1988 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXIV Olympiad
1988 Summer Olympics logo
Venue: Seoul ( South Korea )
Stadion: Seoul Olympic Stadium
Opening ceremony: 17th September 1988
Closing ceremony: October 2nd, 1988
Opened by: Roh Tae-woo (President of South Korea)
Olympic oath : Hur Jae and Son Mi-na (athletes)
Lee Hakrae ( referees )
Disciplines: 31 (23 sports)
Competitions: 237
Countries: 159
Athletes: 8,391, including 2,194 women
Los Angeles 1984
Barcelona 1992
Medal table
space country G S. B. Ges.
1 Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union 55 31 46 132
2 Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR GDR 37 35 30th 102
3 United StatesUnited States United States 36 31 27 94
4th Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 12 10 11 33
5 Germany BRBR Germany BR Germany 11 14th 15th 40
6th Hungary 1957Hungary Hungary 11 6th 6th 23
7th Bulgaria 1967Bulgaria Bulgaria 10 12 13 35
8th Romania 1965Romania Romania 7th 11 6th 24
9 FranceFrance France 6th 4th 6th 16
10 ItalyItaly Italy 6th 4th 4th 14th
... ... ... ... ... ...
29 AustriaAustria Austria 1 - - 1
33 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland - 2 2 4th
Complete medal table
The gold medal of the 1988 Summer Olympics

The 1988 Summer Olympics (officially called the XXIV Olympiad Games ) took place from September 17 to October 2, 1988 in the South Korean capital, Seoul . When the games were awarded during the 84th IOC session in Baden-Baden on September 30, 1981, the South Korean city prevailed against the Japanese Nagoya . With 8391 athletes and 159 teams, there was a new participation record. Outstanding athletes at the Games were Kristin Otto with six gold medals in swimming, Matt Biondi with seven medals also won in swimming (including five gold medals), Vladimir Artyomov with five medals in artistic gymnastics (including four gold medals) and the athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner with three gold medals .

The 1988 Summer Olympics marked the opening of the Olympic movement to professionals and the end of the major boycott games following the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow and the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles , although Albania, Ethiopia, Cuba, Madagascar, Nicaragua, North Korea and the Seychelles did not have teams posted. A dominant topic was the doping problem , which came into the focus of public interest with the Ben Johnson case . The 1988 Summer Olympics opened up South Korea and supported the emerging political change.

Application and choice of the venue

The idea of ​​hosting the Summer Olympics in South Korea first came up in the late 1970s. With the 1978 World Shooting Championships and the Women's Basketball World Cup a year later, the country hosted its first major sporting events. As a result of the success of the World Shooting Championships, the President of the Shooting Association, Park Chong-kyu , was elected both President of the South Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) and Chairman of the Korean Amateur Sports Association (KASA) in February 1979 . He commissioned a feasibility study to examine the suitability of Seoul as a venue.

In June 1979, the KOC announced these efforts at the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in San Juan . A seven-member advisory group of the National Committee for Sports decided on September 3, 1979, the candidacy for the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 1986 Asian Games ; Seoul's Mayor Chung Sang-chon decided on October 8, with the approval of President Park Chung-hee announced. Park Chung-hee was murdered two and a half weeks after the official announcement. KOC President Park Chong-kyu, who lost all offices, also fell victim to the political cleansing that followed.

With the end of the Fourth Republic, the Olympic bid also suffered a setback. Minister of Education Rhee Kyo-ho announced on November 27, 1980 that Seoul was financially unable to host the event. Only the intervention of the new President Chun Doo-hwan , who promised state support for the candidacy, made it possible to pursue the plans, so that the KOC finally officially submitted the application to the IOC . The new president of the bid committee was Chung Ju-yung , the chairman of the Hyundai Group and president of the Federation of Industrialists, whose persuasive work focused primarily on developing countries. The bid committee offered these countries financial support for participating in the Olympics in South Korea.

With a view to the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City , the bid committee also pointed out that South Korea, as a developing country , could host the Summer Olympics. It also rejected fears about the political situation on the Korean Peninsula and the dictatorship in South Korea. It was also feared that socialist states would boycott the Olympics , as South Korea had no diplomatic relations with them at the time. Overall, Seoul's application was only given one outsider chance against its only competitor, the Japanese city of Nagoya .

The choice of the venue took place on September 30, 1981 in Baden-Baden . In the first ballot, Seoul prevailed against Nagoya with 52 to 27 votes. The reasons given for the surprisingly clear election result were the arrogant demeanor of the Japanese delegation, feared financial difficulties of Nagoya and general economic interests in South Korea. Furthermore, Horst Dassler , head of the Adidas group, is said to have exerted influence on voting behavior by promoting Seoul as a venue in developing countries. The reason for this should not have been economic, but rather his personal interest in Korea.



After the successful application, the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee (SLOOC) was founded on November 2, 1981 , the first president of which was Kim Yong-shik . On July 11, 1983, the future President of South Korea, Roh Tae-woo , took over this office until he handed it over to Park Seh-jik on May 7, 1985 . In addition to preparing for the Summer Olympics, from 1982 the SLOOC was also responsible for organizing the Asian Games in 1986. On February 14, 1983, the Asian Games Organizing Committee (SAGOC) was incorporated into the SLOOC. At the beginning of the Summer Olympics, the organizing committee employed 1,428 people, plus a further 27,221 volunteers.

The SLOOC generated revenues of 909,840 million won , of which 224,694 million won came from the marketing of the TV rights. The coin program with 135,235 million won and the lottery with 118,804 million won further high revenues. In addition, there were 241,634 million won in grants and donations. In the run-up to the Summer and Winter Olympics in 1988, the marketing of the Summer Games was optimized. Instead of a large number of sponsors (there were 306 in Montreal in 1976), the "Olympic Program" was set up between 1985 and 1988, to which nine financially strong sponsors such as Coca-Cola , VISA and Panasonic belonged. Calgary and Seoul each received a portion of the $ 96 million raised. The SLOOC also had 23 other sponsors and 57 suppliers who got involved.

The income was offset by expenses of 568,391 million won. The construction of the sports facilities cost 237,795 million won, the holding of the competitions 26,053 million and the Olympic village and the press center 30,931 million. In addition, the state invested billions in the expansion of the public infrastructure, with the focus on traffic and tourism. He made spending to improve environmental protection and standards in the health system. The state also sponsored cultural institutions and events. The profit of 341.5 billion won by the organizing committee went to the Seoul Olympic Sports Promotion Foundation established on April 20, 1989.

