyev brought the Olympic flame into the stadium and passed it on to the basketball player Sergei Belov , who lit it in the large fire bowl. On July 20, 1980, one day after the opening ceremony, the flame was taken to Tallinn , Leningrad , Kiev and Minsk by rail .

Competition venues

Luzhniki Olympic Park

The Lenin Stadium in 1980

The Luzhniki Olympic Park, an area in a loop of the Moscow River southwest of the city center, was the heart of the Moscow Games. In the middle of the 180 hectare park was the Central Lenin Stadium with a capacity of 103,000 spectators. In addition to the opening and closing ceremonies, it also hosted athletics competitions , the final of the soccer tournament and the individual show jumping competition. The stadium was opened in 1956 and expanded for the 1980 games. The four distinctive floodlight masts were removed together with the Olympic fire bowl in the mid-1990s during the conversion to a completely covered arena.

Next to the Olympic Stadium is the Small Arena with a capacity of 8,300 people, which was the scene of the volleyball competitions . The same applied to the “Drushba” multi-purpose hall, built in 1979 on the south side of the park, which with its upturned sunflower blossom was architecturally distinct from the other buildings and offered space for 3900 spectators.

The water polo games took place in the uncovered swimming stadium . On the northern edge of the Olympic Park is the Luschniki Sports Palace , which had 13,700 seats for gymnastics and judo competitions during the games.

Olimpijski sports complex

Olimpijski Hall, 2010

The Olimpijski sports complex , which consists of two indoor arenas, is located north of the city center on Prospekt Mira . The largest indoor stadium in Europe, with a seating capacity of 45,000, was divided into two parts during the games in order to be used simultaneously for boxing (17,000 seats) and basketball (16,000 seats) competitions.

The neighboring swimming pool with its roof in the form of a riding saddle, on the other hand, served as a competition venue for swimmers and diver divers. While the swimming area had space for up to 8,000 visitors, there were 5,000 spectators in the jumping area.

ZSKA sports complex and Dynamo sports complex

The sports complex of the Central Army Sports Club was located in the northwest of Moscow on Leningrad Prospect . It consisted of several larger halls that were used as competition venues for fencing , wrestling and basketball during the Olympic Games .

In the immediate vicinity was the sports facility of the Dynamo sports club with the Dynamo stadium , one of the venues for the Olympic football competitions. In addition, the hockey games were held in the Small Sports Arena Dynamo and in the Young Pioneers Stadium.

Krylatskoye Sports Complex

The Velodrome in Krylatskoje, 2008

Another park with several sports facilities was built in a western suburb of Moscow, in Krylatskoje . The Olympic regatta course for rowing and canoeing is framed in a loop and supplied with water from the Moscow River . It was the world's first regatta course to have a separate training channel parallel to the competition track. On this track, the participants could get to the start without having to row on the competition track. In the finish area there is a grandstand system, which was arranged at an angle to the canal for better visibility and, together with temporary grandstands, had a capacity of 14,530 seats. In addition, space was created for a further 5,000 standing places.

Right next to the regatta course is the velodrome for the track competitions in cycling . In the hall, a cycling track made of Siberian larch wood, which at 333.33 m is one of the longest covered tracks in the world, and stands for 6000 spectators were built.

There was a novelty in road cycling at the Moscow Games. Instead of cordoning off a course within the city as is customary in previous games, the organizers in Krylatskoje had their own 13.5 km road bike course built next to the velodrome, which led in 88 curves and 300 meters in altitude through the hilly and grassy landscape. Temporary grandstands for 4,000 spectators were built on the 1.2 km long home straight.

The archery stadium with 3000 seats for spectators was located between the velodrome and the regatta course .

Bitza riding complex

The 45-hectare riding complex Bitza, located in the south of Moscow, was built for horse riding competitions and includes two riding stadiums for dressage with space for 3,000 spectators and show jumping with 12,000 spectator places. Next door were the stables for the horses and the park for the cross-country ride in the military .

Other sports facilities

Sokolniki Sports Palace, 2007

To the east of Moscow are the Ismailovo Sports Palace and the Sokolniki Sports Palace . Weightlifting competitions were held in Izmailovo, which could hold 5,000 spectators , and most of the handball games were held in Sokolniki . Other handball games took place in the Dynamo Sports Palace in northwest Moscow.

