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Athens 2004

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The world was transformed in the four years after Seoul and the Catalan capital responded with a stylish and unforgettable Games.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Germany competed as a united team. The rapidly disintegrating Soviet Union came together for the last time as the Commonwealth of Independent States and South Africa was readmitted to the Olympic fold.

Lewis failed to make the U.S. team for either sprint but won his third long jump title and ran an electric final leg for the winning 4x100 relay team.

At the age of 32, Britain's Linford Christie became the new 100 champion, Kevin Young beat Moses's world record in the one-lap hurdles and Ethiopian Derartu Tulu won a memorable 10,000 metres gold ahed of white South African Elana Meyer.

Vitali Scherbo won six gymnastics golds for the CIS and the U.S. basketball "Dream Team" containing "Magic" Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley proved to be the hottest ticket in town.



**Barcelona, Spain was awarded the right to host the 1992 Games in 1986. The city was promised the 1924 Games, but the then president of the IOC Baron de Coubertin changed his mind in the last moment and awarded it his place of birth - Paris. Incidentally Barcelona is the birthplace of the present IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch.

** Television revenue in the 1992 Games set a new record with the NBC paying $401 million for the American rights.

** For the first time in 20 years none of the nations boycotted the Games in 1992. Hence there were a record number of participation for both countries and competitors. Interestingly for the first time IOC felt compelled to discuss the need for "quotas" to limit numbers for future Games.

** South Africa returned to the Olympic fold after a gap of 32 years at Barcelona.

** Spain's King Juan Carlos, an Olympic yachtsman in the 1972 Munich Games declared the Games open in 1992.

** The Olympic flame at Barcelona was lit by a paraplegic archer Antonio Rebollo. He symbolically shot an arrow at the torch tower at the stadium.

** The disintegrating Soviet Union, now known in 1992 as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or Unified Team (UT), made its last appearance.

** Austria's yachtsman Hubert Raudaschl equaled the Olympic record of having competed in eight Games from 1964 to 1992.

** Canada's rider Christlot Hanson-Boylen in her sixth Olympics in 1992, equaled the record 28 year span of competition for women.

** The men's basketball was open to all professionals for the first time in the 1992 Games. This led to the creation of the US 'Dream Team". In eight games they averaged 117 points!

** Belarus gymnast Vitaly Scherbo who won six old medals in the 1992 Games became the first to win four golds in a single day.

** Andreas Keller who was the part of the gold medal winning German men's hockey team in 1992 became the third generation of his family to win a medal in this event. His grandfather Erwin Keller won a silver in 1936, while his father Carsten Keller also won the gold in 1972.


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