Opening of the 1980 Olympic Games.
Talk about a bizarre way to celebrate the Olympics. This picture shows a plethora of Russian acrobats as they join together to form the shape of a vase made entirely out of people. This was taken back in 1980 during the Olympic Summer games which were being held in Moscow that year.
It was believed that this act was employed to demonstrate the sheer talent and determination that the Russian athletes would have in the upcoming tournament. This was during the Cold War after all, and hostilities between the world’s most powerful nations were growing tenser and tenser. At this point, the games weren’t simply nation vs. nation, it was also viewed as a petty way of fighting for your country’s economic system (capitalism or communism) in the ever- dividing world. However, this time, the U.S.A. and 64 other nations refused to partake in the games as a protest of the Russian involvement in the country of Afghanistan.
The 1980 Olympics were the only in history to be held in Eastern Europe and were the only games to take place in a Communist Country until the Beijing games in 2008. The opening was announced by the leader for the Soviet Union himself, Leonid Brezhnev.
At the following summer games of 1984, the Soviet Union would lead a boycott of the event because it was being hosted in Los Angeles. Ultimately, these decisions marred relations between the two nations and would push diplomacy back between them until the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.