The shooting range in Mytishchi , northeast of Moscow, also belonging to the Dynamo sports club , was the venue for the Olympic shooting competitions . The facility, which was built in 1957 and completely renovated for the games, comprises 90 stands for the rifle and pistol disciplines over 50 meters, 16 stands for rapid-fire pistols 25 m, three stands for running target 50 meters and four stands for target shooting and a total capacity of 2330 spectator seats. In addition to the special disciplines in shooting, the shooting discipline in modern pentathlon was also held here.

The 100 km team time trial in road cycling took place on a stretch of the Moscow-Minsk motorway .

Individual football matches took place outside of Moscow in Minsk , Kiev and Leningrad . The sailing disciplines were outsourced to Tallinn , where a sailing port was built especially for this purpose.

The Olympic Village

The Olympic village was rebuilt to the southwest of the Luzhniki Olympic Park . It consists of 18 16-story high-rise towers with the participants' accommodation, various training facilities, a hospital, a cafeteria, a shopping center and a cultural center, which also contained prayer rooms for several religions. A total of 8,310 guests were accommodated during the games.

Another small Olympic village was built in Tallinn, the site of the Olympic sailing competitions.


For the XXII. Olympic Games, a total of 1,374 medals were commissioned from the State Mint of the USSR. The 455 gold, 452 silver and 467 bronze medals had a diameter of 60 and a thickness of 3 millimeters.

As with all the Summer Games since 1928, the obverse shows the goddess of victory designed by Giuseppe Cassioli . The back can be redesigned by any host city. The design by the Moscow sculptor Ilya Postol shows a fire bowl in front of a stylized running track and the emblem of the Moscow Games at the top right. The sport in which the medal was won was engraved on the edge of the medals. In contrast to the two previous games, the medals were not attached to chains, but to ribbons in the colors of the games.

Competition program

203 competitions (134 for men, 50 for women and 19 open competitions) in 21 sports / 27 disciplines were held in Moscow. That was 5 more competitions than in Montreal in 1976 . The number of sports / disciplines remained the same. The changes are detailed below:

  • In weightlifting , a weight class (first heavyweight) was added for men.
  • Women's debut in the team sport hockey .
  • In judo , the men's program was expanded to include the weight classes (super and half light weight).
  • In athletics , 50 km walking is being reintroduced for men. In Montreal 1976 there was no walking 50 km.
  • In sailing , the open boat class Star was reintroduced - in Montreal 1976 the class was missing. The Tempest class was dropped.

Olympic sports / disciplines

Number of competitions in brackets

Time schedule

Time schedule
discipline Sat
July August
Olympic rings without rims.svg Opening ceremony 66,076
Basketball pictogram.svg basketball 2 2 305,667
Archery pictogram.svg Archery 2 2 18,468
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 11 11 359.287
Fencing pictogram.svg fencing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8th 55,959
Football pictogram.svg Soccer 1 1 1,821,624
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10 73.096
Handball pictogram.svg Handball 1 1 2 100,493
Field hockey pictogram.svg hockey 1 1 2 177,880
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 8th 125,410
Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg canoe 6th 5 11 137,630
Athletics pictogram.svg athletics 3 3 5 4th 5 5 3 10 38 1,102,706
Modern pentathlon pictogram.svg Modern pentathlon 2 2 25,399
Cycling Cycling (track) pictogram.svg train 1 1 2 4th 22,703
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Street 1 1 2
Equestrian sport Equestrian Dressage pictogram.svg dressage 1 1 2 120,689
Equestrian Jumping pictogram.svg Leap 1 1 2
Equestrian Eventing pictogram.svg versatility 2 2
Wrestling Wrestling Freestyle pictogram.svg Freestyle 3 3 4th 10 105,594
Wrestling pictogram.svg Greco-Roman 3 3 4th 10
Rowing pictogram.svg rowing 6th 8th 14th 119.411
Shooting pictogram.svg shoot 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7th 11.004
Swimming sport Swimming pictogram.svg swim 2 4th 3 4th 4th 4th 5 26th 89,165
Water polo pictogram.svg Water polo 1 1
Diving pictogram.svg Diving 1 1 1 1 4th
Sailing pictogram.svg sailing 6th 6th 2,346
Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg do gymnastics 1 1 2 10 14th 106,700
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg volleyball 1 1 2 103.377
Olympic rings without rims.svg Closing ceremony 69,652
decisions 5 7th 10 12 19th 15th 21st 23 10 17th 13 11 19th 20th 1 203
July August

Color legend

  • Opening ceremony
  • Competition day (no decisions)
  • Competition day (x decisions)
  • Closing ceremony
  • Ceremonies


    Opening ceremony on July 19, 1980

    The opening ceremony on July 19, 1980 was one of the most spectacular to date. A whole block of stands was equipped with extras with colorful flags, which generated pictures in a certain order and appropriate to the events in the stadium. Men and women in ancient Greek robes carried the five Olympic rings into the stadium, and flowers were scattered from horse-drawn chariots.

