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Gymnastics at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 25, 1980
Events: 14

Participants: 127 (65 men and 62 women) from 18 countries
Youngest Participant: POL Anita Jokiel (13 years, 232 days)
Oldest Participant: POL Andrzej Szajna (30 years, 294 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): URS Aleksandr Dityatin (8 medals)
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (22 medals)

Overview

The 1980 gymnastics competition was held at the [Dvorets Sporta], or Palace of Sports, in the Central Lenin Stadium area. The venue also hosted judo during the 1980 Olympics. It was later renamed the Luzhniki Palace of Sports.

The USA-led boycott did have some effect on the gymnastics competition in 1980, mainly on the men's side. Japan had won the men's team all-around at every Olympics since 1960. They had won the 1978 World Championships and were second at the 1979 Worlds to the Soviet Union. The Soviets might still have won team gold, but it would have been a good contest had Japan competed. It would seem odd in this era, but two USA gymnasts could have affected the medal results, most notably Kurt Thomas. Thomas had been second at the 1979 World in all-around to Soviet Aleksandr Dityatin, and had won three apparatus medals including gold on the high bar. It is unlikely he would have beaten Dityatin in Moskva, particularly with Soviet crowds and judging, but a medal was likely. Bart Conner would also likely have won an apparatus medal, particularly on parallel bars, on which he won the 1979 Worlds, adding another apparatus bronze on vault.

One record broken in Moskva was by Dityatin, who won medals in all eight of the men's events, breaking the record of seven for a single Olympics that had been done by seven previous Olympians. Dityatin's record remains intact through 2012, although it was equalled in 2004 and 2008 by Michael Phelps. Dityatin also became the first man to score a perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics, which he did on the vault.

There was no significant effect on the women's competition by the American boycott. Only three nations won medals in the women's events, with the Soviet Union, Romania, and East Germany splitting them quite evenly, winning 8, 7, and 6 medals, respectively, although the Soviets won 4 gold medals, Romania 2, and East Germany 1.

Medalists