The story

Opening of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona

On July 25, 1992, the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXV Olympiad are held in Barcelona, Spain. The Barcelona Olympics were the first ever in which professional athletes were allowed to participate, and the first Games since 1972 in which every member nation of the International Olympic Committee competed. In all, 169 countries fielded teams, the most in the history of the Olympics.

The 1992 Summer Olympics came just one year after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Twelve former Soviet states fielded a united team, while others such as Estonia and Lithuania fielded their own teams for the first time since the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The former Yugoslavian territories Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; and Slovenia participated under their own flags for the first time. In addition, South Africa participated in the Olympics for the first time since 1960, when it was banned in protest of its racist apartheid policy.

One of the most anticipated performances of the 1992 Games was that of the U.S. men’s basketball team, nicknamed “The Dream Team.” International stars Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley competed alongside 11 other NBA All-Stars and Duke University standout Christian Laettner. The team schooled their competition, players who in many cases were just excited to be on the same court with them. Before the U.S. game against Angola, for instance, the Angolan players posed for pictures with their American competition and asked for autographs. For their part, the Americans were relaxed, confident and, following the lead of the gregarious Barkley, often joked with the press, their opponents and each other. The Dream Team won the gold easily, beating their opponents by an average of 44 points.

Another historic performance was made by Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia, winner of the 10,000 meters, who became the first black African woman ever to win an Olympic medal. Afterward, she shared a victory lap with white South African competitor Elana Meyer in recognition and celebration of South Africa’s recent abolishment of apartheid and as a symbolic gesture of African unity.

Other memorable moments from the Barcelona Games included American Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s second consecutive heptathlon victory; Carl Lewis’ third consecutive gold in the long jump; and host country Spain’s gold-medal performance in men’s soccer.

25 years after: Five things that Olympic Games changed in Barcelona

This 25th of July commemorates the 25th anniversary of the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Summer Olympic Games. The adventure to host this huge event for the first time started many years before, though, with a big transformation of the city, the emergence of new infrastructures and even a change in the mentality of the citizens about their own town.

Apart from the memorable moments in sport and culture history, another aspect that has remained a quarter of a century later is the fact that Catalonia’s main town would never be the same again.

We want to celebrate with you this special event by listing five aspects that radically changed in Barcelona.

1. The Coast:

It is hard to believe, but Barcelona lived for decades turning its back to the sea. In fact, beaches like Nova Icària, Somorrostro o Bogatell did not exist until the beginning of the 90’s. For the Olympics, more than two miles of beachfront were built up with a modern marina and promenade and a sports and leisure port. A remarkable example is the view of the ‘Villa Olímpica’, the neighbourhood created with hundreds of apartments and flats that had the function of accommodating the athletes, coaches and referees, among others, during the Olympic competition.

Before that, locals where a little bit ashamed of the Poblenou town. A cemetery and the remains of obsolete industries where the most remarkable things there. But the Olympics transformed what some named the ‘Old Catalan Manchester’ into a currently considered the ‘Barcelonian Copacabana’.

Beaches before the Olympic Games

2. Montjuïc Mountain:

Montjuïc Mountain has been (and in a way still is) a sort of ‘enchanted forest’ with plenty of corners that hide precious treasures. It hosts historic monuments like the Castle and prestigious Museums like Fundació Miró or MNAC at its top, giving one of the best views of the town. Barcelona is not a big city in size, and it is densely scoped with the natural borders that suppose Rivers Llobregat and Besòs, the mountain range of Collserola, and the Mediterranean sea.

So, where in Barcelona was enough space to lift up an Olympic Stadium, a Pavilion and Swimming Pools? The only answer was Montjuïc, a place that housed a huge and ancient cemetery with views to the sea, a historic castle, a few museums spread across the territory, and even television studios (the mythical Miramar studios where a luxurious hotel is now placed) and even an Amusement Park. Montjuïc was, up until the late 80’s, a leisure space for locals to enjoy some open air during weekends. Now, it’s a symbol of the Olympics and a ‘must’ visit for tourists.

Our visitors during the tour in Montjuïc

3. Self-esteem: the pride of the people of Barcelona:

Apart from the great transformations that the city underwent… one thing that changed radically was the image that the Barcelonans had of their city, it increased its affection towards her thanks to an enormous dose of pride, which motivated the success of the games.

Twenty five years after, there is no doubt that the Olympics made a huge impact on the people of Barcelona. It all began when, on October 17th 1986 in the Swiss city of Lausanne, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Juan Antonio Samaranch, opened the envelope and read the four words that changed Barcelona’s history: “À la ville de… Barcelona”.

Places like Plaça de Catalunya bursted with joy as thousands of people missed their lunch break to know if their city was going to hold the event.

But after joy, came responsibility: All the eyes were focused on the ‘second city’ in Spain.

