The Olympics were disrupted by another, even larger boycott, this one led by U.S. President Jimmy Carter, part of a package of actions to protest the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Carter engaged in extensive arm-twisting to gain support from other nations.
Some governments, like those of Great Britain and Australia, supported the boycott, but allowed the athletes to decide for themselves whether to go to Moscow. No such freedom of choice was allowed U.S. athletes, as Carter threatened to revoke the passport of any athlete who tried to travel to the USSR. In the end, 67 nations did not participate, with 45 to 50 of these nations likely being absent because of the U.S.-led boycott. Eighty nations did participate—the lowest number since 1956.
Aleksandr Dityatin of Russia earned medals in every men's gymnastics event to become the first athlete to win eight medals at one Olympic Games. Super-heavyweight Teófilo Stevenson of Cuba became the first boxer to win the same division three times, and Gerd Wessig of East Germany became the first male high jumper to break the world record at the Olympic Games.
See the list of teams and medals won by each.See table