The bottom line
After the financial problems of 1976, only Los Angeles bid for the right to host the 1984 Olympic Games. The bid was criticised for depending heavily on existing facilities and corporate sponsors. However, the Games produced a healthy profit of USD 223 million and became the model for future Games.
No boycott blues
Although a revenge boycott led by the Soviet Union depleted the field in certain sports, 140 National Olympic Committees took part, which was a record at the time. Good feelings prevailed to such an extent that at the Opening Ceremony the athletes broke ranks to join in spontaneous dancing, something usually reserved for the Closing Ceremony.
Debuts and firsts
Archer Neroli Fairhall of New Zealand was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event, competing in a wheelchair. The first Olympic women’s marathon was staged, and was won by Joan Benoit of the US. Rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised swimming and the women’s cycling road race also made their debuts.
Carl Lewis entered the history books by matching the Berlin 1936 achievement of fellow American Jesse Owens, winning gold medals in the same four events: 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.
Athletes: 6,829 (1,566 women, 5,263 men)
Media: 9,190 media (4,327 written press, 4,863 broadcasters)
After the terrorist attack in 1972 and the financial disaster of 1976, only Los Angeles bid for the right to host the 1984 Olympic Games. As the Los Angeles Games were the first since 1896 to be staged without government financing, the organisers depended heavily on existing facilities and corporate sponsors. Although criticised at the time, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games became the model for future Games, particularly after it was revealed that they had produced a profit of US$ 223 million.
The Soviet Boycott
With the Olympics being held in the United States only four years after the U.S.- led boycott of the Moscow Games, it was not surprising that the Soviet Union organised a revenge boycott in 1984. This time only 14 nations stayed away - but those nations accounted for 58% of the gold medals at the 1976 Olympics.
A Big Enthusiasm
Despite the boycott, a record 140 nations took part. Good feelings prevailed to such an extent that at the Opening Ceremony the athletes broke ranks to join in spontaneous dancing, such celebration usually being reserved for the Closing Ceremony.
An oddity occurred in men’s 400m freestyle swimming. Beginning in 1984 and until 1996, the eight fastest qualifiers took part in the “A” final and the ninth to sixteenth fastest swam in a consolation “B” final. For the only time in Olympic history, the winner of the “B” final, Thomas Fahrner (FRG) recorded a faster time than the winner of the “A” final.
Marathon for women
Fifty-six years after doctors declared that women who ran 800m would “become old too soon,” a women’s marathon was added to the Olympic programme.
New on the programme
Rhythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming also made their first appearance, as did the women’s cycling road race.
Diplomas of Honour are awarded to the top eight finishers in each event
Los Angeles 28 July 1984 : the spectacle. The brass band " All american Marching Band ".
Official opening of the Games by:
President of the United States of America Ronald Reagan
Lighting the Olympic Flame by:
Rafer Johnson (athletics)
Olympic Oath by:
Edwin Moses (athletics)
Official Oath by:
Sharon Weber (artistic gymnastics)
The star is a universal symbol of the highest aspirations of mankind, the horizontal bars portray the speed with which the contestants pursue the excellence, while the repetition of the star shape connotes the spirit of competition between equally outstanding physical forms. The symbol colours - blue, white and red - were in part chosen for their traditional significance in the awarding of prizes for first, second and third place.
The medals for 1984 were an adaptation of the original design by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli created for the 1928 Games in Amsterdam. The obverse of the medal features the ancient coliseum and the goddess of victory holding a winner's crown. The reverse of the medal features a victorious athlete, a palm branch carried by jubilant athletes, and a stadium in the background.More info
Number of torchbearers:
3 636 in United States
Total distance: 15 000 km in the United States
Countries crossed: Greece, United States
The star is a universal symbol of the highest aspirations of mankind, the horizontal bars portray the speed. Sixteen renowned artists designed 15 posters for the Games. The subsequent posters were signed by John Baldessari, Jennifer Bartlet, Jonathan Bofsky, April Greiman abd Jayme Odgers, Raymond Saunders and Garry Winogrand.
LOS ANGELES 1984 : CONFETTI OVER THE CITY
Los Angeles 1984 saw the first appearance of this term, which refers to the visual identity of the Games. It has been part of the Olympic vocabulary ever since. The Look of the 1984 Los Angeles Games had a real West Coast flavour, with “intuitive” colours and an exuberant, typically Pacific freshness, in keeping with the spirit of 1980s festivals.More info
The Organising Committee clearly wanted to leave its mark with this “Official report of the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984”, a massive work in terms of both size and weight. Published in French and English, it was composed of two volumes (Organization and planning; Competition summary and results). Volume 2 was bilingual, and was the same for the French and English editions. This was also the first official report to be illustrated entirely in colour.
Los Angeles 1984
The Organising Committee clearly wanted to leave its mark with this “Official Report of the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984”, a massive work in terms of both size and weight. Published in French and English, it was composed of two volumes (Organization and planning; Competition summary and results). Volume 2 was bilingual, and was the same for the French and English editions. This was also the first official report to be illustrated entirely in colour.
84 Olympics Opening
Opening Ceremony Los Angeles 1984
©Getty Steve Powell
Opening Ceremony Los Angeles 1984
©IOC Avelino Pi