There was another an ‘extra-challenge’: They were the first Olympic Games in Europe in 20 years since Munich 1972, so the European Union also wanted to give a magnificent image to the rest of the world.

At the end of the event, Samaranch, who was born in Barcelona in 1920 and died in his city in 2010 said that they were: “The best Olympic games of History”. Twenty years after, though, his successor, Belgian Jacques Rogge, pronounced the same phrase at the London Olympics on 2012. However, the rise in self-esteem because of 1992 would mark the destiny of the city for good.

Celebration of the Olympic Games in Barcelona – 1992

4. Barcelona as a tourist destination:

The success in organizing the Olympic Games gave its results. Barcelona, thanks to the Olympic Games, became an appetizing destination for companies to invest and even establish, and also a tourist destination ‘par excellence’. Barcelona has always been a place with a gigantic cultural interest. Consequently, concepts such as Modernism and Art Noveau, Barceloneta, Barri Gòtic became more and more popular worldwide. Furthermore, the Olympics showed how friendly and open minded their inhabitants were. Definitely, (another) good reason to plan a trip to Catalonia.

5. Gipsy Sounds: the World discovers Catalan Rumba:

Last but not least, the 1992 Olympic Games closing ceremony became a huge party for the world that had a rhythmical and cheerful music as the main soundtrack: what is known as ‘Rumba Catalana’.

With its gypsy roots and a sound derived from flamenco rumba with influences from Cuban music and Rock and Roll, it is synonymous of celebration when played. What is remarkable is that music experts claim that Catalan rumba is the only musical style created in Europe in the twentieth century. Its history and popularity are some of the many good reasons that promoters give to reach the goal of Rumba Catalana becoming recognised as an Unesco’s World Heritage.

As said before, the closing ceremony of Barcelona became a celebration of life. One of the ‘patriarchs’ of the style, Peret, perfomed on stage with hits like ‘Gitana Hechizera’, a tribute to Barcelona, that he sang with a fresh-rumba band ‘Los Manolos’, who had previously reached some success with a rumba cover of the Beatles song ‘All my Loving’.

As a way to say ‘goodbye’ to the world, they played a rumba version of the Olympic official song “Amics per Sempre” (“Friends for life”), written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and originally performed by Sarah Brightman and the Catalan tenor Josep Carreras. It was a great way to say goodbye without being sad, which was complicated specially because at that precise moment, everybody was dancing. Athletes from all nationalities celebrated their joy with the volunteers, and even kings and queens and presidents got up from their seats and started to clap their dance and move their body.

Official Report

It must be admitted that the best and most thorough report of the Barcelona'92 Olympic Games is the one that each of us has stored away among our most intimate memories. No-one can conjure up this historic moment better than we ourselves with emotions, images or sensations. No chronicler could match the strength of our own experience. The true collective memory, as I understand it, is made up of thousands of hours lived and shared by thousands of people who will have thrilled to the Games, whether near or far away. Historians have already undertaken the task of researching, verifying, rationalising and interpreting the events. For the time being, the most genuine records are those of eye-witnesses. But the human memory, so powerful and suggestive, also has its lacunae. This is particularly true for the Olympic Games, where the poetry of the moment may cause it to miss a detail, overlook a fact or distort the measurement of time. I am convinced, therefore, that an official report is an indispensable complement to what will become an unforgettable episode in our life.

With this Report we fulfil the obligations of the Olympic Charter, but also an obligation to the people of the city and lovers of sport. If the stadiums and the roads are the tangible legacy, the publication you are reading now is the written monument to the Games of the XXV Olympiad. Any admirer of our city or the Olympics will be able to satisfy the need to know about all the details of this historic occasion in the pages which follow.

I recognise that the publication of this first volume of this Official Report before the Games are held may come as a surprise. This is not, of course, an exercise in clairvoyance. First, we wanted to show what we have always said: that the sixteen days of competition will be the climax of a process which has taken years and that many of our objectives -the reactivation of the city and the country, the town planning works, the boost to the economy- will have already been more than accomplished before the magic date. Furthermore, we would like to give the readers an opportunity to find out what has happened and to arouse their interest so that they can come to the Games with enough background information to have a better understanding of how and why they have been organised in a certain way.

Of Barcelona, of the history of the Olympics and the candidature for the Games of 1992 we can speak before the torch enters the Montjuïc Stadium. As for other matters, however, we shall have to wait until after the closing ceremony. We shall only be able to make a clear assessment of the resources -facilities, staff and equipment- when we have seen them in action. For the second volume, therefore, we shall have to wait until the operators have finished off the task that the planners, the workers and the fitters began.

The third volume is a similar case: we shall have to wait in order to appraise the efforts of hundreds of people, and especially of those most directly involved in the organisation, until we have the results. More than once the operation involved in the Olympic Games has been compared to a military campaign and even if the objectives are quite incompatible, there are certain parallels. The logistical complexity is one, and the mission is not accomplished until the objective has been secured. The daily battles are important, but only the last one is decisive.

