Moscow 1980: going to the games
Britain has competed at every modern Olympics, but that record came close to ending at the 1980 Moscow Games, as Kevin Jefferys explains
The run-up to London 2012 has been marked by high-level political endorsement and massive public investment. Britain has a tradition of strong support for the Olympic movement, but one moment stands out as a major exception. Just over 30 years ago – for the only time since the revival of the modern Games in 1896 – the government of the day did its best to prevent British athletes from taking part in the Olympics. After a bruising encounter, occupying a prominent place in public debate for several months, a British team went to the 1980 Moscow Games having inflicted a rare bloody nose on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.