New Zealand at the 1980 Summer Olympics

New Zealand competed in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, USSR. In partial support of the US-led boycott, the banner of the NZOCGA was used instead of its national flag. Tay Wilson was the chef de mission. New Zealand's then largest team had been nominated with 99 competitors. However, only five New Zealand athletes competed as independents after the New Zealand government applied pressure to support the boycott.

New Zealand at the
1980 Summer Olympics
Flag of New Zealand Olympic Committee (1979-1994).svg
Athletes competed under the flag of the
New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association
NOCNew Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association
in Moscow
Competitors5 (all men) in 2 sports
Flag bearer Brian Newth (modern pentathlete)
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
 Australasia (1908–1912)


The 1980 Summer Olympics were hosted by the Soviet Union. After the host country invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, American president Jimmy Carter called for a boycott of the Moscow Games. On 8 May 1980, the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association (NZOCGA) accepted the invitation for New Zealand to participate in the Olympic Games. The Muldoon government stepped in and threatened the NZOCGA with funding cuts and cancelled leave for competitors who were in the public service. On 29 May, the NZOCGA announced that no sponsorship or government funds would be used to fund the New Zealand team in Moscow. On 3 June, the NZOCGA announced that it would not send the New Zealand team.[1]

Four athletes decided to go as independents: a modern pentathlete and three canoers.[2] The decision for the canoers was based on the fact that they did not receive funding from the NZOCGA anyway so were not subject to their (or the government's) threat of funding cuts.[1] An estimated 200 New Zealand spectators travelled to Moscow in support of the New Zealand team. By the time it became known that New Zealanders competed in two sports only those events had sold out.[2]

Of the other athletes, 61 attended other Olympic Games but the remaining 34 missed out completely; the 34 were:[1]

  • Garry Wright
  • Rowena Davis
  • Pat Barwick
  • Christine Berry
  • Sue Emerson
  • Marianne Gray
  • Allana Hiha
  • Karen Thomas
  • Janice Neil
  • Judith Phillips
  • Gail Rodbourn
  • Edith Weber
  • Jeff Gibson
  • David Clark
  • Jack Scott
  • Wayne Williams
  • Melanie Jones
  • Paul Rowe

Results by eventEdit


Athlete Event Heats Repechages Semifinals Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Ian Ferguson Men's K-1 500 m 1:46.02 3 Q 1:46.87 2 Q 1:47.36 7
Men's K-1 1000 m 3:59.07 6 R 3:54.46 3 Q 3:54.05 3 Q 3:53.78 8
Alan Thompson
Geoff Walker
Men's K-2 500 m 1:39.30 6 R 1:39.32 2 Q 1:38.38 4 did not advance
Men's K-2 1000 m 3:34.43 2 Q 3:38.64 3 Q 3:33.83 8
Ian Ferguson
Paul MacDonald
Alan Thompson
Geoff Walker
Men's K-4 1000 m DNS did not advance

Modern pentathlonEdit

Athlete Riding Fencing Shooting Swimming Running Total
Final rank
Points Rank Points Rank Points Rank Points Rank Points Rank
Brian Newth 1018 23 532 42 846 =38 1048 39 1042 28 4486 40


  1. ^ a b c Leggat, David (3 September 2010). "Swimming: Overlooked 'Olympic' team recognised after 30 years". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "1980 Moscow Olympics boycott". Retrieved 22 August 2010.

External linksEdit