Monday, October 3, 2011

1980 Moscow Games- LeMond takes Gold!

Lets face it if the US did not boycott the 1980 summer games in Moscow, LeMond would have soloed to a road race victory and probably a timetrial title as well. All the big amateur hitters knew he was going to take it after he won the overall at Circuit de la Sarthe and Circuit des Ardennes in 1980 and a world road title in 1979.

You may or may not agree with me but I if was a betting man, my paycheck would be on the kid from Reno who trained in the Washoe Valley to Mt. Rose over to Kings bury Grade and back to Carson City everyday. If you are lucky and appreciate riding for the 'spirit of heroes and scenery', while pedaling on Spooner grade it is not uncommon to be visited by a LeMond apparition in full Della Santa kit.

I can't discuss the 1980 US Olympic boycott without pointing out the insane irony of the situation. Historical Irony is defined as: the kind of situational irony that takes a long period of time for the irony to become evident. In 1979 Jimmy Carter did not like the fact that the Russians invaded Afghanistan so he gave them an ultimatum, remove the Russian troops within one month or the US will initiate a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games.

You don't hear folks speak much of this embarrassing trivia from our past. Policy is in the eye of the beholder evidently. How did we go full circle or did we? Who would boycott us? Would we even care?

As a fan of 1980's cycling, I immediately think of LeMond and the fact that he was deprived of his right of passage to the professional ranks via his Olympic birth such as Dag Otto, Bauer, Casertelli, Armstrong, Abdu, ect. Instead he simply turned pro the day after the boycott and won this little race in the US called the Coors Classic and was 4th at the Dauphine and 1st at the Tour de l'Avenir (no big deal).

I challenge you to ask anyone the simple question, why did the US boycott the 1980 Summer Games? And after you tell them why, I can just hear a Gen X'er saying, that's messed up man! If we only knew- wait a minute,....we do know. Maybe thats why we are referred to as the United States of Amnesia.

For the record that kid from Reno was invited to the White House a couple of times by George Herbert Walker. He could out fish and hunt a Bush any day of the week! LeMond still holds a world record bass catch.

1980 Olympic road and track team after news of the boycott. LeMond far left next to Gorski.

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