Lost British Olympic sailing team of 1980 seek recognition
our Olympic sailors make their final preparations for 2012, the British sailing
team who were forced to boycott the 1980 Moscow games are pressing the RYA for
Sebastian Coe and most of the other British sporting elite defied Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher’s call to boycott the Moscow Olympics, the sailing
team had their entries withdrawn by the RYA and their medal-hopes shattered.
Coe went on to be made a Lord, and since 1980 many Olympic medallists have
received honours including knighthoods and OBEs.
Simonds, selected to represent Britain in the Soling class says: ‘Three of our
team members won the European championships in their classes in 1980 within a
month of the Olympics – beating all the eventual medal winners. They had a Gold
medal and an MBE stolen from their grasp by the RYA without any consultation or
discussion. The medals are gone – but when will the RYA make best
endeavours to put these three fantastic people who have served their sport for
a lifetime up for an MBE? The USA team were all given Congressional medals of
honour at the White House, we got a printed scroll – by post.’
‘The RYA is doing a great job for the team these days but wants to make sure
that even under extreme pressure they never stop their team racing again.’
is the RYA’s AGM and the 1980 sailing team will repeat their request to the RYA
forego the right going forward unilaterally to prevent a team attending and
make a suitable and agreed gesture to those that they prevented attending in
Simonds is asking supporters to email 1980OlympicCampaign@talktalk.net to be forwarded to
the CEO of the RYA.
A letter to the RYA has been signed by one or more members of every
surviving crew selected for the 1980 Olympic Games:
• Flying Dutchman: Pat Blake and Christian Houchin.
• 470: Jerry Richards
• Soling: Colin Simonds, Gavin Simonds and Chris Osborne
• Star: Andrew Hurst
• Tornado: Rob White and David Campbell-James
Tim Law on behalf of his brother Chris who died in 2007