In the run-up to the Summer Olympics, the state tightened environmental protection measures. The drivers of 750,000 private cars were only allowed to use them every other day. The government also closed the coal- fired bathhouses three days before the marathon to improve the air quality for the competition. However, these efforts were only valid in the run-up to and for the period of the Games and were then withdrawn.

Sports policy

In preparation for the Games, efforts were made to prevent another Olympic boycott by the Eastern Bloc like the one in Los Angeles in 1984. This was compounded by the lack of diplomatic relations between South Korea and socialist states. This prompted IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch to get involved in the participation of these states. At the meeting of the National Olympic Committees in Mexico City in November 1984, for example, the “Declaration of Mexico” was adopted, in which the participants agreed, among other things, to host the 1988 Summer Olympics. The approval of the Soviet Union was tantamount to an agreement to participate, but various socialist NOCs reacted with incomprehension. The GDR had already decided after the Summer Games in Los Angeles to take part again in Seoul. The IOC also decided to send the invitations to the Summer Games directly and did not leave this task to the organizing committee as it had up to then. Despite these developments, the IOC was thinking internally about the possibility of postponing the summer games and exploring Munich's suitability as an alternative.

Another point of conflict was North Korea's participation in hosting the Summer Olympics. Encouraged by Fidel Castro , North Korea called for co-hosting in late 1985. As a result, the North and South Korean Olympic Committees held a meeting between the North and South Korean Olympic Committees in Lausanne on January 8 and 9, 1986 , chaired by the IOC President. North Korea demanded that eleven of the 23 Olympic sports be held on their own territory and also wanted their own opening and closing ceremonies. There should be a joint organizing committee and a united team. The negotiations were continued at further meetings, but were unsuccessful because the IOC did not meet North Korea's demands and only wanted to allow about half of the desired sporting events to the north. So the focus was limited to Seoul and South Korea. North Korea boycotted the Summer Olympics in Seoul after the failed negotiations about participating in the hosting, and was supported by Cuba, Nicaragua and Ethiopia, who also stayed away with their teams. Albania and the Seychelles also joined this boycott. To avoid sanctions from the IOC, these states refrained from calling their absence a boycott. Madagascar was expected to take part until the end, which is why 160 nations were expected to start at the opening ceremony, but the country joined the North Korean boycott.

During the 84th IOC session in Baden-Baden in 1981, the Olympic movement was opened to professional athletes and the approval rule 26, known as the amateur paragraph, was changed. The chairman of the admissions commission, Willi Daume , achieved the necessary two-thirds majority for his amendment proposal by downplaying the explosiveness of the change and presenting it more as a reinterpretation of the previously applicable rule. For example, the sports associations should be given more freedom to make decisions and support should be given to athletes through funds financed by sponsors , although direct links between athletes and sponsors should remain prohibited. In the practical implementation, the fund idea faded into the background and the rule was that professionals had to submit to the control of the respective National Olympic Committee in matters of sponsorship from four weeks before the beginning to two weeks after the end of the summer games. At the 1988 Summer Olympics, tennis and table tennis professionals were approved for the first time. This opening widened in the following Summer Games.


Competition venues

The Seoul Olympic Stadium

For the 1988 Summer Olympics, 34 competition and 72 training facilities were used. 21 of the competition venues already existed in advance, 13 had to be newly built. Two centers were created, the Seoul Sports Complex and the Olympic Park Seoul , in which facilities were combined. Others were spread out in different places in the city and the surrounding area.

The Seoul Sports Complex formed the center of the games. There is the Olympic stadium designed by Kom Swoo-geun , which is modeled after a porcelain vase from the Joseon dynasty and offers space for 100,000 spectators. The opening and closing ceremonies, the athletics competitions as well as the final of the football tournament and show jumping took place in it. The basketball tournaments were held in the Jamsil sports hall, the roof of which symbolizes a staircase leading to the sky. Synchronized swimming, water jumping and water polo tournaments were held in the Jamsil swimming pool, which has a capacity of 8,000 spectators. The shape of the 30,500-seat Jamsil baseball stadium is based on a South Korean percussion instrument, the janggu . The Seoul Sports Complex also includes another sports hall that could be used for training purposes. The complex is located around 13 kilometers south of the city center, with public transport connections, near the Olympic village and the press center.

The second site, which combined several sports facilities, was the Olympic Park Seoul , which is located around 13 kilometers southeast of central Seoul. The 6,000-seat cycling stadium located in the facility was the first in Asia with a wooden track. The sports hall for weightlifting competitions has a capacity of 4,000 and has a partially fiberglass façade and roof. The fencing hall holds 7,000 people, the gym 14,730. The park also includes the tennis courts and the indoor swimming pool, which offered space for 10,000 spectators during the swimming competitions. The modern pentathlon competitions were also held in the Olympic Park.

Swimming pool in the Olympic Park Seoul

In addition to the two complexes, there are other individual Olympic sports facilities in Seoul. The canoeing and rowing competitions were held on the Hangang regatta course , which offered space for 25,000 spectators. The equestrian events were held in LetsRun Park Seoul , and the Taekwondo and Judo competitions were held in the Sangmu sports hall . The sports hall of the Seoul National University was used as the venue for the table tennis and badminton tournaments, the volleyball tournaments were held in the hall of the Hanyang University and in the Saemaul sports hall and the handball games in the Suwon sports hall. The shooting competitions were held at the Hwarang archery range and the Taenung shooting range.

The football tournament was in Seoul Tongdaeum Stadium in Daejeon stadium in Daegu stadium in Busan Gudeok Stadium and Gwangju fought stadium. The final took place in the Olympic Stadium. Outside of Seoul, the sailing competitions were also held at the Busan Sailing Center . In the Suwon Sports Hall, handball games were played and in the Seongnam Stadium, hockey games, while the wrestling competitions were held in the Seongnam Sports Hall.

Olympic Village

The Olympic Village is located in Songpa-gu, around two kilometers from the Olympic Stadium. It covers an area of ​​626,664 square meters, on which there are 86 apartment buildings with 3,692 residential units. In the village there was a VIP lounge, a swimming pool , a religion center where members of six religions could pray, and a medical center that reached the level of a normal hospital. There were also cultural events such as stage shows and film screenings. The cafeteria offered space for 4200 people. Next to the Olympic Village is the Press Village, which comprises 36 buildings with 1848 residential units. In the cities of Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon, there were smaller sub-villages for athletes whose competitions were held in these locations.