Allow me to make an observation which touches on moral ground. If we are capable of mobilising so many people and so many resources, of bringing together the youth so many countries, of capturing the attention of such different audiences, around such noble ideals, in a great festival of peace and youth, it means that we can have faith in the human condition. The energy and the enormous human potential that spring from the Olympic Games serve fundamentally for that purpose: to prove that people are still anxious to live moments of joy. The last volume of the Official Report we shall be keeping, with due devotion, for the true heroes and heroines: the sportsmen and women. The vast majority of spectators will remember Barcelona'92 for their idols: their sporting feats and their records. The quest for perfection, excellence and beauty will be immortalised in images that will travel around the world: the sportsmen and women will be the leading actors on the stage that, for two weeks, will be Barcelona and the Olympic subsites.

To explain the Games of the XXV Olympiad in four volumes, even long ones, is not easy. We shall include the essentials and I am sure that a few years from now we shall feel the lack of items ofinformation that might seem of slight importance to us today. But the vital thing is the great work of compilation immediately after the Olympic event when the material is still fresh and the memory still clear.

The Barcelona 1992 Official Report will be the first one to be on sale to the public. So far the summary and analysis of the Games has been restricted to a select group of people and, in an abbreviated version, to the press. This time we wanted to round off the job with a piece of work which will be thorough, free of secrets and within the reach of everyone.

Ultimately, the Olympic Games would not be what they are without communication. Thousands of millions of people follow them on the small screen and without that enormous audience the sources of finance or the massive support which makes it possible to meet the cost would simply not be forthcoming. The event is interesting in itself, but so is the expectation it arouses. This communicative potential gives us the chance to broadcast our message loud and clear. It allows us to bring our way of living, our way of working and our way of understanding the relationships between people to the four corners of the earth. With the Official Report, we analyse the facts and the capacity of our organisation. But, most of all, we scatter to the four winds the enthusiasm of our people, which has been decisive, since the outset, in the will to offer the best and most universal Olympic Games in history.

Romà Cuyàs i Sol, Director of the Official Report

One of the commitments undertaken by the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games is to take charge of the publication of the Official Report. The Report has one essential purpose: to pass on to the managers of the Olympic Movement and future Organising Committees the experience acquired. As an additional benefit, it provides the Olympic Family as a whole with the results of the sports competitions. Furthermore, because they involve the whole world, the Olympic Games are the most complex and demanding event on the calendar. They are itinerant by nature, which means that the organising city is unlikely to have any previous experience. And so the Official Report which each Organising Committee leaves to its successors must be a reflection not only of the sporting event, which has already been thoroughly discussed and analysed by the media on the five continents, but also of each and every aspect of the organisation which made it possible and which only the Report can explain in the necessary depth and detail. It must therefore be an exhaustive, serious document from which future organisers can extract the maximum amount of information. But the Official Report of the Games of the XXV Olympiad is the first
one in history to be available to the public. This unusual element poses a new challenge to the people in charge of producing it: to make the explanation of the organisation of the Games interesting and enjoyable to a wide audience without sacrificing the seriousness and thoroughness demanded by the content.

Facing this twofold requirement, then, COOB'92 set to work on the Report about a year and a half ago. The first step was an exhaustive analysis of previous reports in terms of both structure and content, graphics and text. One of the first decisions was to shun the monumental in terms of extent and presentation the dimensions chosen were intended to make for easier reading. The planned length was about one thousand five hundred pages spread over four volumes of similar length. This would make it possible to market it in serial form, with the added advantage that distribution could begin before the Games. This has meant that the Report itself is an element in stimulating public interest in the Games just a few months before they are held such is the aim of this first volume which, as it covers the period of the Candidature, will be available before the opening ceremony. And so, as Josep Miquel Abad says in his introduction, the first volume will be "the climax of a process which has taken years", and the fruit of the labours of the whole city and the entire country. Moreover, the book explains the transformation of Barcelona since holding the Games there became more than just an idea.

As a contribution to the spread of the Olympics and bearing in mind that for the first time the general public has been included in the reading of an official report, COOB'92 has decided to introduce a chapter dealing with the history of the Games since their revival in 1896 to the Barcelona Games this year. The outstanding events of each one are listed and there are tables with the complete results of all the competitions in all the sports on the official programme in Barcelona. Thus the reader can follow the evolution of the scores and times achieved over the years and discover the highlights of each sport. A further contribution to Olympic knowledge is the glossary, which you will find in the appendices to this volume, which defines the terms found in the Olympic Charter or commonly used by COOB'92. The drafting of this first volume has involved a tremendous labour of documentation. The information has been taken, as far as possible, from the most reliable sources, the basis being the documents published by the Olympic Office and the branches of the administration which formed the consortium of the Managing Council during the period of the Candidature. The IOC archives have also been consulted, as well as those of the companies which make up HOLSA (AOMSA, VOSA and IMPU) and those so kindly placed at our disposal by the institutions of the COOB'92 consortium through the relevant organisations. Some private archives were also referred to when the need arose. Altogether the compilers have read over thirty thousand pages and looked at over ten thousand photographs. In the selection of the photographic material prominence has been given to the documentary and informative aspects. Moreover, the Report has benefited from the contribution of specialists from a wide range of disciplines -who have brought to our work an authority which it would not otherwise have had- and, as the drafting progressed, from the suggestions of all those closely involved with the Candidature.

