Coming from the recent question of How did the US government manage to enforce the 1980 boycott of the Olympic Games in Russia? and a comment in that thread I kept wondering.

Who was the first and who most influential (ex-) Soviet citizen calling for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow 1980? How is the timeline of events from just some different Wikipedia articles reconcilable?

The English Wikipedia describes the events leading to the boycott as gaining momentum:

Western governments first considered the idea of boycotting the Moscow Olympics in response to the situation in Afghanistan at the 20 December 1979 meeting of NATO representatives, a fortnight after the invasion of Afghanistan. At that moment, not many of the member governments were interested in the proposal. The idea began to gain popularity in early January when Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov called for a boycott. On 14 January 1980, the Carter Administration joined Sakharov's appeal and set a deadline by which the Soviet Union must pull out of Afghanistan or face the consequences, including an international boycott of the games.

Whereas the French Wikipedia names another date for the Carter declaration:

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 prompted US President Jimmy Carter to issue an ultimatum on 20 January 1980: if Soviet troops did not withdraw within a month, the United States could boycott the Moscow Olympics in the summer of 1980. After a meeting on April 24, USOC Chief Robert Kane told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the USOC would be ready to send a team to Moscow if there was a "dramatic change in the international situation". On January 26, 1980, Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark announced that, like the United States, Canada could boycott the Olympic Games if the Soviets had not left Afghanistan by February 20, 1980.
French Wikipedia: Boycott des Jeux olympiques d'été de 1980

The Spanish Wikipedia cites the same dates as the French one, but this can not be subject of a simple majority vote. The Italian Wikipedia seems to be even more deviating concerning dates:

In the United States, in the autumn of the same year, presidential elections would have taken place and the democratic president Jimmy Carter, also to regain some popularity, began to promote a boycott of the Moscow Olympics and in a short time launched his message: if the USSR had not withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan by June, the United States would not have participated in the upcoming Moscow Olympics. The Carter proposal was not entirely original: for some years now, some human rights organisations had been proposing a boycott of the Olympics for serious Soviet violations of human rights.
Italian Wikipedia: Giochi della XXII Olimpiade /(Machine translated, please recheck)

There seem to be a lot of small differences in the narrative between Wikipedias and those almost leading to outright contradictions in the details when compared to the German Wikipedia:

Even before the location for the 1980 Summer Games was determined, there were already isolated voices in the United States to attach conditions to a possible award of the contract to Moscow. After Moscow's election, more and more people voted to make the participation of US athletes dependent on the question of the treatment of opponents of the regime in the Soviet Union, which was supported by the open boycott appeal of the Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukowski. The Western states saw this as an effective means of exerting pressure against their political opponents, as they were speculating on the Soviet interest in allowing their first games to run undisturbed for prestige reasons alone. In addition, the economic damage that would be caused solely by an American absence was also taken into account. In the USA, the reason for a possible boycott was also the non-accreditation of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, formerly co-financed by the CIA and now declared government channels by the Carter administration, which had already been refused approval by the IOC at the last Innsbruck Winter Games because they did not comply with IOC rules. The situation was similar with the Soviet refusal to grant visas to Israel on account of its sporting relations with South Africa.

The campaign started by Bukowski consisted mainly of:
Vladimir Bukovsky, "How Russia breaks the rules of the Games", letter to The Daily Telegraph, 2 October 1979; “Games Russians play”, Wall Street Journal, 6 October 1979;"Do athletes want the KGB to win the Olympics?" News of the World, 20 January 1980.

While Sacharov was arrested on January 22, 1980 and sent into internal exile

to Gorky, now Nizhny Novgorod, a city that was off limits to foreigners.

meaning severly limited possibilities to communicate? Whereas Bukowski was exchanged into the West as early as December 18, 1976. Now it's almost needless to say that the German Wikipedia doesn't even mention the name of Sacharov? Moscow was chosen to hold the games as early as October 23, 1974.

Bukovskii also collaborated with the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry (the 35's) in a campaign they launched in summer 1978 for a boycott of the Moscow Olympics. Bukovskii helped kick off the boycott campaign with a letter to The Times in August 1978, signed by him and others, which called on the International Olympic Committee to remove the 'Olympic cachet' from the games. Over the next couple of years, Bukovskii consistently argued that the human rights situation in the USSR contravened the spirit of the Olympic movement.
Bukovskii also built up an impressive set of connections in the USA. He met President Carter at the White House in early March 1977, and on the same visit met Senator Jackson and his then aide, Richard Perle, who was to remain a good friend.
Philip Boobbyer: "Vladimir Bukovskii and Soviet Communism", The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 87, No. 3 (July 2009), p456–466.

When did the plans and calls for a boycott come into being? Even in fringe circles, which might be much earlier than expected, who were these "isolated voices"? Which were the most important voices when the decision started to take form or was finalised?

  • Who called for a boycott? I did. It was me. I was one of the "isolated voices in the United States". How is the timeline of events from just some different Wikipedia articles reconcilable? The articles do not contradict. Between Jan 14 and Jan 20 things escalated is all. That is what happens when you try delivering pizza, and the elevator won't work.
    – Dale
    Jun 21 '18 at 22:13

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