Bob Bergdahl blames Jimmy Carter’s decision to boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow for his anti-America perspective.
Bob Bergdahl was a champion cyclist who became disillusioned with the US Government when it boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, it emerged today.
Bergdahl – the father of under-fire POW Bowe Bergdahl – was devastated when the US pulled out of the Games, citing Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.
The talented athlete had been selected for the US cycling team and was in line to be picked for the Moscow Olympics.
This comes as the brother-in-law of freed Bowe, the husband of his sister Sky, tells MailOnline that the Bergdahl family does not have sympathies with the Taliban and said that there was a ‘deeper story’ to emerge.
Ironically, the beef Bowe’s dad Bob has with the US Government began long before the war with the Taliban.
Following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter issued an ultimatum on January 20, 1980 that the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan.
The political move shattered Bob’s dreams and left his hopes of making it as a professional athlete in tatters. He had trained hard for years to reach the form needed to compete at the very highest level in cycling.
The image of Bob Bergnahl as all-American athlete with Olympic credentials flies in the face of how the father of two has been so far portrayed.
With his long scraggly beard, anti-Government sentiment and an apparent obsession with the Afghan culture and language, many Americans have written him off as a loon.
But one of Bob’s close friends, Chip Deffe, says that is far from the truth.
‘He had worked so hard for the chance to compete at the Olympics and then suddenly it was snatched away.
‘Anyone would be upset, he was so passionate about racing and had made the US national team as a track racer.
‘He was a world-class athlete and set for big things and was supposed to travel to Moscow until we boycotted the Games.
‘He wasn’t at all happy with the Government, he couldn’t understand it and became disillusioned.’
Chip says Bob, now 55, was deeply dejected and walked away from cycling, vowing never to ride a bike again.
‘Bob was a real talent, he was reaching the peak of his physical fitness and would have had a real chance in Moscow.
But in stark contrast to Bob, LeMond didn’t let the political situation bring him down and continued cycling, reaching amazing heights.
Meanwhile, Bob left California and settled in Hailey, Idaho where he became a UPS delivery driver and started a family with wife Jani.
Bob has in the past described a prisoner swap as a ‘win-win’ situation as he would get his son back and the US would improve relations with the Afghans.
Critics pointed out that just a few days before his son was released, Bob tweeted to a Taliban spokesman that, ‘I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners.’ ‘God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, amen,’ he added.
This tweet, which was later deleted, has drawn the ire of some conservative activists, who say it is evidence of possible conversion or a cover up.
Bob spoke Arabic and Pashto at the Rose Garden press conference with President Barack Obama announcing the release of his son on Saturday. Some critics have said that raises questions about Bob’s loyalties.
Is it any wonder that “critics have raised questions about Bob Bergdahl’s loyalties? There is so much evidence against him.