In 1980, Moscow, the capital of the USSR, hosted the Summer Olympics. A year earlier, in 1979, Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan and some Western countries boycotted the Olympics. The Cold War was in full swing.
The Olympic flame on the way from Athens to Moscow passed through Bulgaria through specially selected places, thus declaring the friendship of the Bulgarian people with the USSR. Authorities organized a ceremonial welcome to the Olympic flame in Plovdiv and a performance at the newly opened Roman Stadium. A memorial plaque was erected to commemorate the event.