1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow Mailgram to the President of the United States Olympic Committee on U.S. Participation in the Games.
To Robert Kane:
I want to emphasize to you my firm and considered judgment that the House of Delegates of the U.S. Olympic Committee should vote next week not to send American athletes to the summer Olympic games in Moscow.
The continuing Soviet aggression and brutality in Afghanistan has shocked and horrified nations and people the world over. It jeopardizes the security of the Persian Gulf area and threatens world peace and stability.
In these circumstances, a USOC decision to send a team to Moscow would be against our national interest and would damage our national security. It would indicate to the Soviets—and to the entire world—that the U.S. lacks the resolve to oppose Soviet aggression. It would be perceived as a vindication of the Soviet action, and you can be sure that the Soviets would so portray it. It would weaken the international Olympic movement.
There are times when individuals and nations must stand firm on matters of principle. This is such a time. If we clearly and resolutely show the way, other nations will follow.
The American people will applaud a USOC decision not to send a team to Moscow. So will the Congress which voted overwhelmingly to oppose U.S. participation at Moscow. I believe such a decision by the USOC will bring enhanced support for the USOC's efforts thereafter on behalf of the interests of American athletes.
I ask you to join me, the U.S. Congress, and the American people in the decision not to participate in Moscow this summer.
[Robert Kane, President, USOC, Teagle Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853]
Note: Similar mailgrams also were sent to the members of the House of Delegates of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The text of the mailgram was released on April 8.
Jimmy Carter, 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow Mailgram to the President of the United States Olympic Committee on U.S. Participation in the Games. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250533