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1980 Moscow Olympic Games
1980 Moscow Summer Olympics logo
Official logo

City

Moscow, USSR

Venue

Sports Palace of the Central Lenin Stadium

Team Gold Medalist

USSR

All-Around Gold Medalist

Elena Davydova (USSR)

Vault Gold Medalist

Natalia Shaposhnikova (USSR)

Uneven Bars Gold Medalist

Maxi Gnauck (GDR)

Balance Beam Gold Medalist

Nadia Comăneci (ROU)

Floor Exercise Gold Medalist

Nellie Kim (USSR)
Nadia Comăneci (ROU)

Preceded by

1976 Montreal Olympic Games

Succeeded by

1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games

The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Moscow in the Soviet Union. The 1980 Games were the first to be staged in Eastern Europe.

The United States and a number of other countries boycotted the games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, though some athletes from some of the boycotting countries participated in the games, under the Olympic Flag. This prompted the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics. Some of the later events of the games were also nearly marred by the death and unauthorized mass funeral of the immensely popular and beloved singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky.

Moscow had previously hosted the World Championships in 1958 and would go on to host the World Championships the following year.

Format of Competition

The gymnastics competition at the 1980 Summer Olympics was carried out in three stages:

  • Competition I - The team competition/qualification round in which all gymnasts, including those who were not part of a team, performed both compulsory and optional exercises. The combined scores of all team members determined the final score of the team. The thirty-six highest scoring gymnasts in the all-around qualified to the individual all-around competition. The six highest scoring gymnasts on each apparatus qualified to the final for that apparatus.
  • Competition II - The individual all-around competition, in which those who qualified from Competition I performed exercises on each apparatus. The final score of each gymnast was composed of half the points earned by that gymnast during Competition I and all of the points earned by her in Competition II.
  • Competition III - The apparatus finals, in which those who qualified during Competition I performed an exercise on the individual apparatus on which she had qualified. The final score of each gymnast was composed of half the points earned by that gymnast on that particular apparatus during Competition I and all of the points earned by her on that particular apparatus in Competition III.

Each country was limited to three gymnasts in the all-around final and two gymnasts in each apparatus final.

Results

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Team Flag of the Soviet Union USSR

Elena Davydova
Maria Filatova
Nellie Kim
Elena Naimushina
Natalia Shaposhnikova
Stella Zakharova

Flag of Romania Romania

Nadia Comăneci
Rodica Dunca
Emilia Eberle
Cristina Grigoraş
Melita Ruhn
Dumitriţa Turner

Flag of East Germany East Germany

Maxi Gnauck
Silvia Hindorff
Steffi Kraker
Katharina Rensch
Karola Sube
Birgit Süss

All-Around Flag of the Soviet Union Elena Davydova
Soviet Union (USSR)
Flag of East Germany Maxi Gnauck
East Germany (GDR)

Flag of Romania Nadia Comăneci
Romania (ROU)

N/A
Vault Flag of the Soviet Union Natalia Shaposhnikova
Soviet Union (USSR)
Flag of East Germany Steffi Kraker
East Germany (GDR)
Flag of Romania Melita Ruhn
Romania (ROU)
Uneven Bars Flag of East Germany Maxi Gnauck
East Germany (GDR)
Flag of Romania Emilia Eberle
Romania (ROU)
Flag of East Germany Steffi Kraker
East Germany (GDR)

Flag of Romania Melita Ruhn
Romania (ROU)

Flag of the Soviet Union Maria Filatova
Soviet Union (USSR)

Balance Beam Flag of Romania Nadia Comăneci
Romania (ROU)
Flag of the Soviet Union Elena Davydova
Soviet Union (USSR)
Flag of the Soviet Union Natalia Shaposhnikova
Soviet Union (USSR)
Floor Exercise Flag of the Soviet Union Nellie Kim
Soviet Union (USSR)

Flag of Romania Nadia Comăneci
Romania (ROU)

N/A Flag of the Soviet Union Natalia Shaposhnikova
Soviet Union (USSR)

Flag of East Germany Maxi Gnauck
East Germany (GDR)

Notable Moments

  • The USSR won 1 medal in the All-Around competition. In each Olympics before this they had always won 2 and in Rome 1960 had won all 3. In the Friendship Games at Olomouc '84 and at Seoul '88 they would win 2 again. In the Team Competition they won the gold medal for the eighth time, continuing the "gold" series started in 1952.
  • In the women's gymnastics event finals, a Romanian gymnast medals on each piece of apparatus for the first time:
    • Balance Beam – Nadia Comăneci (gold)
    • Floor – Nadia Comăneci (gold)
    • Uneven Bar – Emilia Eberle (silver) & Melita Ruhn (bronze)
    • Vault – Melita Ruhn (bronze)

Controversy

  • There was a judging scandal when the Romanian head judge refused to post the score of her fellow Romanian Nadia Comăneci. This score gave Comaneci a silver medal behind Elena Davydova of the USSR, but the Romanian judge, Mili Simionescu, tried to persuade the other judges to increase Comaneci's score so that she would win gold. After the Olympics, Simionescu was severely criticized by the International Gymnastics Federation. Before the Los Angeles Olympics, the United States Gymnastics Federation proposed a change in the rules so that a head judge cannot interfere and meddle in the scoring of competitors.

Medal Count

Rank Country Gold-medal Silver-medal Bronze-medal Total
1 Flag of the Soviet Union USSR 4 1 3 8
2 Flag of Romania Romania 2 3 2 7
3 Flag of East Germany East Germany 1 2 3 6

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