    Invasion of the GDR team during the opening ceremony

    When the participating nations marched in, an unusual picture emerged for the first time. Some of the delegations marched in behind the flag with the Olympic rings as a sign of protest against the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan. The handball player Kristina Richter carried the GDR flag .

    After speeches by the President of the Organizing Committee Ignati Novikov and the IOC President Lord Killanin , head of state and party leader Leonid Brezhnev declared the XXII. Olympic Games open for.

    Then the Olympic flag was carried into the stadium to the sound of Beethoven's “ Ode to Joy ”. The last torchbearer, basketball player Sergei Below, took over the flame from the triple jumper Viktor Sanejew and carried it to the shining golden tower with the huge fire bowl. Then the fire of the XXII. Olympics on.

    Nikolai Andrianow and Alexander Medved took the oath for the athletes and judges. A message of greetings from the crew of the Salyut space station , Leonid Popov and Valery Ryumin , wishing the Olympians a good start was transmitted over loudspeakers and the large display board via a live link between the space station and the Lenin Stadium .

    Hundreds of extras in the robes of all nations of the USSR performed dances from the gigantic empire on the stadium lawn. The human pyramids, which towered several stories high, were particularly spectacular. The mascot Mishka was also extensively presented.

    Closing ceremony

    Closing ceremony on August 3, 1980

    At the beginning of the closing ceremony on August 3 in the Lenin Stadium, as has been the case since Melbourne 1956 , the athletes marched in mixed, loose groups. The hymns of Greece and the Soviet Union were played during the raising of the flags. Instead of the US flag, which according to the IOC regulations should be shown for the country in which the city of the next Olympic Games is located, the city flag of Los Angeles was hoisted. The outgoing IOC President Lord Killanin declared the Games over. The flag with the five Olympic rings was carried out of the stadium to the sound of the Olympic anthem . At 8:07 p.m. Moscow time , the Olympic flame went out. Huge matryoshkas drove into the stadium and grew there, moved by cranes hidden underneath, to a height of 15 meters. A giant bear, Misha, filled with helium, floated away into the night sky carried by balloons to the tune of “Do Swidanja, Misha!” (Goodbye, Misha). The XXII. The Olympic Games were over.



    Although the men’s highly favored team, the USA, had not started because of the boycott, the Soviet Union could not capitalize on it and had to be satisfied with bronze. They were in the semi-finals with 91: 101 inferior to Yugoslavia and thus only reached the game for third place which was won 117: 94 against Spain . In the final, Yugoslavia beat Italy 86:77. In the women's competition, the hosts fought their way through to the final against Bulgaria , which they won with 104: 73.


    Archery at the 1980 Olympic Games

    In the two competitions in Krylatskoje , the athletes from the USSR and Finland dominated . In the women’s category, Ketewan Lossaberidze and Natalja Busowa saw a Soviet double victory ahead of Finnish Päivi Aulikki Meriluoto. In the men's competition, the Finn Tomi Poikolainen won just three rings ahead of Boris Issachenko from the USSR.


    The well-attended boxing competitions in the large indoor stadium in the Olympiiski sports complex were dominated by the athletes from Cuba . In the eleven weight classes alone, they won six gold medals, two silver and two bronze medals. Teófilo Stevenson won his third consecutive Olympic victory in the heavyweight division. The other Olympic victories mostly went to boxers from socialist countries, including the featherweight to Rudi Fink from the GDR . The only Olympic champion from a western country was the Italian Patrizio Oliva in the light welterweight division.


    The nation with the most medals at the Olympic fencing tournament was France with five gold, one silver and one bronze medal in the eight competitions. The most successful athletes were the French Pascale Trinquet with foil gold in the individual and with the team and the Soviet fencer Viktor Krowopuskow in the two saber competitions.


