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1984

Soviets to boycott L.A. Olympics

Citing fears for the safety of its athletes in what it considered a hostile and anti-communist environment, the Soviet government announces a boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles, California.

Although the Soviets had cited security concerns, the boycott was more likely the result of strained Cold War relations due to America’s generous aid to Muslim rebels fighting in Afghanistan—and payback for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. A number of other Soviet Bloc countries and Cuba followed suit in boycotting the Los Angeles Games, which carried on without the presence of many of the communist world’s best athletes. China, however, participated in the Los Angeles Summer Games in its first Olympic appearance since 1952.

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