Liberty Bell Classic
|Liberty Bell Classic|
|Location||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Dates||16–17 July 1980|
The Liberty Bell Classic was a 1980 track and field athletics event organized by The Athletics Congress as part of the 1980 Olympic boycott and held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on July 16 and 17, 1980. It was named after Philadelphia's Liberty Bell.
The U.S. Congress voted $10 million to fund alternative tournaments in several Olympic sports, to which athletes from boycotting countries would be invited. Besides the Liberty Bell Classic, the U.S. Gymnastics Federation held an International Invitational tournament in Hartford, Connecticut. Earlier in the year, the United States had considered holding other games in Côte d'Ivoire, Italy, Japan, West Germany or China.
The IAAF prohibited any official track and field meets that would clash with the Olympic meet, and so the Liberty Bell began three days before the Moscow Games opened (ten days before the Olympic athletics events began). The Liberty Bell came the day after the prestigious Bislett Games in Oslo and many eligible athletes declined to compete, including 17 of the 34 champions at the US Olympic Trials. The winning performances in two events, men's 110 m hurdles and 400 m hurdles, were better than those in Moscow.
Athletes from 29 countries participated in the event, many of which had taken part in the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics, including:
- Marshall, Joe (28 July 1980). "...and meanwhile in Philadelphia". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- Secret US plot to steal Moscow's Olympic flame, Daily Telegraph
- "Thunder is heard from U.S." Asbury Park Press. July 18, 1980. Retrieved January 8, 2017.