.... Or How the Soviet Union occupying Afghanistan fed a starving college student

Back in 1980 U.S. President Jimmy Carter played politics with sport and spearheaded a multi-nation boycott of the Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan. The games went ahead without many of the world's sporting powers and were dominated by Eastern-Bloc countries.

Carter's self-righteous snub set the stage for a tit-for-tat Soviet-Bloc boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The U.S. Olympic team thrashed the much weaker competition and crushed gold medal records.

Now enters McDonald's which had prepared millions of promotional Olympic themed scratch-off cards. A food prize was rewarded if the US team took the gold, silver, or bronze in various events. The cards were obviously distributed before the Soviets announced their boycott.

Many events, like kayaking and gymnastics, (thought utterly safe from the specter of US golds) were won by the boys and girls in red, white, and blue.

I must have won 20 gratis Big Macs and was feted by Jimmy for nearly a month. At the time I didn't appreciate the wacky chain of events leading to my McDonald's orgy but I knew I had a full stomach and more money for beer.

And that made all the difference.

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