Logo, mascot and slogan

The logo shows a Sam-Taeguk , a traditional Korean symbol. The view of the color fields as leading to the center was seen as a sign that people in Korea were coming together, the view as leading away from the center was interpreted to the effect that people were following a path in search of happiness and success. The mascot was " Hodori " and was designed by Kim Kwang-hyun . It was a little tiger that should stand for friendliness and hospitality. The name was chosen from 2295 suggestions from the population. "Ho" means "tiger" in Korean and "domori" is a belittling form for boys. The motto was "Harmony and Progress".

The official song was "Hand In Hand" by the Koreana group - the lyrics are in English and Korean . In addition, “ One Moment In Time ” by Whitney Houston and, in Germany, “Go For Gold” by the German band The Winners developed into hits at these Summer Olympics.

Torch relay

The Olympic torch relay took place from August 23, 1988 to September 17, 1988. The Olympic flame was lit during a ceremony in ancient Olympia and then carried as far as Athens , where it was handed over to the SLOOC in the Panathinaiko Stadium on August 25th . Between August 25 and 27, it was transported from Athens to Jeju-si with a stopover in Bangkok . A 90-minute welcome ceremony was held there at the airport. The torch relay then began over 4168 kilometers from Cheju to Seoul, which lasted 22 days. There, on September 17th, as part of the opening ceremony, the torch relay ended and the Olympic flame was lit.

A total of 20,899 runners took part in the torch relay. The fire was also transported by horse and boat. He was also accompanied by groups of artists and dancers who, among other things, presented Korean folklore in the cities through which the torch relay passed . The 55 centimeter high torch was designed by Lee Woo-sung .


A total of 8,391 athletes from 159 teams took part in the 1988 Summer Olympics, 2,194 of whom were women. This meant new records for both the number of NOKs and the number of athletes, which continued to rise at the following Summer Olympics . Another major boycott, such as the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow and the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles , could be averted because the Soviet Union had announced its participation early, in November 1984. On September 17, 1987, the IOC sent an invitation to the Seoul Games to 167 recognized NOCs. On January 17, 1988, when the registration deadline expired, 161 had agreed to attend. Albania , Ethiopia , Cuba , Nicaragua , North Korea and the Seychelles left the invitation unanswered. Even an extension of the registration period did not change anything. On September 2, 1988, North Korea officially canceled its participation. Shortly before the start of the games, Madagascar also canceled their participation, so that in the end 159 NOKs competed in Seoul.

In Seoul, Aruba , American Samoa , the Cook Islands , Guam , the Maldives , Vanuatu , St. Vincent and the Grenadines and South Yemen took part in the Summer Olympics for the first time. The US Virgin Islands , Costa Rica , Djibouti , Indonesia , the Netherlands Antilles , Senegal and Suriname won their first medal in Olympic history.

Map of the participating nations. Countries marked in green were already participants before Seoul; Countries that had their Olympic premiere are marked in blue.
Europe (4434 athletes from 33 nations)
America (1882 athletes from 37 nations)
Asia (1614 athletes from 35 nations)
Africa (762 athletes from 43 nations)
Oceania (486 athletes from 11 nations)
(Number of athletes)
* first participation in summer games


Opening ceremony

A South Korean dancer with a flag during the opening ceremony
Ignition of the Olympic flame

The opening ceremony took place on September 17, 1988 in the morning at the Seoul Olympic Stadium. 13,625 actors and extras were involved in 15 program items in the event, which lasted around 180 minutes. The celebration was divided into three parts: The official part was surrounded by cultural presentations in the prelude and aftermath. At the beginning of the event, the audience was able to watch a ship procession on the Han River on the video board of the stadium . Subsequently, a sun rose from the top of the “world tree” in the middle of the stadium into the sky, which was then followed by the 29 meter high tree. As the next item on the program, 44 South Koreans and 44 Greek women danced under the motto “Heaven, Earth and Men” and symbolized the unity of heaven and earth and the unity of East and West. Another 1500 dancers formed the lettering “Welcome”.

This was followed by the official part of the opening ceremony. South Korean President Roh Tae-woo and members of the organizing committee entered the stadium. Dancers formed the logo, flags with the logo and the Olympic rings were carried in. Then came the invasion of the nations. Greece was the first team to enter, followed by the other teams in the order of the Korean alphabet. The standard bearer of the team of the FRG was the rider Reiner Klimke , for the GDR team the shot putter Ulf Timmermann took over this position. The athlete Cornelia Bürki led the Swiss Olympic team as the standard bearer. The host nation was the last to invade.

After the invasion, SLOOC President Park Seh-jik gave a speech and IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch announced his welcome message. Then the South Korean President declared the games open. Eight former South Korean Olympic medalists carried the Olympic flag into the stadium. While she was being hoisted to the laments of the Olympic hymn , doves were raised into the air as symbols of peace. Then the Olympic flame was carried into the stadium by son Kee-chung , there by Im Chun-he carried it around the circle and then handed over to Chong Son-man , Son Mijong and Kim Won-tak . They took a lift up and lit the fire. Then the athletes Huh Jae and Son Mi-na and the referee Lee Hak-rea took the Olympic oaths . With the singing of the South Korean anthem, the official part ended and the athletes left the stadium.

The official part was followed by another part of the show. While 800 dancers presented various choreographies, 52 international and 22 South Korean parachutists landed in the stadium. 1450 schoolchildren performed a flower dance, which was supposed to symbolize the harmony of heaven and earth. Dancers with over 800 masks from different countries around the world showed the beginning of chaos and conflict. At the same time, 20 large mask-shaped balloons appeared over the roof of the stadium. A child born on the day of the decision for Seoul as the venue, dressed as the mascot, rolled a tire into the stadium, which stood for harmony and the Olympic rings. At the end of the event, the mascots of previous Olympic Games and dance groups from various countries marched in. Afterwards, all those involved in the event came together in the stadium.

At this opening ceremony, white doves were released for the last time as a symbol of peace. Since some of them burned in the bowl of the Olympic flame when it was ignited, the pigeon was only represented as a symbol at the following Olympic Games in choreographies or pictures.

Closing ceremony

Fireworks at the end of the graduation ceremony

The closing ceremony took place on the evening of October 2, 1988 in the Seoul Olympic Stadium. At the beginning, a dance symbolizing the friendship of the past 16 days was performed to the music of agricultural students. The performers then welcomed the athletes to the stadium, followed by 150 flag-bearers. The flags of Greece, South Korea and the next host country Spain were hoisted to the respective anthem. Another small part of the show followed, in which 150 flag bearers with six meter high flags displayed the sails of a boat while dancers dressed in blue imitated waves. Subsequently, the President of the Organizing Committee Park Seh-jik gave the closing speech in which he thanked for the successful organization of the Summer Games. This was followed by a short address by IOC President Samaranch, who thanked the Organizing Committee and South Korea and invited them to Barcelona.

