Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Olympic (1896-2004) Part 3 of 3

1976 - Montreal, Canada (XXI Olympiad)

Opening date: 17 July 1976
Closing date: 01 August 1976
Country of the host city: Canada (CAN)
Candidate cities: Los Angeles (USA) and Moscow (URSS)

92 NOCs (Nations)
6,084 athletes (1,260 women, 4,824 men)
198 events

Official opening of the Games by: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Stphane Prfontaine and Sandra Henderson (two athletes aged 16 and 15).
Olympic Oath by: Pierre Saint-Jean (weightlifting)
Official Oath by: Maurice Forget (athletics)

The 1976 Montreal Games were marred by an African boycott to protest the fact that the national rugby team of New Zealand had toured South Africa and New Zealand was scheduled to compete in the Olympics.

Women’s events were included for the first time in basketball, rowing and team handball. Fourteen-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania caused a sensation when, for her performance on the uneven bars, she was awarded the first-ever perfect score of 10.0. She eventually earned seven 10.0s. On the men’s side, Japan’s Shun Fujimoto broke his leg while completing his floor exercises routine. The Japanese team was engaged in a close contest with the Soviet Union, so Fujimoto kept his injury secret. But when he dismounted from the rings, he dislocated his knee and was forced to withdraw. The Japanese women’s volleyball team won all their matches in straight sets, and in only one of fifteen games did an opponent score in double figures. Individual stars included Klaus Dibiasi of Italy, who won his third straight gold medal in platform diving; Viktor Saneyev of Soviet Georgia, who won his third triple jump gold; and Irena Szewinska of Poland, winner of the 400m run, who brought her career total to seven medals - in five different events.

Alberto Juantorena of Cuba put together the first 40m-800m double victory. Miklos Nmeth of Hungary won the javelin throw to become the first son of an athletics gold medalist to win a gold of his own. His father, Imre, had won the hammer throw in 1948. Clarence Hill of Bermuda earned a bronze medal in boxing’s super-heavyweight division to give Bermuda the honor of being the least populous nation (53,500) ever to win a medal in the Summer Olympics.

1980 - Moscow, USSR (XXII Olympiad)

Opening date: 19 July 1980
Closing date: 03 August 1980
Country of the host city: USSR (URS)
Candidate cities: Los Angeles (USA)

80 NOCs (Nations)
5,179 athletes (1,115 women, 4,064 men)
203 events5,615 media (2,685 written press, 2,930 broadcasters)

Official opening of the Games by: President Leonid Brezhnev
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Sergei Belov (basketball)
Olympic Oath by: Nikolay Andrianov (gymnastics)
Official Oath by: Aleksandr Medved (wrestling)

A U.S.-led boycott reduced the number of participating nations to 80, the lowest number since 1956. Aleksandr Dityatin earned medals in every men's gymnastics event to become the only athlete ever to win eight medals in one Olympics. Super-heavyweight Te?filo Stevenson became the first boxer to win the same division three times. Gerd Wessig became the first male high jumper to break the world record at the Olympics and swimmer Vladimir Salnikov broke the 15-minute barrier for the 1,500m. In adramatic confrontation, runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe split the 800 and 1,500m.

1984 - Los Angeles, USA (XXIII Olympiad)

Opening date: 28 July 1984
Closing date: 12 August 1984
Country of the host city: United States of America (USA)
Candidate cities: There were no candidate cities.

140 NOCs (Nations)
6,829 athletes (1,566 women, 5,263 men)
221 events
28,742 volunteers
9,190 media (4,327 written press, 4,863 broadcasters)

Official opening of the Games by: President of the United States of America Ronald Reagan Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Rafer Johnson (decathlete) Olympic Oath by: Edwin Moses (athletics)
Official Oath by: Sharon Weber (gymnastics)

Although a revenge boycott led by the Soviet Union depleted the field in certain sports, a record 140 nations took part. Joan Benoit won the inaugural women's marathon and Connie Carpenter-Phinney the first women's cycling road race. Carl Lewis won both sprints and the long jump and earned a fourth gold in the 4x100m relay. Pertti Karppinen won single sculls rowing for the third time. Sebastian Coe became the first repeat winner of the men's 1,500m. Archer Neroli Fairhall was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event. She competed in a wheelchair.

1988 - Seoul, Korea (XXIV Olympiad)

Opening date: 17 September 1988
Closing date: 02 October 1988
Country of the host city: Korea (KOR)
Candidate cities: Nagoya (JPN)

159 NOCs (Nations)
8,391 athletes (2,194 women, 6,197 men)
237 events
27,221 volunteers
11,331 media (4,978 written press, 6,353 broadcasters)

Official opening of the Games by: President Roh Tae-woo
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Chong Son-man, Kim Won-tak, Son Mi-jong (athletics)
Olympic Oath by: Hur Jae (basketball), Son Mi-na (handball)
Official Oath by: Lee Hak-rae (judo)

Although the drug disqualification of sprinter Ben Johnson was the biggest story of the 1988 Olympics, the Seoul Games were highlighted by numerous exceptional performances. Christa Luding-Rothenburger, who was also a speed skater, earned a silver medal in cycling to become the only person in history to win Winter and Summer medals in the same year. Steffi Graf concluded her Grand Slam tennis season by winning Olympic gold. Greg Louganis repeated victories in both diving events. Florence Griffith-Joyner dominated the sprints. For the first time, all the medalists in dressage were women.

