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Barcelona 1992

  • Date 25 JUL - 09 AUG
  • Country SPAIN
  • Athletes 9356
  • Countries 169
  • Events 257

For the first time since 1972, the Games were boycott-free, due to important global political changes. Apartheid had been abolished in South Africa. Then there was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of West and East Germany. Communism had ended and the Soviet Union was divided into 15 separate countries which participated as a "unified team”.

Baseball debuted as a full medal discipline having appeared as an exhibition or demonstration sport at six previous Games. Badminton and women’s judo were also added to the Olympic programme, and Spain’s coxswain in the eights, 11-year-old Carlos Front, became the youngest Olympic competitor since 1900.

Men's basketball became open to all professionals and the US sent a "Dream Team" of superstars including Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Needless to say they dominated the event and won gold. Another impressive performer was gymnast Vitaly Scherbo, who won six golds, including four in one day.

In the last lap of the 10,000m final, Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia darted into the lead and went on to win. At the finishing line, she waited for her opponent Elana Meyer, a white South African. They set off hand-in-hand for a victory lap that symbolised hope for a new Africa.

NOCs: 169
Athletes: 9,356 (2,704 women, 6,652 men)
Events: 257
Volunteers: 34,548
Media: 13,082 media (5,131 written press, 7,951 broadcasters)

  • The official emblem, designed by Josep Maria Trias from Barcelona, depicted a dynamic human figure in a stance that suggested someone jumping an obstacle (which consisted of the five Olympic rings).

    The simple, gestual lines reduced the characterisation of the figure to the head (in the blue of the Mediterranean), the arms (the yellow of the sun and wide open in sign of hospitality) and the legs (a vivid red).

  • At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Athletes from Turkmenistan competed under the Unified Team.

  • Start date:
    5 June 1992, Olympia (Greece)

    End date:
    25 July 1992, Olympic Stadium, Barcelona (Spain)

    First torchbearer:
    Savvas Saritzoglou, Olympic participant in athletics (1992)

    Last torchbearer:
    Antonio Rebollo

    Number of torchbearers:
    365 in Greece, 9,484 in Spain of which 8,885 were on foot and 599 by bike

    Recruitment of torchbearers:
    The torchbearers came from the following categories: Olympic volunteers from various regions in Spain; torchbearers chosen by the town halls of cities crossed by the relay who could each choose one runner; the partner companies of the relay and the Organising Committee; people from among the general public who put forward their candidature.

    367 km in Greece, 5,940 km in Spain, of which 1,490 km was by bicycle and 4,450 km was on foot. Transport by ship between Greece and Spain excluded.

    Countries visited:
    Greece, Spain

  • COBI

    The name Cobi is an allusion to COOB'92, an abbreviation of the Barcelona'92 Olympic Organising Committee. The name was chosen because it is simple and easy to pronounce in most languages.

    Cobi is a humanised Pyrenean mountain dog, in a “Cubist” style. While his expression and three spiky hairs are the same, he has an impressively large wardrobe. Reactions to Cobi were mixed when he was first presented, but he grew in popularity during the months leading up to the Games, and ultimately proved a huge success.

    Javier Mariscal


    • A competition by the Organising Committee between six designers decided the choice of mascot. The jury of experts selected Mariscal's submission.
    • Mariscal's contribution to the Games in Barcelona was not limited to Cobi. He also designed characters for the Opening Ceremony representing Spanish painting and culture, as well as the font used for the diplomas awarded to the first eight competitors in each event.
    • A series of 26 episodes of the cartoon “The Cobi Troupe” related the adventures of Cobi and his friends. The aim of the series, whose target audience was 5-12-year-olds, was to make the mascot more widely known and promote the Games in Barcelona. The rights were bought by 24 television channels.