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The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelonamarker, Cataloniamarker, Spainmarker in 1992.

Host city selection

Barcelona, the birthplace of then-IOCmarker president Juan Antonio Samaranch, was selected over Amsterdammarker, Belgrademarker, Birminghammarker, Brisbanemarker and Parismarker in Lausannemarker, Switzerlandmarker, on October 17, 1986, during the 91st IOC Session. It had bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics, losing out to Berlinmarker. The chart's information below comes from the International Olympic Committee Vote History web page.

1992 Summer Olympics bidding results
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Barcelonamarker 29 37 47
Parismarker 19 20 23
Brisbanemarker 11 9 10
Belgrademarker 13 11 5
Birminghammarker 8 8 -
Amsterdammarker 5 - -


  • The Olympic flame cauldron was figuratively lit by the Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo, who shot an arrow lit by the last torch runner into it. (In reality, Rebollo deliberately overshot the cauldron for safety of the spectators and the flame was lit by other means.)
  • South Africa was allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time since the 1960 Games, after a long suspension for its apartheid policy. White South African runner Elana Meyer and black Ethiopianmarker runner Derartu Tulu fought a close race in the 10,000 m (won by Tulu) and then ran a victory lap hand in hand.
  • Following its reunification in 1990, Germany sent a single, unified Olympic team for the first time since the 1964 Games.
  • As the Soviet Unionmarker had been dissolved in 1991, the Baltic nations of Estoniamarker, Latviamarker and Lithuaniamarker sent their own teams for the first time since 1936. The other Soviet republics competed under the name "Unified Team."
  • The break-up of SFR Yugoslaviamarker led to the Olympic debuts of Croatiamarker, Sloveniamarker and Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker. Due to United Nations sanctions, FR Yugoslavianmarker athletes were not allowed to participate with their own team. However, individual athletes could compete under the Olympic flag as Independent Olympic Participants.
  • In men's artistic gymnastics, Vitaly Scherbo from Belarusmarker, representing the Unified Team, won six gold medals, including four on a single day. Five of the six golds were in individual events, tying Eric Heiden's record for individual gold medals at a single Olympics (Michael Phelps would tie this record in 2008).
  • In women's artistic gymnastics, Tatiana Gutsu took gold in the All-Around competition edging the United States' Shannon Miller.
  • In the diving competitions, held in the view of the Sagrada Família, Fu Mingxia won the high dive event at the age of 13.
  • Russian swimmers dominated the freestyle events, with Alexander Popov and Yevgeny Sadovyi each winning two events (Sadovyi won a third with in the relays).
  • Evelyn Ashford won her fourth Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 metre relay, making her one of only four female athletes to have achieved this in history.
  • The young Krisztina Egerszegi of Hungarymarker won three individual swimming gold medals.
  • In women's 200 metres breaststroke, Kyoko Iwasaki of Japanmarker won a gold medal at age of 14 years and 6 days, became the youngest-ever gold medalist in swimming competitions at the Olympics.
  • After being demonstrated six times, baseball became an Olympic sport, with Cuba winning the gold medal, Chinese Taipei winning silver, and Japan, the bronze.
  • Badminton and women's judo became part of the Olympic programme, while slalom canoeing returned to the Games after a 20-year absence.
  • Roller hockey became a demonstration sport in the 1992 Games. Argentina won the gold medal. Basque pelota and taekwondo were also demonstration sports.
  • Chris Boardman won the 4000M individual pursuit track cycling event for Great Britainmarker.
  • Linford Christie finally won gold in the 100m, at 32 years old the oldest champion of the Olympic 100m.
  • Several of the U.S. men's volleyball gold medal team from the 1988 Olympics returned to vie for another medal. In the first round, they lost a controversial match to Japan, sparking them to shave their heads in protest (including Steve Timmons, sacrificing his trademark red flattop for the protest).
  • Mike Stulce of the USA won the men's shot put, beating heavy favored Werner Günthör of Switzerland.
  • On the 20th anniversary of the Munich massacremarker and the 500th anniversary of the Alhambra Decree, Yael Arad became the first Israelimarker to win an Olympic medal, winning a silver medal in judo. The next day, Oren Smadja became Israel's first male medalist, winning a bronze in the same sport.
  • Derek Redmond of Great Britain tore a hamstring during a 400m semi-final heat. As he struggled to finish the race, his father entered the track without credentials and helped him complete the race, to a standing ovation from the crowd.
  • Sergey Bubka had won gold in the men's pole vault in Seoul 1988, setting an Olympic record. He was favored to easily take the gold again, but he left Barcelona empty-handed, failing to make any height in the pole vault. He failed in all his attempts. During the post-Olympic season, Bubka would set his 31st and 32nd world records.
  • In basketball, the admittance of professional players led to the formation of the "Dream Team" of the United States, featuring Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and other NBA stars.


Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc

Medals awarded

See the medal winners, ordered by sport:

Demonstration sports

Participating nations

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. Yugoslaviamarker was banned due to UN sanctions, but individual Yugoslav athletes were allowed to take part as Independent Olympic Participants.

Medal count

These are the top medal-collecting nations for the 1992 Games. (Host country is highlighted):
1 45 38 29 112
2 37 34 37 108
3 33 21 28 82
4 16 22 16 54
5 14 6 11 31
6 13 7 2 22
7 12 5 12 29
8 11 12 7 30
9 8 5 16 29
10 7 9 11 27

Effect on the city

The celebration of the 1992 Olympic Games had an enormous impact on the urbanism and external projection of the city of Barcelona. The Games enabled billionaire inversions in infrastructures that are considered to have improved the quality of life and attraction of the city for investments and tourism, making Barcelona become one of the most visited cities in Europe after Londonmarker, Parismarker and Romemarker.

The nomination of the city as organizer was the spark that led to the application of a previously elaborated ambitious urban plan. Barcelona was opened to the sea with the construction of the Olympic Village and Olympic Port in Poblenou, a decayed neighbourhood. Various new centres were created, and modern sports facilities were built in the Olympic zones of Montjuïcmarker, Diagonalmarker, and Vall d'Hebronmarker. The construction of ring roads around the city helped reduce the density of the traffic, and El Prat airportmarker was modernized and expanded as two new terminals were opened. New hotels were built and some old ones were refurbished.

Songs and themes

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.

See also



External links

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