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Moscow hosts 1980 Summer Games despite US-led boycott *ARCHIVE* – Market Subset News

Archive footage filmed in 1980 features Moscow’s Summer Olympics, which took place during Cold War tensions and a US-led boycott of the event.

The opening and closing ceremonies show athletes from participating nations carrying their flags, as thousands of spectators watched on.

The official mascot, Misha the bear, can also be seen crying and flying away at the conclusion of the proceedings.

Eighty nations took part, while 65 countries joined a boycott, ostensibly in protest over the 1979 Soviet-Afghan War.

US President Jimmy Carter, who was facing re-election at the time, can be seen announcing the decision. The US ambassador to the USSR Thomas Watson, Jr. is shown arriving at the airport, prior to his departure from Moscow ahead of the games.

However, US tourists held a race in Moscow in protest. One of the runners can be seen wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘USA 1980 Olympic Games’, with tourists seen talking with Muscovites and receiving traditional stacking dolls as gifts.

This archive footage is released as part of the ‘100 Key Events in Russia in the 20th and 21st Centuries’, a joint project between Ruptly and the Russian State Documentary Film and Photo Archive (

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