Los Angeles Olympics 1984

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. When Tehran, the only other interested city on the international level, declined to bid due to the concurrent Iranian political and social changes, the IOC awarded Los Angeles the Games by default. This was the second occasion Los Angeles hosted the games, the first being in 1932.

In response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, 14 Eastern Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany, boycotted the Games; only Romania elected to attend. For differing reasons, Iran and Libya also boycotted. Although a 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. 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.” Boycotting countries organized another large event in June–September 1984, called the Friendship Games; some participating countries from the Olympics sent reserve teams to the Friendship Games, which mostly avoided overlap with the Olympic Games’ schedule (the exception was the Equestrian Show Jumping event in Sopot, Poland). Representatives of the organizing countries, the Soviets in particular, underlined it was “not held to replace the Olympics”. Elite athletes from the U.S. and USSR would not directly compete again until the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow, organized in response to the boycotts.

Where ambitious construction for the 1976 games in Montreal and 1980 games in Moscow had saddled organizers 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 LA84 Foundation to promote youth sports in Southern California, educate coaches 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 logo of the games featured five blue, white and red stars arranged horizontally and struck through with alternating streaks; it was named “Stars in Motion.” These were the first Summer Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch.

On 18 July, 2009, a 25th anniversary celebration was held in the main stadium. This celebration included a speech by the former president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Ueberroth, and a re-creation of the lighting of the cauldron.

Sri Lankan Participation at Los Angeles Olympics

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    Mr. Lalin Jirasinhe

    1984 - Los Angeles- Yachting
    2000 - Sydney- Yachting
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    Mr. Julian Bolling

    1984 - Los Angeles- Swimming
    1988 - Seoul- Swimming
    1992 - Barcelona- Swimming
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