The next volumes will concentrate on the planning, organisation and staging of the Barcelona Olympic Games. COOB'92 is already working on the compilation of the documents. We trust that this volume will live up to expectations and that in the future it will be a reference point for students of a period as thrilling and decisive in the history of the city and the country as these years of preparation for the Games of the XXV Olympiad.

(Source document: Official Report 1992, Vol. I, page 23 -29)

CONTENTS, Volume I, The challenge, From the idea to the nomination

Barcelona`s history

The settlement history of Barcelona starts in the 2nd century BC with Barcino, the largest known Roman village outside Rome. But the Gothic and the time of Modernism have left their traces still visible today as well. The legacy of the dreary time of the Franco dictatorship has fortunately eliminated.
The history of Barcelona is also characterized by the quest for independence and maintaining their own cultural identity.

2nd century to 3rd century AD - Roman domination
Roman domination. In the 1st century BC the colony Barcino arose to today's Barcelona.

5th century - Visigoths
Immigration of the Visigoths. Barcelona becomes the capital of the empire of the Visigoths.

8th century - the moors
The Moors conquered Catalonia. The influence in the present day is not as great as in southern Spain.

801 - the Franks
Barcelona is occupied by the Franks. Emperor Charles the Great makes Barcelona the capital of the Spanish Mark, which serves as defence for the Frankish Empire against the empire of the Moors, that occupied the remaining Spain.

988 - declaration of autonomy
The county of Barcelona is declared autonomously by Borell II. Thus the independence of France&rsquos kingdom begins.

1137 - federation with Aragon
The marriage of Berenguer IV, the Catalan count of Barcelona with the throne of Aragon, Petronilla, the Catalan-Aragonese Federation arises. This extends their power range up to Naples and Sardinia.

1213-1276 - economic expansion
Reigned by Jaume I. Successful economic expansion of Barcelona. Reconquest of the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Menorca and Mallorca from the Moors.

1347 - costruction of the cathedral
Start of construction of the cathedral. This lasts over 400 years.

1469 - recapture of Grenada
Fernando II of Aragon's and Isabella of Kasilien's wedding. The association of Christian kingdoms leads in 1492 to recapture of Grenada, the last Muslim bastion on the Iberian Peninsula. However the influence of Barcelona is waning.

1640-1659 - Reapers' War (Guerra dels Segadors)
The occasion for the revolt of the farmers and reapers was the murder of the vice king on Corpus Christi day, June 7, 1640. The actual reason were the ongoing feudalistic burdens put on the Catalans by the Castilian king Felipe IV. The Catalans had to supply to the Spanish troops that were stationed in Catalonia during the Spanish-French conflicts of the Thirty Years War. The conflict with the Spanish king lasted beyond the end of the Thirty Years War. The song Dels Segadors describes the revolt and has become the Catalan national anthem, today in a slightly shortened version. At the beginning of the revolt, the Castell de Montjuïc was erected. On January 26, 1641, the Castilian besiegers were beaten in the Battle of Montjuïc.
The Generalitat proclaimed Louis XIII of France as Count of Barcelona and thus ruler over all of Catalonia. In the Treaty of the Pyrenees, France renunciated the county of Catalonia, but Roussillion, in today's south of France, fell to the French. This resulted in the separation of Catalonia which still goes on today.

1701-1714 - Spanish war of succession
Spanish war of succession. The Catalans support the Habsburgs. On 11 September 1714 is the day to surrender. As a result, Catalonia loses its self-government and many special rights. The day of capitulation today is a national holiday.

1808-1814 - Napoleon
Napoleon's troops destroy large parts of the city during the Spanish War of Independence.

Middle of the 19th century - Renaixença
So-called Renaixença (renewal). The National awareness of the Catalans lives. Barcelona is the most important industrial city in Spain.

1888 - 1st World Excibition
The first World Exposition held in Barcelona on the floor of the former citadel.

1914 - Catalan provincial government
A Catalan provincial government is proclaimed, which is abandoned in the 1925 by the military dictatorship.

1929 - 2nd World Exhibition
The second World Exhibition in Barcelona is on Montjuïc.

1932 - autonomy status
Catalonia has autonomy status. The 1936 to 1939 Spanish civil war ends the Catalan autonomy.

1939 - repression of Catalonia
The President of the general officers is executed by Franco. The Catalan way of life and language will now be brutally repressed.

