1992 Summer Olympics

Facts

Competition type Olympic Games
Host city (Venues)
Opening ceremony 25 July
Closing ceremony 9 August
Competition dates 24 July – 9 August
OCOG Comité Organizador Olímpico Barcelona'92
Participants 9386 from 169 countries
Medal events 257 in 33 disciplines
Other events 29 in 4 disciplines

Overview

Barcelona had bid to host the Olympic Games in 1924, 1936, and 1940, without success. In 1986, when the IOC awarded the 1992 Olympic Games to Barcelona, it was considered by many to be in honor of IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, as he was a native of Barcelona. But the Barcelona Olympics became the Games of the New World Order, and they were the most highly attended Olympics in history, both in terms of countries and athletes attending. After four consecutive Olympics with some form of protest or boycott, the Barcelona Olympics were boycott-free.

Since Seoul in 1988, the world had taken on a new face. The Soviet Union no longer existed but the Commonwealth of Independent States did. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were once again free countries. East and West Germany were no more, replaced again by a unified Germany. Yugoslavia was now split into several republics, and only a few days before the Olympics began, the IOC granted Bosnia and Herzegovina provisional recognition to allow that new nation to compete. North and South Yemen had merged into one. All of these new national groupings appeared at Barcelona. South Africa had eliminated apartheid, and competed at Olympia for the first time since 1960. The Commonwealth of Independent States competed as the “Unified Team (Équipe Unifiée)” for the only time, representing all the former republics of the Soviet Union, save for the Baltic States. In the future, the separate former republics of the Soviet Union would compete as independent nations.

The Games were opened beautifully and dramatically as archer Antônio Rebollo lit the Olympic flame via bow and arrow. The drama and beauty of Catalunya continued on stage throughout the 16 days of the Olympics. There was concern about terrorist activity because the area was home to some terrorist groups, and the terrorist group Basque Liberty and Homeland (ETA) had killed more than 700 people during the past 20 years. Shortly before the Games, French police forces captured most of the ETA leaders, and it was discovered that plans were already in force to disrupt the Olympics, but the fears went unrealized and no major incidents occurred.

The competition was excellent. For the first time since 1972, all the major nations of the world attended. The most publicized athletes were the American basketball players. The USA was allowed to use professional players from the NBA (National Basketball Association), since all the other nations were by now using professionals. The NBA All-Star team, nicknamed “The Dream Team”, did not disappoint, putting on a clinic for all nations and winning the gold medal unchallenged. They were led by professional greats Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and Larry Bird, among others.

Many East European countries and the former Soviets continued to dominate certain sports, such as gymnastics and weightlifting. With the changing economic picture in those countries, the future of their sports programs was in doubt. With the coming Games in Atlanta, the status of those programs was a matter of great conjecture.

There were many great athletic performances but, other than the Dream Team, it seemed no one athlete seemed to capture these Games like so many had in the past. It was probably fitting as then no athlete seemed larger than the Olympic Games themselves; fitting for Barcelona was possibly the finest manifestation yet seen of the Olympic Movement.

Bid process

Bid voting at the 91st IOC Session in Lausanne on 17 October 1986.

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Barcelona Spain 29 37 47
Paris France 19 20 23
Brisbane Australia 11 9 10
Belgrade Yugoslavia 13 11 5
Birmingham Great Britain 8 8
Amsterdam Netherlands 5

Ceremonies

Officially opened by Juan Carlos, Crown Prince de Borbón (King)
Torchbearer(s) Antonio Rebollo (Lit flame - archer), Epi, Herminio Menéndez
Taker of the Athlete's Oath Luis Doreste
Taker of the Official's Oath Eugeni Asensio (Water Polo)
Flagbearers Full list
Olympic Flag Bearers José Manuel Abascal, José Luis Doreste, Blanca Fernández Ochoa, Lolo Ibern, Jorge Llopart, Eladio Vallduví, Dolores Buch, Jordi Tabuenca