    In football , as in previous games, a team from a socialist country won. In the final in the Lenin Stadium, the CSSR team prevailed 1-0 against the representatives of the GDR . As defending champion, the GDR had renounced all of its 1976 Olympic champions at the Olympic tournament.


    The weightlifting medals all went to lifters from socialist countries. Of the ten weight classes, five were won by athletes from the Soviet Union, including the 2nd heavyweight by Leanid Taranenka , who set a new world record with 422.5 kg. Among the German-speaking participants, Joachim Kunz and Jürgen Heuser were able to win two silver medals for the GDR. Today's German national coach Frank Mantek won the bronze medal in the middle heavyweight division.

    The Armenian Jurik Wardanian , who started for the USSR, achieved a new world record in light heavyweight with 400 kg. With this performance he would have won the gold medals in the next two weight classes.

    The Olympic champion from Montreal and high favorite in the middle heavyweight division, David Rigert from the Soviet Union failed, as in his first Olympic Games in Munich, three times at the initial weight in the snap of 170 kg and was therefore eliminated.


    The men's handball final between the host USSR and the GDR was one of the most exciting decisions of the Moscow Games. After the end of regular time, it was a draw between the two final teams. Shortly before the end of the extension, Hans-Georg Beyer scored the decisive 23:22 for the GDR. A few seconds before the end, GDR goalkeeper Wieland Schmidt parried a throw from a USSR player, which meant the Olympic victory for the GDR team. In the women's tournament, everyone was played against everyone according to the mode, there was no final. Ultimately, the USSR prevailed over Yugoslavia and the GDR.


    As expected, the high favorites from India won the men's Olympic hockey tournament . In the final, the Indians defeated the team from Spain 4: 3. At the women's tournament, which was held for the first time, there was a surprise winner. The hockey women from Zimbabwe won ahead of the team from the CSSR and the USSR. The mode was everyone against everyone. The leader of the table was also Olympic champion, there was no final.


    Because of the boycott of the favored Japanese, the medals in judo were distributed to several different countries. Dietmar Lorenz from the GDR managed a feat. After winning the bronze medal in his weight class, the light heavyweight, he was able to defeat the Olympic heavyweight champion Angelo Parisi from France in the final of the open class . In the middleweight division, Jürg Röthlisberger from Switzerland won , Detlef Ultsch from the GDR won bronze here.


    Three-time gold medalist Vladimir Parfenowitsch (center) at the 1980 Olympic Games

    The canoe racing competitions in the regatta channel in Krylatskoje saw mainly winners from the host's country and from the GDR. The most successful athlete was Vladimir Parfenowitsch from the USSR, who won the gold medal in a single kayak over 500 and in the two two-person kayak distances over 500 and 1000 meters with his boat colleague Sergei Tschuchrai .

    Birgit Fischer's career began in the women's kayak competition at the Moscow Games with a gold medal over 500 meters in single. Birgit Fischer was supposed to win a total of eight gold and four silver medals for the teams of the GDR and Germany before the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 .


    The athletics competitions held in the Lenin Stadium suffered from the absence of US sprinters. Therefore, with the Scot Allan Wells, an outsider was named the fastest man in the games. He won the gold over 100 meters and the silver medal over 200 meters behind the Italian Pietro Mennea .

    The duels in the middle distance between the two Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett are particularly memorable . While Ovett just got the upper hand over 800 meters, Coe won gold over 1500 meters. Ovett had to be content with bronze here, however, as Jürgen Straub from the GDR was just barely between the two British.

    Marathon against the backdrop of St. Basil's Cathedral

    The long distances over 5000 and 10,000 meters were both won by Miruts Yifter from Ethiopia . As was the case four years earlier in Montreal, Waldemar Cierpinski won the marathon . As he crossed the finish line, the sports reporter for GDR television, Heinz Florian Oertel, exclaimed with enthusiasm: “Dear young fathers or prospective students, have courage! Call your newcomers today Waldemar! Waldemar is here! "

    In the triple jump , the Georgian Viktor Saneyev , who started for the Soviet Union, tried to win his fourth Olympic victory in a row, but his teammate Jaak Uudmäe thwarted his plans , so that Saneyev had to be content with silver.

    In the high jump, Gerd Wessig from the GDR was the first to set a new world record at 2.36 m at the Olympic Games. He won clearly ahead of the Olympic champion from Montreal, Jacek Wszoła from Poland and GDR jumper Jörg Freimuth .

