Moscow 1980 Olympic Games
Moscow 1980 Olympic Games - XXII Olympiad
The 1980 Olympics in Moscow were strange because there was no America team. As a consequence the Soviet Union (hosts) and East Germany dominated the medal table. As a result no other country collected more than 8 gold medals.
This was the era when one country or another sought to make a political point by boycotting the Olympic Games. Will and Guy muse that it's a shame more politicians aren't sportsmen and sportswomen, then they may see the good that games in general, and the Olympic Games in particular do for their societies.
British highlights include Allan Wells winning the 100m and Coe and Ovett winning the 1500m and 800m respectively. In the swimming pool Duncan Goodhew - he of the bald head - won the 100m breaststroke. He later went on to be an outstanding sports ambassador. Waldemar Cierpinski of GDR (East Germany) won his second consecutive marathon gold.
Teófilo Stevenson of Cuba won the heavyweight gold medal for the third time. While it is a shame he never turned professional; however, his record of three successive gold medals at this weight will surely never be beaten.
It may never be known how little or how much drug taking took place at these Moscow Olympic Games. The fact that there were no reported positive tests is suspicious in itself - in the sense that the drug cheats had superior chemistry than the testers. Two world records that stand to this day are under particular suspicion of being drug fuelled. Both were set by East German women, the 4x100m relay time of 41.6 and the 800m in 1:53:43.
Daley Thompson won gold in the Decathlon. He would win again in 1984. His arch rival, Jurgen Hingsen, was so much bigger it seemed unfair. Hingsen's best for the individual events was better than Thompson's yet in ten head-to-head competitions Daley Thompson won every time. This leads Will and Guy to think that even among Olympians, we doubt if any were more dedicated, single minded or just plain determined to win than Daley Thompson.
This was just a drop in the ocean as far as Olympic scandals go. What happened was Aleksandr Portnov was waiting to perform his dive in the springboard final when cheers broke out in the adjoining swimming pool, because local hero Salnikov's was swimming in the 1,500m final. Portnov delayed his start until the noise had subsided but, as he took his first steps along the board, even greater cheers broke out as Salnikov won.
Under the rules of diving, as Portnov had started, so he should finish. But having begun his run up, he could not stop before take-off and dived badly. On protest to the Swedish referee Olander Portnov was allowed to retake his dive, and as a result went ahead of Mexico's Carlos Giron. Naturally, the the Mexicans protested and even the East Germans got into the act and argued that their Falk Hoffmann had been disturbed by photographic flashlights. When the waters calmed, Portnov remained the winner with Giron taking silver and Cagnatto of Italy bronze.
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