Document Type



The paper examines the role President Carter played in forcing a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by drawing support from a politically charged public. The Cold War altered not only American perceptions of the U.S.S.R. but also the Olympic Games. While the games were meant to serve as an apolitical arena meant only to celebrate athletic achievement, both sides of the Cold War used the games for political statements in favor of their own systems. President Carter was able to use the belief many Americans held that the U.S.S.R. was to be defeated and delegeitimized at every step to support a boycott that overruled the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The paper is supported by articles from American newspapers and magazines as well as documents from the Carter administration. It also includes a literature review explaining the history of U.S. involvement in the Olympics and Cold War sporting competitions.