After these speeches, Seoul's Mayor Kim Yong-nae presented the Olympic flag to the President of the IOC, who passed it on to Pasqual Maragall , Mayor of Barcelona . This was followed by a brief presentation of the next host with Spanish dancers. Then the Olympic flag was lowered to the sound of the Olympic anthem. The Olympic flame went out while the flag was being carried out of the stadium. At the last item on the program of the event, a bamboo flute sounded and extras with silk lanterns appeared. At the end there was a big fireworks display .

Competition program

In Seoul there were a total of 237 decisions in 23 sports / 31 disciplines (154 for men, 72 for women and 11 open competitions). That was 16 competitions and 2 sports / 2 disciplines more than in Los Angeles in 1984 . There were also demonstration sports for women, baseball , taekwondo and judo . Badminton , bowling and wheelchair races were shown as demonstrations .

A total of 3,439,127 spectators followed the competitions and ceremonies. The soccer tournament was the most popular with an average attendance of 18,978 and a total of 607,306 spectators, followed by athletics with a total of 478,524 spectators. The sailing competitions had to be moved further offshore due to problems with the water quality, so that no spectators could be present.

The changes to the previous Summer Olympics are detailed below:

  • In archery there was a team competition for men and women.
  • In judo there was no open weight class for men.
  • In athletics , the women's program was expanded to include 10,000 m.
  • In track cycling , women competed in the sprint for the first time.
  • In rowing , the double quad replaced the double quad with helmswoman for women.
  • In shooting , the air pistol was introduced for men and women.
  • The swimming program has been expanded to include the 50 m freestyle for men and women.
  • In sailing , the open boat class Finn dinghy was converted into a men's class - the open boat class 470 was split into a competition for men and women. In windsurfing, Lechner A-390 replaced the Windglider board for men.
  • Tennis was re-included in the Olympic program. Two singles and two doubles for men and women. Tennis had already been Olympic by 1924.
  • Table tennis became Olympic with two singles and two doubles for men and women.

Olympic sports / disciplines

Number of competitions in brackets

Time schedule

Time schedule
discipline Sat.
September October
Olympic rings without rims.svg Opening ceremony 53,067
Basketball pictogram.svg basketball 1 1 2 139.125
Archery pictogram.svg Archery 2 2 4th 6.339
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 6th 6th 12 129,449
Fencing pictogram.svg fencing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8th 46,973
Football pictogram.svg Soccer 1 1 607.306
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10 45,704
Handball pictogram.svg Handball 1 1 2 91,946
Field hockey pictogram.svg hockey 1 1 2 156.947
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7th 41,790
Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg canoe 6th 6th 12 63,836
Athletics pictogram.svg athletics 3 3 5 8th 4th 4th 5 9 1 32 478,524
Modern pentathlon pictogram.svg Modern pentathlon 2 2 15,330
Cycling Cycling (track) pictogram.svg train 1 1 4th 6th 30,370
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Street 1 1 1 3
Equestrian sport Equestrian Dressage pictogram.svg dressage 1 1 2 86,249
Equestrian Jumping pictogram.svg Leap 1 1 2
Equestrian Eventing pictogram.svg versatility 2 2
Wrestling Wrestling Freestyle pictogram.svg Freestyle 3 3 4th 10 55,918
Wrestling pictogram.svg Greco-Roman 3 3 4th 10
Rowing pictogram.svg rowing 7th 7th 14th 68,982
Shooting pictogram.svg shoot 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 13 9,146
Swimming Swimming pictogram.svg swim 4th 5 5 5 6th 6th 31 149,486
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Synchronized swimming 1 1 2
Water polo pictogram.svg Water polo 1 1
Diving pictogram.svg Diving 1 1 1 1 4th
Sailing pictogram.svg sailing 8th 8th
Tennis pictogram.svg tennis 2 2 4th 111,765
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 2 2 4th 32,655
Gymnastics Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Gymnastics 1 1 1 1 6th 4th 14th 154,616
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svg Rhythmic sports gymnastics 1 1
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg volleyball 1 1 2 183,306
Olympic rings without rims.svg Closing ceremony 54,301
Demonstration competitions
badminton 5 133.183
baseball 1
bowling 2
Judo women 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Wheelchair athletics 2
Taekwondo 4th 4th 4th 4th
decisions 5 7th 9 13 18th 12 30th 26th 11 14th 7th 13 26th 37 9 237
September October

Color legend

  • Opening ceremony
  • Competition day (no decisions)
  • Competition day (x decisions)
  • Closing ceremony
  • Competitions


    The meeting of the teams from the USA and the USSR in the semi-finals of the men's tournament

    A men's and women's basketball tournament was held at the 1988 Summer Olympics . Twelve teams took part in the men's tournament and eight in the women's tournament. The first meetings between the teams from the USA and the USSR after twelve years attracted particular attention. For the men, this encounter took place in the semi-finals, where the USA lost to the USSR with 76:82. Yugoslavia was the second team to qualify for the final. The gold medal went to the team of the Soviet Union, which won the final with 76:63 and thus repeated their success from 1972 in Munich . The team included, among others, Šarūnas Marčiulionis and Rimas Kurtinaitis . The team from Yugoslavia won silver and the USA team bronze, which defeated Australia 78:49 in the game for third place.

    For the women, the duel between the superpowers in the semifinals ended the other way round and the USA prevailed against the USSR with 102-88. In the final, the US team won 77:70 against the team from Yugoslavia and won gold. Center player Anne Donovan played a special role in this victory . Another team member was Teresa Edwards , who won one of her four Olympic gold medals. Bronze went to the USSR team, who defeated Australia 68:53 in the small final. Despite the poor performance of the host teams - the men reached ninth place, the women seventh place - the basketball tournament enjoyed a high level of audience interest, which led to a capacity utilization of over 90%.


    In Seoul, for the first time, team archery competitions were held alongside individual competitions . In addition, the competitions were switched from the big FITA round to the double round. The competitions held from September 27th to October 1st were dominated by South Korea. In addition to Kim Soo-nyung , who won gold in the singles with 344 points in the final and a total of 2,683 points ahead of her two teammates Wang Hee-kyung and Yun Young-sook , both team gold medals also went to South Korea. By winning the individual and team gold, the young Kim Soo-nyung became the first South Korean double Olympic champion in history and also set an Olympic and world record in the individual. In the final of the men's singles, the South Korean Park Sung-soo was temporarily in the lead, but ultimately lost to the American Jay Barrs and won the silver medal ahead of Vladimir Yeschejew from the USSR.