1992 - Barcelona, Spain (XXV Olympiad)

Opening date: 25 July 1992
Closing date: 09 August 1992
Country of the host city: Spain (ESP)
Candidate cities: Amsterdam (NED), Belgrade (YUG), Birmingham (GBR), Brisbane (AUS) and Paris (FRA)

169 NOCs (Nations)
9,356 athletes (2,704 women, 6,652 men)
257 events
34,548 volunteers
13,082 media (5,131 written press, 7,951 broadcasters)

Official opening of the Games by: His Majesty King Juan Carlos I
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Antonio Rebollo (paralympic archer)
Olympic Oath by: Luis Doreste Blanco (sailing)
Official Oath by: Eugeni Asencio (water polo)

Men's basketball was open to all professionals, and the US sent a "Dream Team" that included Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Gymnast Vitaly Scherbo won six gold medals, including a record four in one day. Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia won the 10,000m run to become the first female black African Olympic champion. Her victory lap with silver medallist Elana Meyer, a white South African, symbolised hope for the future of the Olympic Movement.

1996 - Atlanta, Canada (XXVI Olympiad)

Opening date: 19 July 1996
Closing date: 04 August 1996
Country of the host city: United States of America (USA)
Candidate cities: Athens (GRE), Belgrade (YUG), Manchester (GBR), Melbourne (AUS) and Toronto (CAN)

197 NOCs (Nations)
10,318 athletes (3,512 women, 6,806 men)
271 events
47,466 volunteers
15,108 media (5,695 written press, 9,413 broadcasters)

Official opening of the Games by: President Bill Clinton
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Muhammad Ali (boxing)
Olympic Oath by: Teresa Edwards (basketball)
Official Oath by: Hobie Billingsly (diving)

The 1996 Games were given a dramatic start when the cauldron was lit by Muhammad Ali. On 27 July during a concert held in the Centennial Olympic Park, a terrorist bomb killed one person and injured a further 110 people, but the Atlanta Games are best remembered for their sporting achievements. A record-setting 79 nations won medals and 53 won gold. Carl Lewis became only the third person to win the same individual event four times and the fourth person to earn a ninth gold medal. Naim Suleymanoglu became the first weightlifter to win a third gold medal. Michael Johnson smashed the 200m world record to complete a 200m and 400m double.

2000 - Sydney, Australia (XXVII Olympiad)

Opening date: 15 September 2000
Closing date: 01 October 2000
Country of the host city: Australia (AUS)
Candidate cities: Beijing (CHN), Berlin (GER), Istanbul (TUR) and Manchester (GBR)

199 NOCs (Nations) and 4 individual athletes (IOA)
10,651 athletes (4,069 women, 6,582 men)
300 events
46,967 volunteers
16,033 media (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters)

Official opening of the Games by: Sir William Deane, Governor General of Australia
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: Cathy Freeman (athletics)
Olympic Oath by: Rechelle Hawkes (hockey)
Official Oath by: Peter Kerr (water polo)

The Sydney 2000 Games were the largest yet, with 10,651 athletes competing in 300 events. Despite their size, they were well organised, renewing faith in the Olympic Movement. Birgit Fischer earned two gold medals in Kayak to become the first woman in any sport to win medals 20 years apart. Judoka Ryoko Tamura lost in the final in both Barcelona and Atlanta, but came back to win the gold medal in Sydney. Steven Redgrave became the first rower to win gold medals at five consecutive Olympics. The US softball team won in stirring fashion, losing three games in a row and then coming back to defeat each of the teams they had lost to. Participation: 199 NOCs (Nations) and 4 individual athletes (IOA) 10,651 athletes (4,069 women, 6,582 men) 300 events 46,967 volunteers 16,033 media (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters)

2004 - Athens, Greece (XXVIII Olympiad)

Opening date: 13 August 2004
Closing date: 29 August 2004
Country of the host city: Greece (GRE)
Candidate cities: Buenos Aires (ARG), CapeTown (RSA), Rome (ITA) and Stockholm (SWE)

201 NOCs (Nations)
10,625 athletes (4,329 women, 6,296 men)
301 events 45,000 volunteers
21,500 media

Official opening of the Games by: President of the Hellenic Republic Konstantinos Stephanopoulos
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: The torchbearers were: Nikos Galis (basketball), Dimitrios Domazos (football), Paraskevi Patoulidou (athletics), Akakios Kachiasvilis (weightlifting), Ioannis Melissanidis (artistic gymnastics), Nikolaos Kaklamanakis (sailing)
Olympic Oath by: Zoi Dimoschaki (swimming) - 19 years old
Official Oath by: Lazaros Voreadis (basketball referee)

In 2004 the Olympic Games returned to Greece, the home of both the ancient Olympics and the first modern Olympics. For the first time ever a record 201 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated in the Olympic Games. The overall tally for events on the programme was 301 (one more than in Sydney 2000). Popularity in the Games reached soared to new highs as 3.9 billion people had access to the television coverage compared to 3.6 billion for Sydney 2000. Women's wrestling was included in the program for the first time. Swimmer Michael Phelps won 6 gold medals and set a single-Games record with 8 total medals. Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel became the first female cyclist to earn 4 career gold medals and 6 total medals, while canoeist Birgit Fischer became the first athlete in any sport to win two medals in each of 5 Olympics. Runner Hicham El Guerrouj won both the 1,500m and the 5,000m, while on the women's side Kelly Holmes triumphed in both the 800m and the 1,500m. In team play, Argentina won the men's football tournament without giving up a goal, and the U.S. softball team won by outscoring their opponents 51-1.

2008 - Beijing China (XXIX Olympiad)


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