Medal Disciplines

Archery Cycling Track Rhythmic Gymnastics
Artistic Gymnastics Diving Rowing
Artistic Swimming Equestrian Dressage Sailing
Athletics Equestrian Eventing Shooting
Badminton Equestrian Jumping Swimming
Baseball Fencing Table Tennis
Basketball Football Tennis
Boxing Handball Volleyball
Canoe Slalom Hockey Water Polo
Canoe Sprint Judo Weightlifting
Cycling Road Modern Pentathlon Wrestling

Other Disciplines

Athletics Roller Hockey
Basque pelota Taekwondo

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Unified Team EUN 45 38 29 112
United States USA 37 34 37 108
Germany GER 33 21 28 82
People's Republic of China CHN 16 22 16 54
Cuba CUB 14 6 11 31
Spain ESP 13 7 2 22
Republic of Korea KOR 12 5 12 29
Hungary HUN 11 12 7 30
France FRA 8 5 16 29
Australia AUS 7 9 11 27
Canada CAN 7 4 7 18
Italy ITA 6 5 8 19
Great Britain GBR 5 3 12 20
Romania ROU 4 6 8 18
Czechoslovakia TCH 4 2 1 7
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 4 0 5 9
Japan JPN 3 8 11 22
Bulgaria BUL 3 7 6 16
Poland POL 3 6 10 19
Netherlands NED 2 6 7 15
Kenya KEN 2 4 2 8
Norway NOR 2 4 1 7
Turkey TUR 2 2 2 6
Indonesia INA 2 2 1 5
Brazil BRA 2 1 0 3
Greece GRE 2 0 0 2
Sweden SWE 1 7 4 12
New Zealand NZL 1 4 5 10
Finland FIN 1 2 2 5
Denmark DEN 1 1 4 6
Morocco MAR 1 1 1 3
Ireland IRL 1 1 0 2
Ethiopia ETH 1 0 2 3
Algeria ALG 1 0 1 2
Estonia EST 1 0 1 2
Lithuania LTU 1 0 1 2
Switzerland SUI 1 0 0 1
Jamaica JAM 0 3 1 4
Nigeria NGR 0 3 1 4
Latvia LAT 0 2 1 3
Austria AUT 0 2 0 2
Namibia NAM 0 2 0 2
South Africa RSA 0 2 0 2
Belgium BEL 0 1 2 3
Croatia CRO 0 1 2 3
Individual Olympic Athletes IOA 0 1 2 3
Islamic Republic of Iran IRI 0 1 2 3
Israel ISR 0 1 1 2
Chinese Taipei TPE 0 1 0 1
Mexico MEX 0 1 0 1
Peru PER 0 1 0 1
Mongolia MGL 0 0 2 2
Slovenia SLO 0 0 2 2
Argentina ARG 0 0 1 1
Colombia COL 0 0 1 1
Ghana GHA 0 0 1 1
Malaysia MAS 0 0 1 1
Pakistan PAK 0 0 1 1
Philippines PHI 0 0 1 1
Puerto Rico PUR 0 0 1 1
Qatar QAT 0 0 1 1
Suriname SUR 0 0 1 1
Thailand THA 0 0 1 1
The Bahamas BAH 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Vitaly Shcherbo BLR
EUN
6 0 0 6
Krisztina Egerszegi HUN 3 0 0 3
Yevgeny Sadovy EUN 3 0 0 3
Nicole Haislett USA 3 0 0 3
Aleksandr Popov RUS
EUN
2 2 0 4
Lavinia Miloșovici ROU 2 1 1 4
Tetiana Hutsu EUN 2 1 1 4
Summer Sanders USA 2 1 1 4
Crissy Ahmann-Leighton USA 2 1 0 3
Jenny Thompson USA 2 1 0 3
Matt Biondi USA 2 1 0 3
Gwen Torrence USA 2 1 0 3

All medalists at these Games