1977 - demonstration of 1.5 Million
On 11 September 1977, the anniversary of the defeat in the war of succession 1714 and the related loss of independence was held in Barcleona the largest demonstration, which Europe had ever seen until then. Since 1939, it was banned under Franco, to celebrate the so-called Diada. Without great organised calls 1.5 million people poured in the Passeig de Gracia and demonstrated peacefully and in the absence of any police to the autonomous status and against a centralised government, nor held responsible for the persecution and oppression.

1979 - autonomous region
Catalonia is an autonomous region.

1986 - Spain enters the EU
Spain enters the EU. With the announcement of Barcelona as a venue for the Olympic Summer Games in 1992 a strong construction starts.

1992 - Olympic summer games
In the Year of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus Barcelona XXV. Olympic Summer Games are held in Barcelona. This has given the urban development a positive and visible pulse.

2004 - declaration as a bullfighting-free zone
Barcelona is declared as a bullfighting-free zone by the city administration. However, with no legal consequences: every Sunday at 19:00 this gruesome spectacle takes place in the bullring.

July 28, 2010 - bullfighting is banned
The corrida, the traditional Spanish bullfighting is banned in Catalonia, closing down the only bullring in Barcelona. Starting in 2012 there are no more bullfights allowed in Catalonia. The Catalan Parliament has voted a ban - with a large majority - on the perceived by many seen as cruel spectacle. Opponents of the ban see it as a revenge against the Spanish Supreme Court, which declared in a ruling some autonomy to be invalid.
On 25 September 2011, with the end of the season, the last bull was killed at a bullfight in Catalonia.

November 07, 2010 - inauguration of the Sagrada Familia
Pope Benedict XVI. inaugurates the Sagrada Familia. The church building is raised to a basilica.

11.09.2012 - demonstrating for the Catalonian independence
About 1.5 million peoble are demonstrating for the Catalonian independence.

25. července 1992 se v Barceloně ve Španělsku konají slavnostní zahájení her XXV olympiády. Olympijské hry v Barceloně byly vůbec první, kterých se mohli zúčastnit profesionální sportovci, a první hry od roku 1972, ve kterých soutěžily všechny členské země Mezinárodního olympijského výboru. Ve všech 169 zemích bylo postaveno týmy, nejvíce v historii olympijských her.

Letní olympijské hry 1992 přišly jen rok po rozpadu Sovětského svazu. Dvanáct bývalých sovětských států postavilo sjednocený tým, zatímco jiné, jako je Estonsko a Litva, uspořádaly své vlastní týmy poprvé od berlínských olympijských her v roce 1936. Bývalá jugoslávská území Bosna a Hercegovina Chorvatsko a Slovinsko se poprvé účastnilo pod vlastními vlajkami. Navíc se Jižní Afrika zúčastnila olympijských her poprvé od roku 1960, kdy byla zakázána na protest proti její rasistické apartheidové politice.

Jedním z nejočekávanějších představení her v roce 1992 bylo představení amerického mužského basketbalového týmu přezdívaného „The Dream Team“. Mezinárodní hvězdy Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird a Charles Barkley soutěžily spolu s dalšími 11 dalšími hvězdami NBA All-Stars a Duke University standout Christian Laettner. Tým školil svou konkurenci, hráči, kteří byli v mnoha případech jen nadšeni, že jsou s nimi na stejném hřišti. Například před americkou hrou proti Angole si angolští hráči představovali obrázky s americkou konkurencí a žádali o autogramy. Američané byli uvolnění, sebevědomí a po vedení neskutečného Barkleyho si často žertovali s tiskem, svými protivníky a navzájem. Dream Team získal zlato snadno a porazil své soupeře v průměru o 44 bodů.

Dalším historickým představením byla etiopská Derartu Tulu, vítězka 10 000 metrů, která se stala první černou africkou ženou, která kdy získala olympijskou medaili. Poté sdílela vítězný kolo s bílým jihoafrickým konkurentem Elanou Meyer jako uznání a oslavu nedávného zrušení apartheidu v Jižní Africe a jako symbolické gesto africké jednoty.

K dalším nezapomenutelným okamžikům z barcelonských her patřilo druhé nepřetržité heptathlonové vítězství americké Jackie Joyner-Kersee Carl Lewis je třetí po sobě jdoucí zlato v dlouhém skoku a hostitelskou zemi výkon španělské zlaté medaile v mužském fotbale.


In the years that followed the 1988 Games, the world witnessed important political changes. Apartheid was abolished in South Africa, which allowed the country to participate in the Olympic Games again, for the first time since 1960. Then there was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of West and East Germany, as well as North and South Yemen. Communism was wiped out in the Soviet Union and the USSR was divided into 15 separate countries.

