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THE OLYMPIC ULTIMATUM
Jerry Kirshenbaum
January 28, 1980
For more than two weeks the President of the United States had restrained himself, hoping in vain for some sign that the Soviet Union would heed the warning he had delivered in his Jan. 4 television speech. On that occasion, Jimmy Carter said that unless the U.S.S.R. discontinued its "aggressive actions" in Afghanistan, the U.S. might withdraw from the Summer Olympics in Moscow. Last week, with Soviet troops still very much in Afghanistan, the President decided it was time for a flat-out ultimatum: if those forces are not off Afghan territory by Feb. 20, the U.S. would not compete in Moscow.
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January 28, 1980

The Olympic Ultimatum

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It may or may not be an accident that the Feb. 20 deadline falls during the 13-day Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. In his letter to the USOC, Carter said he wanted the Winter Games to go on, presumably with Soviet athletes on hand. As things now stand, the President is scheduled to officially welcome those athletes when the Games open on Feb. 13. The prospect of Soviet leaders having the pleasure of returning the compliment in Moscow on July 19 seems remote indeed.

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