    The Polish pole vaulter Władysław Kozakiewicz jumped a world record of 5.78 m and was able to prevail against the Russian Konstantin Jurjewitsch Wolkow and the entire audience in the stadium. The Kozakiewicz gesture after the victory jump caused a scandal and made Kozakiewicz world famous.

    GDR athletes were also dominant on the two hurdles. The hurdle sprint over 110 meters was won by Thomas Munkelt and the stadium lap over 400 meters by Volker Beck .

    In addition to double victories for USSR starters in the shot put and javelin throw, all three medals in the hammer throw even went to Soviet athletes. There were further double victories in the long jump, here Lutz Dombrowski and Frank Paschek from the GDR made gold and silver between themselves.

    The British Daley Thompson won his first Olympic victory in the decathlon . He would repeat it four years later in Los Angeles .

    For women, the medals were mainly awarded among the athletes from the USSR and the GDR. The only Olympic champion from a western country was Sara Simeoni from Italy. She was able to win the gold medal in the high jump.

    In the run over 800 meters and in the pentathlon there were three Soviet successes.


    The track competitions in cycling in the Velodrome of Krylatskoje saw two GDR victories by Lutz Heßlich in the track sprint and Lothar Thoms in the 1000-meter time trial. The 4,000-meter individual pursuit was won by Robert Dill-Bundi from Switzerland , who after his victory kissed the wood of the cycle track in a highly regarded gesture. In the team pursuit, the four-man of the USSR won ahead of the GDR and the CSSR.

    The road race on the winding course through the hilly landscape of Krylatskoje over 189 km won after a successful breakaway attempt by the Soviet driver Sergei Sukhorutschenkow . The course to be driven was considered to be the most difficult in Olympic history, almost half of the drivers who started gave up. Victory in the 100 km team time trial on the Moscow – Minsk motorway was won by the four-man from the USSR.

    Equestrian sport

    The Austrian dressage rider Elisabeth Theurer at the 1980 Olympic Games

    Because contrary to their NOCs almost all western equestrian associations boycotted the games, the competitions were riding sporty strongly devalued. Only the European dressage champion Elisabeth Theurer opposed her own association and, despite great hostility, traveled to Moscow in a plane controlled by Niki Lauda . There “Sissy” Theurer won the only gold medal for Austria on her horse “Mon Cherie” in front of two Soviet riders. At the award ceremony, silver medalist Yuri Kowschow presented her with a red rose as a token of appreciation for having taken part in the games despite all odds .


    The wrestling competitions experienced a complete dominance of the wrestlers from the USSR. Of the 20 decisions in the CSKA sports complex, twelve gold medals were won by the hosts.

    The Beloglasov twins achieved a novelty. They were the first pair of brothers to win two gold medals at the same Olympic Games. Anatoly won gold in flyweight free style, and his brother Sergei did the same in bantamweight a day later .


    On the regatta course in Krylatskoje, the rowing team of the GDR won the gold medal with almost all boats in the men's team (except for the one). Only Pertti Karppinen from Finland was able to break this series. The brothers Bernd and Jörg Landvoigt were able to repeat their Olympic victory in the two-man without a helmsman from Montreal in 1976 , as was the crew of the two-man with a helmsman.

    The GDR team was also successful with the women, winning four out of six possible gold medals. Jutta Lau , who later became the German national coach for women, was also on board the successful double foursome. As was the case four years earlier, every GDR athlete who started rowing came home with a medal.


    Pistol shooter Alexander Remmowitsch Melentjew from the Soviet Union set a new world record with 581 rings in the first competition of the Games in the Free Pistol discipline , which was only surpassed in 2014 with 583 rings. Harald Vollmar from the GDR won the silver medal with 568 rings in Montreal in 1976 , just like four years earlier .

    There was a very close decision in shooting with the rapid-fire pistol . Since three participants with 596 rings were in the lead after the regular number of shots, the award of the medals had to be determined by a jump-off. The Olympic champion was only determined after three rounds: Gold went to Corneliu Ion from Romania , silver went to Jürgen Wiefel from the GDR and the bronze medal went to Gerhard Petritsch from Austria .


    The GDR swimmers Cornelia Polit , Rica Reinisch and Birgitreiber at the 1980 Olympic Games

    In the swimming pool in the Olimpijski sports complex, the GDR won twelve medals, mainly from the women's team. Caren Metschuck stood out with three gold and one silver, as well as Rica Reinisch and Barbara Krause with three gold each. The GDR participants set six world records in swimming .

