A very long time ago when I was only about six or seven years old, still small enough to be collecting things like teddy bears, I received a strange gift from a friend of the family. I remember even at the time thinking it was odd, since it was a souvenir from a trip he never took to an Olympics, which for the US at least, never happened. And it was ugly, sort of, like most things designed for the Olympics, which always manage to be a little tacky. It was a small bear, made out of some kind of squishy plastic or foam and he carefully wrapped it in a plastic bag and told me to keep it there until I got older, that it would be worth something someday because it was an American souvenir for the games, but because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan Carter had pushed through an unpopular boycott. It was odd, and a little creepy to be given a gift I wasn't allowed to use or even really look at, but apparently, I did just that. And this week, I found it. According to Ebay, it's worth about twenty bucks. That's it. I have apparently packed and repacked that thing through every stage of my life and dutifully kept in in near pristine condition to the tune of twenty dollars. And you know what I did? I put it back in the bag. So it goes.
To read Politicos synopsis of the Olympic boycott: