POSTED: December 1st 2013

Olympic fans can relive 1980 Games with New Chapter Press' book about the 'Boycott'

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) New Chapter Press is recommending “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Written by Tom and Jerry Caraccioli, the book tells the stories of 18 American athletes caught in a struggle for power between America and Russia during the Olympics in Moscow. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, efforts by athletes to overturn the boycott,, and the tale of the 1980 team receiving the Congressional Gold Medal are all told in “Boycott.”

In his foreword for the book, vice president Walter F. Mondale apologizes to the athletes affected, saying they are the “warrior’s in our country’s defense of freedom.”

“’Boycott’ uniquely and poignantly captures the impact of American athletes denied the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games,” television commentator Dick Enberg said of the book. “Nearly three decades later, I continue to appreciate and understand their heartbreak and anger. Thanks to the authors, we are reminded of their brave, but painful, sacrifice. This book, then, becomes their belated, but deserved, Olympic salute.”

“The moment is gone,” Olympic rower Anita DeFrantz said. “Having taken that away can never be given back. I knew what it meant to be a part of the Olympic movement. It is powerful. If anything, I had become an ambassador for peace.

“It’s a life-changing experience to compete in the Games. And when you’re successful, in the eyes of this country, which usually means a gold medal—it changes you. But just being there changes you. The truly tragic part was that athletes from other countries were brought into it and their dreams were taken away for no purpose as well. Fortunately, it was a test of the Olympic movement, and the Olympic movement.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Winter or Summer Olympic Games, and seen the American team march in, that I don’t think about missing out on that,” Linda Cornelius Waltman, another athlete affected by the boycott, said. “Every time. It never feels any better. It’s really not about what you do at the Olympics. It’s being a part of the Olympics. You’ve heard that statement before and it really is try. That is something you shouldn’t take away from an athlete who’s given so much and worked really hard.”

“I truly do believe that if I had done my best performance during those Olympic Games, which I was on track to do, there could’ve been a possible medal for me and some worldwide recognition past the gymnastics world,” gymnast Luci Collins said. “Missing out on that will always leave me with an empty space, because I never got the chance to fulfill that dream.”

“It’s something that I am proud of and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to play at the highest level and represent our country,” volleyball athlete Debbie Landreth said of her Olympic status. “While I know I was on the Olympic team according to the Olympic Committee and everyone else . . . it’s with an asterisk.”

Keywords · 1980 Olympics · Moscow · Russia · America · Cold War · International Olympic Committee · IOC · Olympic Games ·

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