Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympic Games

This was the second time the Olympics were held in Los Angeles after 1932. This time, the Games were financed exclusively by private capital. The candidacy was announced on the initiative of Mayor Tom Bradley and after the city was granted the games by the IOC, the task of realization was taken over by entrepreneur Peter Ueberroth.


Time and Place: Los Angeles (USA); 28 July – 12 August 1984
Other candidates: /
Participation: 140 countries, 6829 athletes
Number of sports: 23 sports, 221 events

Number of Slovenian athletes: 20
Fire lit by: Rafer Johnson (track athlete)
Olympic oath: Edwin Moses (track athlete)




Trivia from the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympic Games

 American athletes returned to the scene and the representatives of the Soviet Union and some supporters returned the Americans' boycott. We could therefore hardly say that the Games in California were a meeting of all the best athletes in the world. American organizers prepared a detailed financial construction of the Games. The business end of the Games was managed by entrepreneur Peter Ueberroth who attracted a multitude of sponsors so the construction of facilities and the organization itself were covered. Consequentially the Games led to an ever increasing commercialization which irritated many people.


Olympic heights


With the absence of Soviet athletes the games were completely dominated by the Americans who won the most medals of any nation by far. America kept 83 golds, 62 silvers and 30 bronzes. The second placed Romania collected 20 gold medals. But the Romanians had gymnast Jekaterina Szabo who win four Olympic gold medals and a silver one. In spite of the exceptional achievements of the nimble 17-year old Romanian, the Games are best remembered for the performance of local champion Carl Lewis, a legend of world sports and an icon of track and field competition. The greatest star of the games was unbeatable in the 100 m and 200 m events, the long jump and relay races. He managed to repeat the achievements of his compatriot Jesse Owens after 48 years, but his achievements did not have such an intensive political and racial connotation.


Achievements from Moscow were repeated by 1500 m runner Sebastian Coe and decathlon athlete Daley Thompson. Remarkable achievers included Chinese Li Ning, American track and field athlete Valerie Hooks, swimmer Richard Carey, »albatross« Michael Gross …


Slovenians and the 1984 Summer Olympics

At the Los Angeles Olympics Yugoslavia and Romania were the only socialist countries which did not follow the boycott of the Soviet Union and its allies. The decision was a good one for the twenty Slovenian athletes who would otherwise be deprived for their achievements.


For the first time after 1968, when Miro Cerar astounded the world with his pommel horse routine, a Slovenian was again awarded the brightest of all medals. The handball goalkeeper Rolando Pušnik from Celje was a member of the victorious Yugoslavian team which beat Romania and West Germany and won the Olympic tournament. Yugoslavia also set the tone for the women's competition. Handball gold was won by Alenka Cuderman.


However, handball players were not the only ones winning medals. The football team of the former common state won bronze. The coveted blue uniform was then worn by Marko Elsner and subsequent team Slovenia coach Srečko Katanec. Only France and Brazil managed to beat Team Yugoslavia. A solid appearance was recorded also by the women's team, a member of which was Polona Dornik. Yugoslavia achieved seventh place.

Slovenians didn't do well under the warm California sun only in team sports. Judoists Filip Leščak and Franc Očko did really well. The former won fifth place in the 78 kg category and the latter won seventh place up to 65 kg. Cyclist Bojan Ropret also won seventh place in the road race. Swimmer Darjan Petrič again proved his skills by achieving sixth place in the 1500 m race.


The Los Angeles Olympics marked also the first appearance of marksman Rajmond Debevec who is scheduled to make his eighth Olympic appearance in Beijing. The member of the Olimpija team from Ljubljana reached his best result by winning gold in Sydney 2000. In the USA, his hand was steadiest in the air rifle competition where he achieved 12th place.