Story: Olympic and Commonwealth games

The New Zealand team, Moscow, 1980

The New Zealand team, Moscow, 1980

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, prompting a United States-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The New Zealand government supported the boycott and pressured its athletes to withdraw. In the end only modern pentathlete Brian Newth and three canoeists went. Shown at the opening ceremony are (left to right) John Grant (canoeing manager), John Clark (modern pentathlon manager), Alan Thompson (canoeist) and Tay Wilson (chef de mission). They march behind Newth, who carries the flag of the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association rather than the New Zealand flag.

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New Zealand Olympic Museum – He Pataka Taumahekeheke, New Zealand Olympic Committee

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How to cite this page:

Joseph Romanos, 'Olympic and Commonwealth games - Olympic politics and boycotts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2024)

Story by Joseph Romanos, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Jun 2023