Summer Olympics 1980-1992
USSR (now Russia)
The XXII Olympiad was held from July 19 to August 3 and attracted 5,217
athletes from 80 nations. Athletes
competed in 204 events in 21 sports.
The U.S. and other western allies boycotted the Moscow Games in protest
to the Soviet attack of Afghanistan the previous summer.
Without the U.S. and other sports powers represented, the vast majority of the medals were given to Soviet and East German athletes.
All of the 54 East German rowers won a medal.
Aleksandr Dityatin of the USSR was the first athlete to win eight medals in a single Olympics with his three gold, four silver, and one bronze gymnastics medals.
Teofilo Stevenson of Cuba became the first boxer to win three gold medals in the same weight division (he was a heavyweight).
However, there was cheating in
these Games as well. The USSR
persuaded the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) to not send its
neutral judges to oversee officiating. Soviet
javelin throwers were given an extra
advantage when they threw because the stadiumís doors were opened to allow a
breeze to carry the javelin farther. This
advantage won the gold medal for the USSR.
The officials disqualified an Australian who would have won the triple
jump for an illegal jumping style.
The style was considered legal by many others.
Judges marked a Cuban discus
throwerís throw a meter shorter than the
The USSR won the most medals with 195.
Los Angeles, United States
Los Angeles was the only bid for the 1984 Games, and this appeared to be the moment of truth for the Olympic movement. Could the Olympics survive as an international goodwill-sporting event, or were they forever doomed to political disputes?
Peter Euberroth, a Los Angeles businessman, came up with an idea for these Games. He would sign major corporations as sponsors of building the venues and paying employees, therefore not relying on public, governmental funding, as had been done at all previous Olympics. The Los Angeles Games made a profit of $225 million US.
Fourteen nations, led by the USSR, boycotted these Olympics to revenge the U.S. led boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow four years earlier.
The XXIII Olympiad was held from July 28 to August 12. Even with the boycott, the 1984 Games attracted 6,797 athletes from 140 nations, who competed in 221 events in 21 sports.
Carl Lewis of the U.S., duplicated Jesse Owensí performance of 1936, winning gold medals in the track and field events of 100m and 200m sprints, long jump, and 4x100m relay sprint.
Sebastian Coe of Great Britain became the first repeat winner of the 1500m
race since Joe Lightbody of the U.S. in 1906.
Professional football (soccer) players were allowed to play for the first time, and France won the tournament.
ABC (Americaís Broadcasting Company), who broadcast the Olympics to the U.S. on television, was acting very nationalistic and self-congratulatory with its broadcasts. It grew so bad that Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the IOC, wrote the corporation a letter of complaint.
The U.S. had a very good performance in these Olympics, winning the most medals of any country, 174, including 83 gold medals.
The XXIVth Olympiad saw only one small boycott. North Korea, angered by the IOCís decision that North Korea couldnít co-host the Games, decided not to compete at all. Cuba and Ethiopia also withdrew in support of North Korea.
100,000 security personnel were hired to prevent youth protests of unification of the two Koreas during the Olympics.
The 1988 Games still attracted 9,465 athletes from 159 nations, who competed in 237 events in 23 sports. They were held from September 17 to October 2.
Ben Johnson of Canada won the 100m sprint in world record time, 9.79, beating Carl Lewis of the U.S., defending gold medallist, and others. However, it was discovered two days later that Johnson took performance-enhancing steroids. Johnson was disqualified, and Lewis won the gold medal.
Two American sisters-in-law stole the womenís track and field show. Florence Griffith Joyner won gold in the 100m sprint, 200m sprint, and 4x100m relay, and silver in the 4x400m relay. She raced for world records in the 100m and 200m. Her time in the 100m, 10.49, would have placed her seventh in the menís final. Jackie Joyner-Kersee won gold in the long jump and heptathlon.
Kristin Otto of East Germany won six gold medals in swimming.
Matt Bondi of the U.S. won five gold and one bronze medal in swimming.
Greg Louganis of the U.S. won both menís diving events for the second year in a row.
The USSR won the most medals at 132.
The XXVth Olympiad attracted 10,563 athletes from 172 nations, who competed in 257 events in 24 sports. The 1992 Games were held from July 25 to August 8. For the first time in a while, there were no boycotts, and Cuba and North Korea returned to the Olympics after 12 years. South Africa also returned after 32 years when they dropped their apartheid system of government. 12 of the former USSR countries competed together for the last time, called the Unified Team.
The IOC decided to let professional athletes compete in the Olympics after 96 years of only allowing amateurs. The U.S. basketball team benefited the most; their team of NBA (National Basketball Association) All-Stars easily won the gold medal.
Gail Devers of the U.S. won the womenís 100m sprint. Her feet were almost amputated in 1990 during radiation treatments for her Gravesí disease.
Vitaly Scherlo of the Unified Team, from Belarus, won six menís gymnastics gold medals, including four in one day.
Linford Christie of Great Britain won the menís 100m sprint. He became the second Briton to win gold (the first was Harold Abrahams in 1924) and the oldest winer, at 32 years old.
The Unified Team won the most medals with 114.
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