Games of the XXIII Olympiad
Los Angeles (USA)
28 July - 12 August 1984
New Financial Model for the Olympic Games
After the terrorist attack in 1972 and the financial disaster of 1976, only Los Angeles, host of the 1932 Olympics, 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 USD 223 million.
Third Boycott in a Row
With the Olympics being held in the United States only four years after the US-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.
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.
The celebrated Santa Anita racetrack, spreading over 320 acres and offering stabling for as many as 2,100 horses, was chosen as the competition site for the equestrian events. It was the first time an Olympic equestrian event was organised by a management team of proven competence and long experience. The track, near the city of Arcadia, north-east of Los Angeles, had been opened in 1934. Its grandstand had 15,500 seats in addition to the 4,000 seats in the various clubs and the parking lot could accommodate 22,000 cars.
The only complaint raised at Santa Anita was the press service. There were not enough telexes (the main means of transmission at that time) and practically no access to the riders.
The equestrian programme lasted nine days and each National Federation could enter 14 riders and 22 horses (the minimum age for the horses to compete was six years old).
Games Facts & Figures
- 140 nations
- 6,829 athletes (1,566 women; 5,263 men)
- 23 sports
- 28,742 volunteers
- 9,190 media (4,327 written press; 4,863 broadcasters)
- Archer Neroli Fairhall of New Zealand was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event, competing in a wheelchair.
- Diplomas of Honour are awarded to the top eight finishers in each event for the first time.