    When boxing titles were in twelve weight classes forgive and set up with a total of 412 boxers a new record. The most successful nation was the USA, with three gold medals in bantam, light heavy and heavyweight. South Korea and the German Democratic Republic each achieved two gold medals, for which Andreas Zülow won the light weight division and Henry Maske won the middle weight division.

    There were two controversial incidents involving South Korean boxers. When Byun Jong-il lost to Bulgarian Aleksandar Christow in the second round of bantamweight , he accused the judges of ingratitude. South Korean officials stormed the boxing ring and there was a commotion. Byun stayed in the ring for 67 minutes, breaking the protest record set in Tokyo in 1964. Subsequently, five South Korean officials were banned for two years and South Korea was prohibited from hosting international boxing competitions for one year. In the light welterweight division there was an incident during the fight between Chun Jin-chul and the American Todd Foster when Chun saw the bell of the neighboring ring as a signal for the end of the round and then went KO. This result was canceled and a new fight was set, but the South Korean also lost.

    There were also a number of other scandals surrounding the judges' decisions. For example, the victory of South Korean Park Si-hun in the light middleweight division is attributed solely to the judges' decisions. In the first round, the referee should have disqualified Park because of constant braces. Equally controversial is his 5-0 point win in the round of 16 against the East German Torsten Schmitz . In the final, Park unjustifiably won 3-2 against the American Roy Jones , although the evaluation of the television images showed that Jones had scored significantly more hits than the South Korean. The awarding of the Val Barker Cup for the technically best boxer to Roy Jones can therefore be understood as a kind of reparation , although Henry Maske was actually the technically outstanding boxer in Seoul. After the games, several referees were banned and six South Koreans were forbidden from further activity in amateur boxing. As a result of the Seoul incidents, a boxing computer was introduced for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona , which was supposed to objectify the judges' performance. In spite of this, due to the encrusted functionary structures, no drastic reforms were carried out.


    European countries dominated the six men’s and two women’s fencing competitions and made up all medals among themselves. The South Koreans, who won four of the eight titles at the Seoul Asian Games, took part in all competitions, but could not reach the final. The most successful nation in fencing was the Federal Republic of Germany. In total, West German athletes won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Outstanding was the triple victory of Anja Fichtel , Sabine Bau and Zita Funkenhauser in the foil singles . All three also won the gold medal with the team. Arnd Schmitt won the men's epee competition . The second most successful nation was France with two gold and one silver medals ahead of the USSR with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. In the men's foil singles, Udo Wagner from the GDR won silver and thus the only Olympic fencing medal for the GDR.


    16 teams took part in the Olympic football tournament, 15 of which had to qualify, while South Korea was chosen as the host country. 115 teams were involved in the qualification. The tournament's games were played in Seoul , Busan , Daegu , Gwangju and Daejeon . Sweden, Zambia, the USSR and Brazil moved into the knockout games as group winners. In addition, there were the runners-up in Germany, Italy, Argentina and Australia. In the semi-finals, the USSR, which defeated Italy 2-1, and the Brazilian team, which defeated the German Olympic team, which included Jürgen Klinsmann , Thomas Häßler and Oliver Reck , on penalties, prevailed. They contested the final, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the USSR. In the bronze medal match, the German team won 3-0. The German team also received the Fair Play Trophy as the fairest team in the tournament.


    The weightlifting competitions were held in ten weight classes. The dominant nation was the USSR, which won gold medals in six of the ten weight classes. Bulgaria followed with two gold medals and the GDR and Turkey each with one gold medal. On the second day of the competition, the first doping case was discovered and the Bulgarian Mitko Grablew gold in the class up to 56 kilograms was revoked. Four more doping cases followed, with gold from another Bulgarian and silver from one Hungarian being withdrawn. The GDR weightlifter Joachim Kunz only received the gold medal following the disqualification of the winner in the class up to 67.5 kilograms . In featherweight the Turk Naim Süleymanoğlu won the gold medal. He was able to defend this title both at the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona and at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta . Overall, new world records were set in Seoul in three weight classes.


    USA women's game against South Korea

    A men's and a women's handball tournament took place in Seoul . Twelve men's and eight women's teams took part. Handball was not one of the particularly popular sports in South Korea, but the popularity and enthusiasm of the audience increased with the good results of the home teams. The two teams from Yugoslavia, which both won gold medals in Los Angeles in 1984, could not repeat their successes. The men's team defeated Hungary in the small final with 27:23 and won bronze. In the final, the USSR and South Korea separated 32:25. For women, the teams from Yugoslavia, the USSR, Norway and South Korea played against each other for the four first places. Yugoslavia was defeated by the USSR and Norway and thus missed the medals as fourth-placed team. The gold medal went to the South Korean team, which had won silver four years earlier. The team from Norway won silver, bronze went to the Soviet Union.


    Twelve men's and eight women's teams took part in the Olympic hockey tournaments . The gold medal in the women's tournament was won by the team from Australia, which also included Rechelle Hawkes , who won gold three times in four Olympic competitions. The Australians beat the host nation's team 2-0 in the final, with both goals coming in the second half. In the game for third place, the Dutch won the bronze medal with a 3-1 win against Great Britain. In the men's tournament, bronze also went to the team from the Netherlands, who beat Australia 2-1. In the final, the teams of the Federal Republic of Germany and Great Britain met each other. The British team won the game 3-1 and thus the gold medal.


    The judo competitions comprised seven weight classes, each of which was held on one day. The most successful nation was South Korea with two gold and one bronze medals, followed by Poland with one gold and silver medal and Japan with one gold and three bronze medals. In the middleweight division, the Austrian Peter Seisenbacher won the gold medal and was able to defend his title from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles . He was the first judoka to do this. Just two days later, the Japanese Hitoshi Saitō , who defeated Henry Stöhr from the German Democratic Republic in the final, also succeeded. Japanese athletes had already achieved three bronze medals, but Saitō was only able to reach the finals for Japan on the last day of the judo competitions.


    In canoe racing , nine competitions were held for men and three for women. The European nations dominated the competitions. The GDR and the USSR alone won half of all possible titles with three gold medals each. Hungary followed in third place in the national ranking. Birgit Fischer , who started under the name Schmidt in 1988, won three medals. In the kayak single she came second behind the Bulgarian Wanja Geschewa , in the kayak two and kayak four she won the gold medal with her teammates. The American Gregory Barton won the first gold medal in canoeing for the USA in the kayak one over 1000 meters, and in the kayak two over 1000 meters he was able to repeat this together with his partner Norman Bellingham .