At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the independent teams of Estonia and Latvia made their first apparition since 1936, and Lithuania sent its first team since 1928. The other ex-Soviet republics participated as a "unified team", although the winners were honoured under the flags of their own republics.


For the first time since 1972, the Games were boycott-free, due to important global political changes.

Newcomers and Youngsters

Baseball debuted as a full medal discipline having appeared as an exhibition (or demonstration) sport at six previous Games. Badminton and women’s judo were also added to the Olympic programme, and Spain’s coxswain in the eights, 11-year-old Carlos Front, became the youngest Olympic competitor since 1900.

Memorable Champions

Men's basketball became open to all professionals and the U.S. sent a "Dream Team" of superstars, including Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Needless to say, they dominated the event and won gold. Another impressive performer was gymnast Vitaly Scherbo, who won six golds, including four in one day.

African Hope

In the last lap of the 10,000m final, Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia darted into the lead and went on to win. At the finishing line, she waited for her opponent Elana Meyer, a white South African. They set off hand-in-hand for a victory lap that symbolised hope for a new Africa.

Athletes: 9,356 (2,704 women, 6,652 men)

Events: 257

Volunteers: 34,548

Media: 13,082 media (5,131 written press, 7,951 broadcasters)


Andreas Keller of the gold medal-winning German field hockey team was the third generation of his family to win a medal in the event. His grandfather, Erwin, earned a silver medal in 1936 and his father, Carsten, a gold in 1972.


The only controversy concerned Yugoslavia, which was the subject of United Nations sanctions because of its military aggression against Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the end, Yugoslavia was banned from taking part in any team sports, but individual Yugoslav athletes were allowed to compete as "independent Olympic participants". Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina competed as separate nations for the first time.


In the men's coxed eights rowing final, Canada beat Romania by less than 30 centimetres—one of the closest rowing final in Olympic history.


Another close contest was the women's 100m sprint. Merlene Ottey (JAM) finished only six-hundredths of a second behind the winner, Gail Devers (USA), and yet she ended up in only fifth place.

The Truce

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched an appeal for the observance of the Olympic Truce for the first time.


Baseball, which had appeared as an exhibition (or demonstration) sport at six Olympic Games, finally achieves medal status. During the 95th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), held in Puerto Rico in 1989, it was decided that demonstration sports would be eliminated definitively from the 1996 Atlanta Games onwards.

Up until the 1992, Olympic Games (Barcelona and Albertville), the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) could integrate demonstration sports into the Olympic programme. However, the organisation of these demonstrations created a lot of extra work for the OCOGs, which had to provide services that were almost identical to those for the sports on the Olympic programme.

New on the Programme

Badminton and women's judo are also added to the Olympic programme.


Spain's coxswain in the eights, 11-year-old Carlos Front, was the youngest competitor in the Olympic Games since 1900.


25 July 1992, Barcelona. Acts at the Opening Ceremony. Puppets with the colours of the Games' logo.

How the Olympic Opening Ceremonies Work

The opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games aren't just about pageantry and the parade of nations. The 1920 Summer Olympic Games were held in Antwerp, and the people of Belgium were proud to show that despite the vast devastation of World War I, the horrors of that conflict hadn't broken their spirits.

Fast-forward to 1964, and the citizens of Japan had a similar statement to make. Their final torchbearer was a young man named Yoshinori Sakai. He was born on Aug. 6, 1945, in Hiroshima — the very day that city was struck by an atomic bomb.

The Olympics in general can also be a way for nations to take a stand against perceived injustices. In 1980, for example, 65 countries refused to take part in the Moscow Summer Olympic Games [source: Time]. They were protesting the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. In fact, the '70s and '80s were a hard time for many hopeful Olympians. The 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona marked the first time in 20 years that no countries felt the need to boycott the games.

And let's use the 1992 Barcelona opening ceremony to showcase just one of the many impressive feats and performances that have occurred over the years during the commencement rituals of the games. During most ceremonies, the Olympic cauldron is lit by a torch, which is hand-delivered by some famous person or olympian. The Spaniards took an impressive gamble: Their cauldron was lit from afar by an archer with a flaming arrow. Talk about pressure to make the shot! At the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, famed boxer Muhammad Ali who won the gold medal as Cassius Clay in Rome in 1960, brought down the house when he lit the cauldron to start the games there.

But during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, it was three-time gold-medalists figure skater Irina Rodnina and hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak that had the honors. And they did not disappoint. The cauldron was lit in what was also quite a display of theatrics and pyrotechnical feats.

The Evolution of the Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games have evolved greatly over the years. It wasn't until the 1908 Summer Olympic Games in London, for example, that it became a tradition for the Greek delegation to lead the parade of nations and the host country's delegation to enter as the finale. Now that's how it's always done.

The Olympic flag and oath weren't unfurled until the 1920 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, and the cauldron lighting didn't become customary until the 1928 Summer Olympic Games in Amsterdam. And even then, there wasn't a torch relay until the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin [source: Time].

