Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 31, 1980
Participants: 266 (266 men and 0 women) from 35 countries
Youngest Participant: Mahabir Singh (15 years, 330 days)
Oldest Participant: Czesław Kwieciński (37 years, 182 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 60 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Soviet Union (17 medals)
The 1980 wrestling events were held at the Athletics Fieldhouse of the Central Army Sports Club, or CSKA. It was a sporting venue constructed for the 1980 Olympics and was later used as a training facility for the Central Army Sports Club. The US-led boycott had virtually no effect on the Greco-Roman events in Moskva, as Eastern European nations dominated that style, while the freestyle events were affected somewhat.
The 1980 wrestling program was the same as in 1976 with 10 weight classes in each style, with no change in the weight limits. The event was again conducted by the negative (bad) point system, with a slight tweak in the scoring system from 1976, reverting to the system used in 1968 and 1972. Scoring was as follows\: win by fall – 0.0 points, win by superior decision – 0.5 points, win by decision – 1.0 points, draw – 2.5 points, loss by decision – 3.0 points, loss by superior decision – 3.5 points, and a loss by fall – 4.0 points. The negative (bad) point system was effectively a double elimination tournament, although a wrestler could not be eliminated after a victory. When three wrestlers remained in any class, they entered a medal round-robin competition, with previous match results carried over.
The Soviets had absolutely dominated the wrestling events in 1976, winning medals in 18 of 20 classes. With the tournament in Moskva and the Western nations not competing, more of the same was expected from them, and they came through, winning 17 medals and 12 gold medals. They led both medal lists in both styles, winning 9 freestyle medals and 7 freestyle golds, and 8 Greco-Roman medals, with 5 Greco golds.