    After the fall of the Wall, there were lawsuits against coaches in the GDR, in which some of the swimming Olympic champions from Moscow filed criminal charges and also testified against their former coaches that they had been doped against their will.

    Vladimir Salnikow undercut the limit of 15 minutes at 1500 meters in free style for the first time. The only gold medals for western swimmers went to the Swedes Bengt Baron over 100 meters back and Pär Arvidsson over 100 meters butterfly as well as the Briton Duncan Goodhew over 100 meters chest.

    do gymnastics

    The most successful athlete of the Games took part in gymnastics . Alexander Ditjatin won a medal in all men's gymnastics competitions and remains the only athlete to have won eight Olympic medals in one year until 2008.

    In the women's category, no gymnast could win more than an individual gold medal. Even the big favorite Nadia Comăneci from Romania , who four years earlier won gold three times in Montreal, only won on the balance beam . The winner in the all- around event , Jelena Dawydowa from the USSR, did not win any of the individual devices. Most of these went to gymnasts from the Soviet Union. Only Maxi Gnauck from the GDR on the uneven bars was able to break through the Soviet dominance alongside Comăneci. The team ranking in the all-around competition was decided by the Soviet gymnasts, ahead of Romania and the GDR.


    At the volleyball tournament, the host triumphed in both men and women. In the men's competition, the Soviet Union prevailed 3-1 in the final against Bulgaria and became Olympic champion for the third time. Romania won bronze with a 3-1 win against Poland . In the women's final, the hosts met the GDR team . This game was also decided in four sets. Bulgaria secured the bronze medal after beating Hungary in the tie-break .

    Outstanding athletes


    As early as 1977, the American television broadcaster NBC acquired the television broadcasting rights for a sum of 35 million US dollars. In addition, the Americans committed to supply technical equipment and services worth 50 million US dollars to the Soviet television company Gostelradio . After the boycott of the American team, all advertising revenue for NBC was lost, but 90% of the cost of television rights and facilities was covered by insurance. The station only had 56 accredited reporters.

    "Main TV station" was the state television and radio of the Soviet Union with 1,370 accreditations, "Eurovision" served 31 countries and had 818 accreditations, "Intervision" for 11 countries with 342, and "TV Asahi" for Japan with 68 and «OTI» for Latin America with 59 accreditations. In terms of accreditations, “NBC” was only followed by “Seven Network” for Australia with 48.

    The television center used 20 TV channels; in comparison there were 16 in Montreal, 12 in Munich and 7 in Mexico City.

    In the countries that had joined the boycott, coverage by broadcasters was very sparse and limited to a brief summary of each day. A curious detail on the side was that the so-called border areas of the Federal Republic of Germany enjoyed the almost 24-hour Olympic coverage of the GDR television, while in the FRG there was only very short reporting.

    A total of 7629 journalists were accredited in Moscow, 1977 of them from the Soviet Union.


    • Volker Kluge : Summer Olympic Games. The Chronicle III. Mexico City 1968 - Los Angeles 1984. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-328-00741-5 .
    • Games of the XXII. Olympiad Moscow 1980 . Official Report of the Organizing Committee.
    • Games of the XXII. Moscow Olympics 1980 . Sports publishing house Berlin.

    Web links

    Commons : 1980 Summer Olympics  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

    Individual evidence

    1. ^ Kluge, p. 667.
    2. «The favorite is Moscow» . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna October 19, 1974, p. 13 ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
    3. «Equal opportunities for all candidates» . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna October 20, 1974, p. 12 ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
    4. ^ "Moscow celebrates 1980 games" . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna October 25, 1974, p. 27 ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
    5. a b Kluge, p. 665.
    6. ^ Minutes of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CPSU from February 5, 1980 Copy in: Bukovsky Archives
    7. Kluge, p. 671 ff.
    8. a b c Kluge, p. 677
    9. Kluge, p. 670 ff.
    10. ^ Kluge, p. 807.
    11. www.olympic.org. Retrieved February 23, 2014 .
    12. Official Report, Volume 2, pp. 259 ff.
    13. Official Report, Volume 2, p. 423.
    14. ^ Internet Museum of the People's Republic of Poland / Kozakiewicz gesture ( Memento from May 13, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
    15. Games of the XXII. Olympiade Sportverlag Berlin, p. 218.