Another major aspect that's changed is how much money a nation needs to shell out in order to stage the opening ceremonies. Well, technically they don't have to spend extravagantly, but with billions of eyes glued to TV screens around the world and their reputations supposedly on the line, Olympic organizers tend to pull out all the stops. London's 2012 Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony alone reportedly cost more than 80 million pounds (more than $124 million) [source: Williams]. Quite a change from when the city hosted the post-World War II games in 1948, which were nicknamed the Austerity Games.

Nowadays, the opening ceremonies have several components that are pretty much fixed. We'll go through the rundown on the next page.

What to Expect in the Opening Ceremonies Today

Modern opening ceremonies feature several standard components, including the following:

  • The parade of nations
  • A speech delivered by the president of the games' organizing committee
  • A speech delivered by the president of the International Olympic Committee
  • The playing of the Olympic anthem
  • The raising of the Olympic flag
  • The finale of the torch relay
  • The lighting of the cauldron
  • The emblematic releasing of the pigeons
  • The declaration of the Olympic Oath
  • The national anthem of the host nation
  • The artistic program

Perhaps the most memorable part of any opening ceremony is its artistic program. Usually the details of the performance are kept top secret until it begins. This segment of the ceremony is the host city's chance to show off its culture and history on the global stage. Take the unforgettable opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing: 91,000 people packed the stadium nicknamed the Bird's Nest and watched as 5,000 years of Chinese history played out before their eyes.

Among the many components of the show, 2,008 drummers beat out a mesmerizing tune in perfect synchronization on percussive instruments constructed in an ancient fashion. Giant blocks representing printing blocks rose from the stadium floor and assembled into a model of the Great Wall of China. Oarsmen armed with giant paddles rowed their way up the Silk Road. All in all, some 14,000 participants performed in the ceremony, some who had been practicing and perfecting their performance for two entire years [source: Henderson].

But back to the rest of the ceremony. During the parade of nations, between the Greeks and the athletes from the host country, the rest of the delegations enter in alphabetical order — based on the language of the host country. Each delegation is fronted by both a board with the country's name and its flag. It is a great honor for an athlete to be chosen to carry his or her country's flag.

Another staple is the arrival of the torch at the stadium to light the cauldron. Pigeons — symbolizing peace — are released following that. (They used to be set free before the cauldron was lit, but several unfortunate avians got toasted one year, hence the swap.) An athlete and an official also take the Olympic Oath. The purpose of this is to pledge adherence to the rules of the games and to promise standards of good sportsmanship. One athlete from the nation hosting the games recites the pledge on behalf of all the athletes competing in that Olympiad.

Once all these components of the opening ceremony occur, the host country's head of state proclaims the games open, and it's the athletes' turn to shine.

The International Olympic Committee's Olympic Charter specifies that the opening of the games should be announced as such. For the summer games, the host country's head of state must say: "I declare open the Games of . (name of the host city) celebrating the . (number of the Olympiad) . Olympiad of the modern era." If it is for the winter games, it must go like this: "I declare open the . (number of the Olympic Winter Games) Olympic Winter Games of . (name of the host city)." [source: IOC].

Opening of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona - HISTORY

Hosting the 1992 Olympic Games &ldquototally transformed&rdquo Barcelona, according to the city&rsquos mayor, Xavier Trias. Speaking at the Global Sports Forum in March 2012, Trias revealed how the Games created a long-term sporting legacy for the city.

&ldquoWe have been very committed to sport for a long, long time now,&rdquo said Trias. &ldquoIt all started with the 1992 Olympic Games, which totally transformed our city. There was a great effort from the city council and the society of Barcelona who really threw their weight behind the Games.

&ldquoIn Barcelona, holding major sports competitions is now a key part of our development and I&rsquom convinced that sport is the perfect way to inject life into a city, to improve its well-being and to put it on the international stage.

&ldquoThe capacity for organising events in our city just grows and grows. Every weekend there is some kind of sporting event going on in Barcelona and more than 40,000 girls and boys take part in competitions organised here.

&ldquoOur marathon, for example, has grown by 20 per cent with every edition. This is not happening by chance. We&rsquove really thrown our weight behind increasing participation in sport for everyone, especially those who are suffering physical or economic difficulties, and that is where we will continue to invest in sport.&rdquo

Barcelona&rsquos Deputy Mayor of Quality of Life, Equality and Sports, Maite Fandos, also hailed the positive impact of hosting the 1992 Games, highlighting the confidence and global exposure that the city gained from staging the event.

&ldquoWhen you see you can host an edition of the Olympic Games &ndash and 1992 was the best in history in our view &ndash it gives you great self-esteem,&rdquo she said at the Global Sports Forum. &ldquoIt placed us on the world map from a sporting point-of-view and led to other events coming to the city.&rdquo

Fandos also highlighted the economic benefits that Barcelona has enjoyed as a result of the 1992 Games.

