Thursday, July 25, 2013

1992 Summer Olympic Games Kick Off

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

The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same year since 1924, and place them in alternating even-numbered years, beginning in 1994. The 1992 Summer Games were the last to be staged in the same year as the Winter Games.

Due to the end of the Cold War, these games were the first without boycotts since 1972.
Some of the highlights from the 1992 Olympic games follow.

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 Ethiopian 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 Union had been dissolved in 1991, the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 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 Yugoslavia led to the Olympic debuts of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to United Nations sanctions, FR Yugoslavian athletes were not allowed to participate with their own team. However, individual athletes could compete under the Olympic flag as Independent Olympic Participants.

In the diving competitions, held in the view of the Sagrada Família, Chinese Fu Mingxia won the high dive event at the age of 13, becoming the youngest Gold medalist at the Olympics of all time.
In men's artistic gymnastics, Vitaly Scherbo from Belarus, 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 break this record in 2008.

Evelyn Ashford won her fourth Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 meter relay, making her one of only four female athletes to have achieved this in history.

In women's 200-meters breaststroke, Kyoko Iwasaki of Japan won a gold medal at age of 14 years and six days, becoming 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.

Roller hockey became a demonstration sport in the 1992 Games, with Argentina winning the Gold medal.

On the twentieth anniversary of the Munich massacre and the five hundreadth anniversary of the Alhambra Decree, Yael Arad became the first Israeli 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.

Gail Devers won the 100-meter dash in one of the closest races in history. 5 women finished within 0.06 seconds of each other.

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. The Dream Team, which easily won the gold medal, would be inducted as a unit into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Two gold medals were awarded in solo synchronized swimming, after a scoring error in which a judge inadvertently entered an 8.7 instead of the intended 9.7 in the computerized scoring system for one of Sylvie Fréchette's figures. An immediate protest to FINA was unsuccessful. The error ultimately placed Fréchette second, unable to catch Kristen Babb-Sprague for the gold medal. In December 1993, however, FINA awarded Fréchette a gold medal, replacing her silver medal and leaving the two swimmers both with gold.

The Unified Team won the most Gold medals and total medals with 112 total consisting of 45 Gold, 38 Silver and 29 Bronze medals.

The United States placed second in Gold medals and total medals with 108 total consisting of 37 Gold, 34 Silver and 37 Bronze medals.

Germany placed third in Gold medals and total medals with 82 total consisting of 33 Gold, 21 Silver and 28 Bronze medals.