While this summer's Olympics proceed without them, members of the 1980 United States Olympic team will be in Washington from July 26 to July 30 for a five-day "Olympic Honors Program," featuring a dinner at the White House and the presentation of gold medals to all the athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced yesterday.
The White House dinner and the presentation of the medals by members of Congress will take place July 30. The affair will conclude with a salute to the Olympians at the Kennedy Center that night.
About 550 athletes, coaches, managers and officials will take part in the program. Only members of the swimming team, who will be involved in national championships that week, will not be here.
"It is the United States Olympic Committee's desire to show our athletes, coaches and managers that they are special to the nation," said USOC Executive Director F. Don Miller. "It's our way of honoring the athletes who qualified as Olympians but will not be going to Moscow to represent this country in the Olympic Games."
The USOC, at President Carter's urging, voted to boycott the Moscow Olympics as a protest of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.
The members of the Olympic team will be given tours of Washington and will work out at local colleges during the five days. Many of the athletes will be competing overseas later this summer.
The gold medals the athletes will receive were authorized by Congress last month. They will be presented on the west steps of the Capitol on the afternoon of the 30th. Then the team will be taken to the White House to be greeted by President Carter.