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Olympic BoycottsEdit

Boycotts Edit

The 1956 Melbourne Olympics were the first Olympics to be boycotted. The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland refused to attend because of the repression of the Hungarian Uprising by the Soviet Union; additionally, Cambodia, Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon, boycotted the games due to the Suez Crisis.[1]

In 1972 and 1976, a large number of African countries threatened the IOC with a boycott, to force them to ban South Africa, Rhodesia, and New Zealand. The IOC conceded in the first two cases, but refused in 1976 because the boycott was prompted by a New Zealand rugby union tour to South Africa, and rugby was not an Olympic sport. The countries withdrew their teams after the games had started; some African athletes had already competed. A lot of sympathy was felt for the athletes forced by their governments to leave the Olympic Village; there was little sympathy outside Africa for the governments' attitude.Template:Fact Twenty-two countries (Guyana was the only non-African nation) boycotted the Montreal Olympics because New Zealand was not banned.[2]

Also in 1976, due to pressure from the People's Republic of China (PRC), Canada told the team from the Republic of China (Taiwan) that it could not compete at the Montreal Summer Olympics under the name "Republic of China" despite a compromise that would have allowed Taiwan to use the ROC flag and anthem. The Republic of China refused and as a result did not participate again until 1984, when it returned under the name "Chinese Taipei" and used a special flag.[3]

Olympic boycotts 1976 1980 1984

Countries that boycotted the 1976 (yellow), 1980 (blue) and 1984 (red) games

In 1980 and 1984, the Cold War opponents boycotted each other's games. Sixty-five nations refused to compete at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but 16 nations from Western Europe did compete at the Moscow Olympics. The boycott reduced the number of nations participating to only 81, the lowest number of nations to compete since 1956. The Soviet Union and 14 of its Eastern Bloc partners (except Romania) countered by skipping the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, arguing the safety of their athletes could not be guaranteed there and "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria are being whipped up in the United States".[4] The 1984 boycotters staged their own Friendship Games in July-August.[5][6]

There have been growing calls for boycotts of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in protest of China's poor human rights record and response to the recent disturbances in Tibet, Darfur, and Taiwan. There are also campaigns calling for Chinese goods to be boycotted.[7][8][9]


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