"What is amazing is the breadth of impact that the Olympic Games can have &ndash not only as a sporting event but also in terms of economic regeneration," she said. "They create a significant amount of jobs for local people. Equally, the Games are a unique opportunity to showcase the city to the world because hosting the Games successfully helps bring both sporting and non-sporting events to the city.

"Barcelona is the inspiration for any city holding an Olympic Games after what happened in 1992.&rdquo

India in XXV Olympics 1992

Issued by India

Issued on Aug 8, 1992

Description of Designs :
Stamp : Pulak Biswas
First Day Cover : Shankha Samant
Cancellation : Shankha Samant

Type : Stamps, Mint Condition

Colour : Multi Colour

Denomination : 100 , 600 , 800 & 1100 Paise

Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Imported Un W/M gravure coated Gummed Stamp Paper

Number Printed : 10,00,000

Number per issue sheet : 35

Printing Process : Photogravure

Printer : India Security Press

Games of the XXV Olympiad Held in Barcelona, Spain

The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain in 1992.

Barcelona, the birthplace of then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, was selected over Amsterdam, Belgrade, Birmingham, Brisbane and Paris in Lausanne, Switzerland, on October 17, 1986, during the 91st IOC Session. It had bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics, losing out to Berlin.

169 nations sent athletes to compete in these Games. With the Collapse of the Soviet Union, twelve states formed a Unified Team, while the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had their own teams. Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina competed as independent nations after separation from Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was banned due to UN sanctions, but individual Yugoslav athletes were allowed to take part as Independent Olympic Participants.

There were two main musical themes of the 1992 Games. One was "Barcelona", composed five years earlier by Freddie Mercury and sung as a duet with Montserrat Caballé. The duo were to have performed the song during the opening ceremony, but due to Mercury's untimely death eight months earlier, the song's recording was played over a travelogue of the city at the start of the opening ceremony. The other was "Amigos Para Siempre" (Friends for Life), written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black, and sung by Sarah Brightman and José Carreras during the closing ceremonies.

The official mascot was Cobi, a Catalan sheepdog in cubist style designed by Javier Mariscal.

1992. július 25-én, a spanyolországi Barcelonában tartják a XXV Olimpia Játékának megnyitóját. A barcelonai olimpia volt az első olyan professzionális sportolók, ahol 1972 óta részt vettek, és a Nemzetközi Olimpiai Bizottság minden tagállama versenyezött. Összesen 169 ország csapata csapatokat, a legtöbb az olimpia történetében.

Az 1992-es nyári olimpia csak egy évvel a Szovjetunió felbomlása után jött. Tizenkét volt szovjet állam egységes csapatot alkotott, míg mások, mint például Észtország és Litvánia, az 1936-os berlini olimpia óta először jelentek meg a saját csapatukkal. Bosznia és Hercegovina volt jugoszláv területek Horvátország és Szlovénia először vett részt saját zászlójuk alatt. Ezenkívül Dél-Afrika 1960 óta először vett részt az olimpián, amikor azt tiltották rasszista apartheid-politikája ellen.

Az 1992. évi játékok egyik legvártabb előadása az Egyesült Államok férfi kosárlabdacsapa, a „The Dream Team” beceneve volt. Nemzetközi sztárok, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird és Charles Barkley versenyeztek 11 másik NBA All-Stars és a Duke University mellett. kiemelkedő Christian Laettner. A csapat beváltotta a versenyt, olyan játékosok, akik sok esetben csak izgatottak voltak, hogy velük egyazon udvaron legyenek. Például az Angola elleni amerikai játék előtt az angolai játékosok képeket pózoltak az amerikai versenyükkel és autogramot kértek. Az amerikaiak a maga részéről nyugodtak, magabiztosak voltak, és a lelkes Barkley vezetése után gyakran vicceltek a sajtóval, ellenfeleikkel és egymással. A Dream Team könnyedén megnyerte az aranyat, átlagban 44 ponttal verte meg ellenfeleit.

Egy másik történelmi előadást Derartu Tulu (etiópia) tett, a 10 000 méteres győztes, aki az első fekete afrikai nő volt, aki valaha olimpiai érmet nyert. Ezt követően megosztotta győzelmi körét a fehér dél-afrikai versenytársakkal, Elana Meyer-kel, elismerve és ünnepelve Dél-Afrika apartheid közelmúltbeli eltörlését, valamint az afrikai egység szimbolikus gesztusaként.

A barcelonai játékok emlékezetes pillanatai között szerepelt az amerikai Jackie Joyner-Kersee második egymást követő heptontoni győzelme Carl Lewis harmadik egymást követő aranya a távolugrásban és a fogadó ország Spanyolország aranyérmes teljesítménye a férfi futballban.

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Watch the video: Barcelona 1992 Opening Ceremony - Full Length. Barcelona 1992 Replays (January 2022).