    Willie Banks Jr. finished sixth in the triple jump as a world record holder

    The athletics competitions took place over nine days. 1148 men and 579 women from 148 countries took part, which meant the highest number of participants in Olympic history. The most successful nation was the USA with 13 gold, seven silver and six bronze medals. It was followed by the USSR with ten gold, six silver and ten bronze medals and the GDR with six gold, eleven silver and ten bronze medals. Another 20 countries were able to win medals.

    In the men's 100 meter final there was a duel between Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson , which Johnson won with a world record of 9.79 seconds. After he was convicted of doping, the gold medal was stripped of him and Lewis was awarded. The outstanding athlete was Florence Griffith-Joyner with gold in the 4 x 100 meter relay, over 100 and 200 meters. She also set a new world record in the 200 meter race. The dominant nation in the endurance races was Kenya: Gold over 800 meters went to Paul Ereng , over 1500 meters won Peter Rono , over 3000 meters obstacle Julius Kariuki won and the 5000 meter race was won by John Ngugi . In the marathon there was a sprint decision, which the Italian Gelindo Bordin won with 2:10:32 hours. He was just 15 seconds ahead of the runner-up and 27 seconds ahead of the bronze medalist.

    For the GDR, Ulf Timmermann won gold in the shot put with the Olympic record distance of 22.47 meters, as did Jürgen Schult , who won gold in the discus throw with 68.82 meters and also set an Olympic record. Christian Schenk from the GDR won the decathlon in front of his compatriot Torsten Voss and the Canadian Dave Steen . The 1984 Olympic champion Daley Thompson was unable to repeat his success and finished fourth, 22 points behind bronze. The German starter Jürgen Hingsen , who fought a duel with Thompson both in Los Angeles and in the years between the games and set three world records, was disqualified after three false starts in the first competition, the 100-meter run. Jackie Joyner won the heptathlon , who set the world record that is still valid today with a performance of 7291 points. With her victory in the long jump, she became a double Olympic champion in the Seoul Games.

    In the women's high jump, the decision between the American Louise Ritter and the Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinowa was only made in the jump-off, after both jumped the heights 1.80 to 2.01 meters in the first attempt. Both failed three times at the 2.03 meters, so that they were granted another jump to decide. Kostadinova failed again while Ritter jumped the height. She won gold and also set an Olympic record.

    Modern pentathlon

    In modern pentathlon a single and a team competition were held. The individual disciplines of riding , fencing , swimming , shooting and a cross-country run were held at various competition locations. The gold medal went to the Hungarian János Martinek with 5404 points, silver to the Italian Carlo Massullo with 5379 points. The Soviet participant Vakhtang Iagorashvili won bronze with 5367 points. In the team standings, Hungary won ahead of Italy and Great Britain.


    In cycling , six competitions took place on the track and three on the road. The most successful nation was the USSR with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals, ahead of the GDR with three gold, two silver and one bronze medals and the Netherlands with one gold and one silver medal each. The road race in the men won Olaf Ludwig from the GDR in 4:32:22 hours ago Bernd Grone and Christian Henn , both competed for Germany. In the women's road race, 45 starters crossed the finish line as a field, so that the individual positions were awarded with photo evidence. In the women's sprint, which was held for the first time at the Olympics, the Soviet rider Erika Salumäe won . In the 4000 meter team pursuit, the USSR team won with 4:16:10 minutes in a new world record time ahead of the Australian team, which also stayed below the old world record.

    horse riding

    The six equestrian competitions in dressage , show jumping and eventing , each held as an individual and a team competition, were open to men and women. The Federal Republic of Germany dominated the competitions with four gold and one silver medal. Nicole Uphoff won gold in individual and team dressage competitions on Rembrandt at the age of 21 . This made her the youngest Olympic champion in this discipline. With Margit Otto-Crépin from France, who won silver, and the bronze winner Christine Stückelberger from Switzerland, for the first time all medals in dressage went to women. In the team competition, the gold medal also went to the Federal Republic of Germany and the silver to Switzerland. In addition, the riders of the FRG also won the team competition of versatility and show jumping. The individual show jumping final took place on October 2nd before the closing ceremony as the last competition of the Games in the Olympic Stadium. The Frenchman Pierre Durand won ahead of the American Gregory Best and the West German Karsten Huck .

    The American David Butler takes Hiromichi Ito from Japan in a grip


    In wrestling , competitions were held in free style and in Greco-Roman style. They were each held in ten weight classes. The USSR dominated the competitions with eight gold medals, and wrestlers from the host nation won two gold medals. In the 48 kilogram class in Greco-Roman style, the 1984 Italian Vincenzo Maenza , who was regarded as an “embarrassment Olympic champion” in view of the absence of the Eastern Bloc athletes, repeated his success and won the gold medal. Kim Young-nam won the Greco-Roman gold medal in the 74-kilogram class and thus achieved the first victory for the host nation at these games. Alexander Alexandrowitsch Karelin , who started for the Soviet Union, won the gold medal in the Greco-Roman style super heavyweight. He was able to repeat this success both in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996 and also won Olympic silver in Sydney in 2000. In the featherweight class of freestyle wrestling, John Smith won the gold medal. He was able to repeat this performance four years later with another Olympic victory.


    The final of the four with helmsman

    In the first week of the Games, the men's eight and the women were in six boat classes in the rowing competitions at. With eight gold medals, rowers in the GDR won over half of the titles. With two Olympic victories, Italy was the second most successful nation ahead of the rowers from Romania. The three Italian brothers Carmine , Giuseppe and Agostino Abbagnale were involved in both gold medals in a two-man with a helmsman and a double-scull. In one, the West German starter Peter-Michael Kolbe won the silver medal at the Summer Olympics for the third time after 1976 in Montreal and 1984 in Los Angeles. He was defeated by GDR starter Thomas Lange with just under five seconds . The 1976 and 1984 Olympic champion Pertti Karppinen could only reach the B final, which he then won. The Federal Republic of Germany won its only gold medal in the premier class, the eighth.


    In order to make the 13 shooting competitions more exciting, the UIT world association introduced the final shooting for the award of medals. After a qualifying round, the eight best shooters reached the final, in which another ten shots had to be fired, the rings scored were again divided into tenths of a ring and added to the qualification result. The number of finalists differed in three cases: There were four finalists in the Running Target competition, and six each in the trap and skeet shooting . Iryna Schylawa from the Soviet Union won the first gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Seoul with an air rifle. The British Malcolm Cooper was only able to win his gold in the small-bore three-position fight thanks to the help of a Soviet armorer after the stock of his rifle had broken a week earlier . The USSR was the most successful shooting nation with four gold, one silver and six bronze medals, followed by Yugoslavia and the Federal Republic of Germany.


