Nationalism has left its mark on the Olympic Games, beginning with the 1936 Games in Berlin. The Nazis built a powerful team through nationalized training and dominated the games. The next surge of such nationalism was in 1956, when Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon boycotted the Melbourne Games to protest Anglo-French seizure of the Suez Canal. Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland also boycotted to protest the USSR's invasion of Hungary.
American black athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos used the victory stand to publicize U.S. racial policies at the 1968 Games at Mexico City. Eleven Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists in 1972 at Munich. Thirty-three African nations boycotted the 1976 Games at Montreal to protest South Africa's apartheid policies.
The U.S. government led a boycott of the 1980 Summer Games at Moscow to protest the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The private U.S. Olympic Committee was pressured by the Carter administration to boycott. About 40 nations followed the U.S. lead. The 1984 Games at Los Angeles were boycotted by Eastern-bloc nations, led by the USSR.