|Games of the XXIII Olympiad|
|Host city||Los Angeles, California, USA|
(5,263 men, 1,566 women)
|Events||221 in 23 sports|
|Opening ceremony||July 28|
|Closing ceremony||August 12|
|Officially opened by||President Ronald Reagan|
|Athlete's Oath||Edwin Moses (athlete)|
|Judge's Oath||Sharon Heber|
|Olympic Torch||Rafer Johnson (decathlete)|
|Stadium||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum|
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The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1984. Los Angeles was selected as the host of the Games on May 18, 1978 on the 80th IOC session at Athens, Greece, without a vote, because it was the only city that submitted a bid to host the 1984 Summer Olympics. The only other interested city on the international level, Tehran, declined to bid. Many blamed this on the massive cost overruns of the 1976 Games, staged in Montreal.
In response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, 14 Eastern Bloc countries and allies including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany (but not Romania) boycotted the Games. For differing reasons, Iran and Libya also boycotted. The USSR announced its intention not to participate on May 8, 1984, citing security concerns and "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States." The Los Angeles boycott influenced a large number of events that were normally dominated by the absent countries. Boycotting countries organized a rival event in July-August 1984, called the Friendship Games.
Where ambitious construction for 1976 games in Montreal and 1980 games in Moscow had saddled sponsors with expenses greatly in excess of revenues, Los Angeles strictly controlled expenses by using existing facilities except a swim stadium and a velodrome that were paid for by corporate sponsors. The Olympic Committee led by Peter Ueberroth used some of the profits to endow the Amateur Athletic Foundation to promote youth sports in Southern California and maintain a Sports Library. The 1984 Summer Olympics are often considered the most financially successful modern Olympics.
The host state of California was the home state of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who officially opened the Games. He had served as Governor of California from 1967 to 1975. The official mascot of the Los Angeles Games was Sam the Olympic Eagle.
The 1984 Olympic Torch Relay began in New York City and ended in Los Angeles, traversing 33 states and the District of Columbia. Unlike later torch relays, the torch was continuously carried by runners on foot. The route covered more than 9,320 mi (15,000 km) and involved 3,616 runners, including 200 from the sponsoring company AT&T. Noted athlete and actor O. J. Simpson was among the runners, carrying the torch up the California Incline in Santa Monica.
Rafer Johnson, winner of the decathlon at the 1960 Summer Olympics, was the final runner. He used the torch to activate a specially built Olympic logo, whose flame circled the five Olympic rings. The cauldron above the logo was then activated by a switch operated from inside the press box of the Coliseum.
John Williams composed the theme for the Olympiad, "Olympic Fanfare and Theme." This piece won a Grammy for Williams and became one of the most well-known musical themes of the Olympic Games, along with Leo Arnaund's Bugler's Dream; the latter is sometimes attached to the beginning of Olympic Fanfare and Theme. An album, The Official Music of the XXIIIrd Olympiad—Los Angeles 1984, featured both of those tracks along with sports themes written for the occasion by popular musical artists including Foreigner, Toto, Loverboy, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Christopher Cross, Philip Glass and Giorgio Moroder.
The famous Brazilian composer Sergio Mendes also composed a special song for the 1984 Olympic Games, "Olympia," from his 1984 album Confetti. A choir of several hundred voices was assembled of singers in the region. All were volunteers from nearby churches, schools and universities.
See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
These are the top medal-collecting nations for the 1984 Games. (Host country is highlighted).
Athletes from 140 nations competed at the Los Angeles Games. The following countries made their first Olympic appearance in 1984: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Grenada, Mauritania, Mauritius, North Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and the United Arab Emirates. The People's Republic of China made their first appearance in a Summer Olympics since 1952.
Though a Warsaw Pact country, Romania (then ruled by Nicolae Ceauşescu) did not boycott the Games. Given the Warsaw Pact nations that boycotted the 1984 Olympic Games did so under heavy pressure from the Soviet Union, the fact that Romania opted to compete despite Soviet demands led to a warm reception of the Romanian team by the United States. When the Romanian athletes entered during the opening ceremonies, they received an exuberant standing ovation from the spectators, which comprised mostly U.S. citizens. Romania won 53 medals (including 20 golds), more than the nation has in any other Olympics.
The number of athletes representing that nation is shown in parentheses:
Fourteen countries took part in the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Olympic Games  :
Following the news of the massive financial losses of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, only Los Angeles and New York City expressed serious interest in hosting the 1984 games. Given only one city per country is allowed to bid for any Games, the USOC vote for an American bid city was essentially the deciding vote for the 1984 Olympics host city. In this case, Los Angeles's bid won by a vote of 55 to 39. New York City's 1984 bid fell just 9 votes shy of winning the Games and is the closest the city has ever come to becoming a host city for the Olympics, even NYC2012.
The low level of interest among cities was seen as a major threat to the future of the Olympic Games. However, with the financially successful Los Angeles Games, cities began to line up to be hosts again. The Los Angeles and Montreal Games are seen as examples of what to do and what not to do when organizing the Olympics, and serve as object lessons to prospective host cities. While Montreal organizers ran up a substantial debt eight years earlier by constructing many new, overly ambitiously designed venues, the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee relied heavily on the use of area venues that were already in existence. The Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Swim Stadium, funded largely by the 7-Eleven and McDonald's corporations respectively, were the only two new venues constructed specifically for the L.A. Games. The resulting low construction costs, coupled with a heavy reliance on private corporate funding, allowed the Games to generate a profit of more than $200 million, making them by far the most financially successful in history.
In addition to corporate support, the Olympic committee also made use of the burgeoning prices being paid for exclusive television rights. Starting with the Los Angeles Games, these contracts would be a significant source of revenue. Adjusted for inflation, the Los Angeles Games received twice the amount received by the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics and four times that of the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. Because these contracts were signed well in advance of the Games, Los Angeles found itself in an easier planning position as most of its revenue was already assured before the Games.
The absence of the Soviet Bloc, and the domination by the American team, was also instrumental in making these Olympics a financial success.
McDonald's ran a promotion entitled "When the U.S. Wins, You Win" where customers scratched off a ticket and if the U.S. won that event then they would be given a free menu item: a Big Mac for a gold medal, an order of french fries for a silver medal, and a Coca-Cola for a bronze medal. The promotion became a near financial disaster due to the Soviet boycott which led to the U.S. winning far more Olympic medals than expected.
This promotion was parodied in the The Simpsons episode "Lisa's First Word," where Krusty Burger runs a similar offer. The promotion was intended to be rigged so that prizes would only be offered in events dominated by the Eastern Bloc, but the Soviet-led boycott causes Krusty to personally lose 44 million dollars. He vehemently promises "to spit in every fiftieth burger," to which Homer retorts "I like those odds!" Chief Wiggum also exclaims that he could kiss Carl Lewis, who won four gold medals at the Games.
|Summer Olympic Games
XXIII Olympiad (1984)
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Games in italics will be held in the future, and those in (brackets) were cancelled because of war. See also: Ancient Olympic Games
|Youth Olympic Games|
|Summer Games:2010, 2014, 2018|
| Winter Games:2012, 2016|
| Singapore 2010 — Innsbruck 2012 — Nanjing 2014|