    A total of 944 athletes took part in the swimming competitions. The most successful nation was the German Democratic Republic with eleven gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals. The USA followed with ten gold and silver and six bronze medals and Hungary with four gold and two silver medals. The most successful swimmer was Kristin Otto , who won gold six times. She won the 50 and 100 meters freestyle, 100 meters back, 100 meters butterfly and in the freestyle and medley relays. This made her the most successful starter of these games at the same time. The US swimmer Matt Biondi won seven medals, five of which were gold medals. In the final of the 100 meter butterfly, Biondi lost to Anthony Nesty , one hundredth of a second behind , who won the first gold medal and the first ever Olympic medal for Suriname .

    In diving , the American Greg Louganis won two gold medals from the 3-meter board and from the 10-meter tower. In qualifying for the first competition, Louganis hit his head against the board on the ninth jump. After medical treatment, he continued the competition and reached the final in third place, where he did best with 730.80 points. In the women's category, the two gold medals were won by the Chinese jumpers Gao Min and Xu Yanmei . In synchronized swimming , both titles went to Canada. Carolyn Waldo won the singles and won gold in the duet with her partner Michelle Cameron . The team from Yugoslavia won the water polo tournament , defeating the USA 9: 7 after extra time in the final. Bronze went to the team from the Soviet Union, which was able to prevail in the small final with 14:13 against the Federal Republic of Germany.


    Competition in the Finn class

    Eight sailing competitions were held in Seoul . For the Seoul Games, the competitions were partly separated by sex, so that with the 470 dinghy there was for the first time an all- women class. Women were admitted to the other competitions, with the exception of the men’s 470 class. This rule was only used twice in the Tornado class . In first place in the nations ranking was France with two gold medals. The gold medal in Soling went to Thomas Flach , Bernd Jäkel and Jochen Schümann from the German Democratic Republic. In the men's 470 class, the brothers Tõnu Tõniste and Toomas Tõniste , who started for the Soviet Union, were in first place before the last race. Then they capsized in this, however, and were eliminated, so that they could only win the silver medal overall behind the French Thierry Peponnet and Luc Pillot . In the Finn dinghy class , Canadian Lawrence Lemieux interrupted the fifth race despite his good placement in second to save the injured and overboard Joseph Chan and Siew Shaw . Then he continued the journey and reached the finish in 22nd, where he was disqualified because of surveying problems. After the rescue operation became known, Lemieux was awarded the points of the runner-up. He was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal , the IOC's highest award for athletes.


    Tennis has not been an Olympic game since the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris . The resumption marked the departure from the exclusion of professional athletes. Since professionals were allowed to participate without restrictions, top players such as Chris Evert , Gabriela Sabatini , Zina Garrison , Stefan Edberg , Henri Leconte and Tim Mayotte were at the start in Seoul. With her victory in the women's singles, Steffi Graf was able to achieve the “Golden Slam” in 1988, that is, winning the four “ Grand Slam tournaments ” and the Olympic tournament . Together with Claudia Kohde-Kilsch , Graf also won bronze in doubles. The two double titles went to the United States with the duos Ken Flach / Robert Seguso and Pam Shriver / Zina Garrison, the men's single title was won by Miloslav Mečíř from Czechoslovakia.

    Table tennis

    Table tennis celebrated its premiere in the Olympic program in Seoul in 1988 after it had been a demonstration sport four years earlier . Four nations were able to win medals, apart from the main competitors China and South Korea, which could each win two gold medals, it was Yugoslavia and Sweden, who remained without gold. The South Korean Yoo Nam-kyu defeated his compatriot Kim Ki-taik in the men's singles with three to one sets and thus became the first Olympic champion in table tennis. The Chinese achieved a triple triumph in the women's singles, but had to admit defeat to the duo from South Korea in doubles.

    do gymnastics

    The gymnastics competitions and the rhythmic gymnastics competition were determined by the Eastern European nations, of which the Soviet Union was the most successful. Although there were only 15 competitions, 19 gold medals were awarded due to the same number of points. Twelve of them went to the Soviet Union. The most successful athlete was Vladimir Artyomov from the USSR with four titles, followed by the Romanian Daniela Silivaş with three. The Olympic victory in rhythmic gymnastics went to the Soviet participant Maryna Lobatsch , who received the top mark of ten in all four tests in the final, as in the qualification.


    Twelve men's and eight women's teams took part in the volleyball tournaments of the 1988 Summer Olympics. In the men's tournament there was the final between the United States and the Soviet Union, in which the United States won with 3: 1 sets. In the game for third place, Brazil lost to the team from Argentina. In the women's tournament, the USSR defeated Peru 3-2 in the final and won gold. Bronze went to the People's Republic of China, whose team defeated Japan in the small final.

    Demonstration sports and demonstrations

    As demonstration sports were in Seoul Baseball and Taekwondo represented. The baseball tournament was won by the USA team, which defeated Japan 5-3 in the final. Third place went to the team from Puerto Rico. The Taekwondo competitions were dominated by South Korea. Athletes starting for the host country won nine of the 16 weight classes. The status of women's judo competitions is not clearly clear; they can be seen as a demonstration sport alongside Taekwondo and baseball, but the IOC also viewed them as simply supplements to the program. Two of the women's titles went to judoka from Great Britain, which made it the most successful nation. This was followed by Chinese athletes with one gold and two silver medals and judoka from Japan with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. All three demonstrations were included in the official program for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.

    In addition to the demonstration sports, there were three more that were presented in demonstrations. Two wheelchair races were held in the Olympic Stadium. There was also a men's and a women's bowling competition . Also Badminton was demonstration sport and was then included in the program of the Summer Games in Barcelona.

    Outstanding athletes

    The most successful participant was the GDR swimmer Kristin Otto , who won gold six times. Behind her lay the swimmer Matt Biondi from the USA and the gymnast Vladimir Artyomov from the USSR. With a total of seven medals, Biondi won the most. Other outstanding performances were winning the Golden Slam by Steffi Graf and winning a silver medal in cycling by Christa Luding-Rothenburger , already seven months in the above 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary won two medals in speed skating. The Swede Kerstin Palm was the first woman to take part in Olympic fencing competitions for the seventh time, while the Bahamian sailor Durward Knowles, the oldest participant at 70 years and 323 days, took part in the Olympic Games for the eighth time.

