A US-led boycott reduced the number of participating nations to 80, the lowest number since 1956, as part of a series of measures to protest against the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Aleksandr Dityatin of Russia earned medals in every men's gymnastics event to become the first athlete to win eight medals at one Olympic Games. Super-heavyweight Teófilo Stevenson of Cuba became the first boxer to win the same division three times, and Gerd Wessig of East Germany became the first male high jumper to break the world record at the Olympic Games.
British middle-distance runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe faced each other in a memorable confrontation. In the 800m, Ovett won the gold medal ahead of his compatriot. Six days later, a determined Coe redeemed himself in the 1500m. He took the gold, while Ovett managed only a bronze.
The wrestler Stelios Migiakis returned to Greece with the gold in greco roman. Bronze medals for Giorgos Chatzioannidis in wrestling and for Boudouris (captain) , Gavrilis, Rapanakis in sailing (soling)
The boycott deprived the inaugural women’s field hockey tournament of all of its entrants except the hosts, USSR. Zimbabwe responded to a late invitation, selecting members less than a week before the Games and rushing to Moscow, then surprised everyone by finishing first.
Athletes 5,179 (1,115 women, 4,064 men)
Media 5,615 media (2,865 written press, 2,930 broadcasters)