Athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

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Athletics at the
1980 Summer Olympics
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The Men's Pole Vault event at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union had an entrylist of 19 competitors. The final was held on Wednesday 1980-07-30. The top twelve and ties and all those clearing 5.40 metres advanced to the final.

Kozakiewicz's gesture.[1]

Throughout the event, home town fans were cheering for Konstantin Volkov, while booing, whistling and jeering at the Poles Tadeusz Ślusarski and Władysław Kozakiewicz. There were even accusations that the Soviet facility management were opening and closing giant doors to the stadium to change the wind pattern against opposing vaulters.

When Kozakiewicz secured his gold medal position, Kozakiewicz made the Bras d'honneur gesture which became known as "Kozakiewicz's gesture" (gest Kozakiewicza).[2] in defiance to the Soviet crowd. He later confirmed his dominance over the competition by breaking the world record, clearing at 5.78 meters.

The photos of this incident circled the globe, with the exception of the Soviet Union and its satellites, although the event was broadcast live on TV in many countries of the Bloc. While international observers varied in their reaction[citation needed] to the incident, Kozakiewicz's act received much support in Polish society, which resented Soviet control over Eastern Europe (Poland was in the midst of labor strikes that led to the creation of the labor union Solidarity less than two months later). After the 1980 Olympics ended, the Soviet ambassador to Poland demanded that Kozakiewicz be stripped of his medal over his "insult to the Soviet people".[3] The official response of the Polish government was that Kozakiewicz's arm gesture had been an involuntary muscle spasm caused by his exertion.


Gold Władysław Kozakiewicz
Silver Konstantin Volkov
 Soviet Union
Silver Tadeusz Ślusarski


  • Held on Monday July 28, 1980
1.  Mariusz Klimczyk (POL) 5.40 m
2.  Tadeusz Ślusarski (POL) 5.40 m
3.  Jean-Michel Bellot (FRA) 5.40 m
4.  Thierry Vigneron (FRA) 5.40 m
5.  Władysław Kozakiewicz (POL) 5.40 m
6.  Miro Zalar (SWE) 5.40 m
7.  Tapani Haapakoski (FIN) 5.40 m
8.  Konstantin Volkov (URS) 5.35 m
9.  Rauli Pudas (FIN) 5.35 m
10.  Brian Hooper (GBR) 5.35 m
11.  Sergey Kulibaba (URS) 5.35 m
12.  Philippe Houvion (FRA) 5.35 m
13.  Atanas Tarev (BUL) 5.25 m
14.  Felix Böhni (SUI) 5.15 m
15.  Axel Weber (GDR) 5.15 m
 Antti Kalliomäki (FIN) NM
 Ivo Yanchev (BUL) NM
 Patrick Desruelles (BEL) NM
 Yuriy Prokhorenko (URS) NM


Med 1.png  Władysław Kozakiewicz (POL) 5.78 m WR
Med 2.png  Konstantin Volkov (URS) 5.65 m
Med 2.png  Tadeusz Ślusarski (POL) 5.65 m
4.  Philippe Houvion (FRA) 5.65 m
5.  Jean-Michel Bellot (FRA) 5.60 m
6.  Mariusz Klimczyk (POL) 5.55 m
7.  Thierry Vigneron (FRA) 5.45 m
8.  Sergey Kulibaba (URS) 5.45 m
9.  Tapani Haapakoski (FIN) 5.45 m
10.  Miro Zalar (SWE) 5.35 m
11.  Brian Hooper (GBR) 5.35 m
12.  Rauli Pudas (FIN) 5.25 m

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Władysław Kozakiewicz makes a gesture towards booing and jeering Soviet crowds seconds after securing his gold medal in the 1980 Summer Olympics pole vault competition at the Lenin Grand Stadium, 30 July 1980.
  2. ^ "Gest Kozakiewicza" (in Italian). Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Władysław Kozakiewicz – Biography". Retrieved 10 October 2012.