    Most successful athlete at the 1988 Summer Olympics
    athlete team Sports gold silver bronze total
    Kristin Otto Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR German Democratic Republic swim 6th 0 0 6th
    Matt Biondi United StatesUnited States United States swim 5 1 1 7th
    Vladimir Artyomov Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union do gymnastics 4th 1 0 5
    Daniela Silivaș Romania 1965Romania Romania do gymnastics 3 2 1 6th
    Florence Griffith-Joyner United StatesUnited States United States athletics 3 1 0 4th
    Dmitri Bilozertchev Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union do gymnastics 3 0 1 4th
    Janet Evans United StatesUnited States United States swim 3 0 0 3


    A total of 1,600 doping tests were carried out at the 1988 Summer Olympics . The doping investigators convicted a total of ten athletes of performance manipulation, with weightlifting being the most affected. In addition to the athletes, the horses were also tested, with doping being proven in three.

    The Seoul Games were overshadowed by the uncovered doping case Ben Johnson , who was proven to be abusing anabolic steroids after his world record run to gold over 100 meters . The 100-meter final had previously been stylized in the media as the event of the 1988 Summer Olympics and was celebrated as the run of the century. Johnson protested his innocence despite the positive doping test and assumed a conspiracy against him in which the prohibited substance was said to have been added to his urine. After the Canadian was stripped of the title, the 100 meter gold medal went to the American Carl Lewis . According to Wade Exum , the director of doping control of the US Olympic Committee ( USOC ), like three other gold medal winners from the United States, this had tested positive for doping in the trials leading up to the Seoul Games, but this was covered up. However, this statement did not lead to a conviction or revocation of the title, instead the IOC acquitted Carl Lewis in 2004 in Madrid.

    The actual number of doping cases besides the ten detected is likely to be significantly higher. In the German Democratic Republic, for example, as in many other states of the Eastern Bloc, systematic doping was the norm. Doubts about the legitimacy of Kristin Otto's titles were expressed several times . Doping allegations were also made against Florence Griffith-Joyner , the most successful athlete with three titles . However, she tested negative eleven times during the Olympic season. After her death as a result of a stroke in 1998 at the age of 38, calls were made for an autopsy to be carried out on her , as some anti-doping activists were suspected of being the cause of late doping. In addition, her training partner, Lorna Boothe , said she was surprised by Florence Griffith-Joyner's leap in performance and had received confirmation from a nurse in 1987 that she had been treated with anabolic steroids and testosterone . Nevertheless, the connection between doping and Griffith-Joyner's death has also been questioned by sports medicine experts. In addition to the two top athletes in these games, the performance of other athletes is also doubtful. For example, the cyclist Robert Lechner (BRD), who won bronze, doped in the run-up to the Games and deposited the funds in such a way that they could no longer be detected at the Olympics.

    Cultural supporting program

    South Korea used the Summer Olympics to present its culture, which is why a large number of supporting program items were offered. The Olympic Arts Festival consisted of various exhibitions, performances and festivals. In addition to South Koreans, foreign dancers and artists were also included. Among other things, an Olympiad of Art and an Open Air Sculpture Symposium took place, to which international artists were invited with their sculptures. In addition, an exhibition of international contemporary painting took place. In addition, there was the World Academic Conference of the 1988 Seoul Olympics , at which over 200 scientists from various research areas were able to exchange ideas.


    The press officer was Lee Jae-hong . 4933 media representatives were accredited, including 3157 journalists. There were also 11,813 other technical employees. With the sale of the television rights, the organizing committee raised a total of 407.125 million US dollars. Most of the $ 302.110 million came from the National Broadcasting Company , which acquired the broadcasting rights for the United States. From the European Broadcasting Union came $ 28 million. In Germany the ARD and the ZDF broadcast , in South Korea the station Korean Broadcasting System . 210 hours of broadcasting were planned on Austrian television, but without a fixed program schedule; According to sports director Franz Krynedl, ' ORF always wants to get in live where something is going on, the most exciting events would be repeated several times.'

    The schedule of the competitions had been adjusted in part to the wishes of NBC, so that attractive competitions could be shown in the US at prime time and refinancing could be made easier through advertising income.

    The main workspace for media representatives was the International Broadcasting Center, which had over 70,000 square meters of space and was funded by the Korean Broadcasting System. The international television picture was also produced by the South Korean broadcaster.

    Impact and Evaluation

    During the preparation of the Games in South Korea in the 1980s there was sometimes severe domestic political turbulence. In 1980, for example, there was the Gwangju massacre , in which (according to official figures) 170 civilians who called for reforms were killed. As a result, the situation calmed down, but remained tense. When President Chun Doo-hwan confirmed his timely resignation in April 1987 , but announced that the new president would be re-elected by the old electoral body, protests and street battles ensued after the candidate was introduced . In June 1987, Democratic Justice Party chairman and candidate for president , Roh Tae-woo announced that he would accept all of the protesters' demands. A new constitution was drawn up with the participation of the opposition, which among other things guaranteed fundamental rights.

    South Korea viewed the Summer Olympics as a presentation opportunity. On the one hand, 10,000 athletes and officials from 160 countries, including the politically important communist states such as the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic , were present, but 300,000 students also visited South Korea for the Games. Korean culture was highlighted in the media coverage, and the host country presented itself positively overall. However, the positive view also met with some rejection. For example, it was criticized that a large number of security guards accompanied the marathon for fear of disruption and that it therefore took place in front of only a few spectators. Other points of criticism were the accommodation of student leaders outside Seoul and the strengthening of the American troop presence in the run-up to the Games. On the other hand, the 1988 Summer Games are still seen today as a supportive element for the replacement of the authoritarian regime.

    The Seoul Summer Games also marked a turning point for the Olympic movement. For one thing, the big boycotts ended and professional athletes - such as in tennis - were re-admitted. On the other hand, with the Ben Johnson doping case, the doping problem came to the fore, and the fight against doping became an important goal of the IOC. It was also the last games in which the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic, the two most successful nations in the medal table, took part. After the political upheaval in Eastern Europe in 1989/1990 and the German reunification , a team from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and a German team made up of West and East German athletes joined the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona , on.


    The Korean hostesses, who were supposed to do translation and organization work, were forbidden to have sexual contact with these people for fear of the immunodeficiency disease AIDS .


    Web links

    Commons : 1988 Summer Olympics  - collection of images, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. Die Chronik IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 25.
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    3. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. Die Chronik IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 24.
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    5. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. Die Chronik IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 33.
    6. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 47.
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    10. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. The Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 29/30.
    11. Too much poker . In: Der Spiegel . No. 43 , 1987, pp. 219-222 ( Online - Oct. 19, 1987 ).
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    This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 25, 2009 in this version .