The Olympic Games were in 1980 held for the first time in a communist country, the USSR. This led to a mass boycott of the Games of the XXII Olympiad led by the United States, in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the previous year.
US President Jimmy Carter persuaded countries including West Germany, Japan and Canada to keep their athletes at home. Other governments, such as those of the United Kingdom and Australia, supported the boycott but allowed competitors to choose whether to go to Moscow.
In the end, 67 nations did not take part, leaving just 80 countries to compete – the smallest number since 1956.