The Best Moments Of The 1992 Olympics

Tara Jessop

The Olympic Games came to the Catalan capital Barcelona in 1992 in what became a pivotal moment for the city, transforming it into the modern cosmopolitan hub it is today. From heartwarming displays of camaraderie to record breaking performances, we reflect on some of the most memorable moments of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The bilingual Olympic hymn

One of the 1992 Olympic Games’ most defining moments came early on when during the opening ceremony, the Spanish tenor Alfred Kraus, originally from the Canary Islands, sang the Olympic hymn in both the Spanish language, also known as Castilian, as well as the local language of the region, Catalan. Although the Catalan language is now co-official in the region, its use was prohibited during the time of the Francoist dictatorship and its use became a symbol of Catalan pride. This was a poignant performance which captured the hearts of the local audience.

The iconic lighting of the flame

The end of Apartheid

For the first time since 1960, South Africa was allowed to compete in the Olympic games after the lifting of a ban which had been imposed on the country in protest against the system of racial segregation known as apartheid. One of the most enduring images of the games came at the end of an extremely close women’s 10,000 meter event, when black Ethiopian winner Derartu Tulu beat her competitor, the white South African Elana Meyer, becoming the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal. However, the most memorable moment came seconds later when, hand in hand, the two ran their victory lap together, signifying the dawn of new hope in Africa and capturing the essence of the Olympic spirit.

The Dream Team wins gold

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics were the first games in which, following a somewhat controversial change to the rules, the professional players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) were allowed to compete. This meant that the best players in the world at the time were on show and the American men’s basketball team, also known as the so-called Dream Team, lead by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson easily won gold. The entire team would subsequently go on to be inducted as a unit into the basketball hall of fame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlfdyDxFQv0

Scherbo steals all the Gold

It was during the Barcelona 1992 games that gymnast Vitaly Scherbo gave one of the most impressive performances in Olympic history when he won six of the eight possible gold medals in artistic gymnastics, namely the team event, the all around, pommel horse, rings, vault, and parallel bars – four of which were all won on the same day. The athlete, who originated from the then recently dissolved USSR was competing for the Unified team as his own country ( the actual Belarus) did not yet have its own Olympic team. To date, only two other Olympians have ever won more Gold medals than Scherbo did that summer.

Young hero captures Spanish hearts

Sometimes the best moments come when you’re least expecting them. Not among the favorites at the start of the games, 23-year-old runner Fermin Cacho Ruiz won Spain’s first ever Gold medal in a running event when the unfancied local hero sprinted away from the field to take gold in the men’s 1500 meters. He later went on to be one of Spain’s greatest ever athletes, winning silver in the next Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

The Olympic spirit

Finally, 1992 Summer Olympics created one of the most well-remembered and defining images of the modern Olympic era. In the men’s 400 meter semi-final, one of the favorites for the medal, Derek Redmond, tore his hammer-string about halfway into the race. He ground to a halt and fell to the ground, bent over in excruciating pain, but as medic’s started to make their way towards him, he suddenly decided to finish the race. He began to hobble to reach the end when, in a heartwarming moment, his father, who had been watching from the stadium barge passed security to assist his son in finishing the race. They were greeted at the finishing line by a standing ovation from the entire stadium and have gone down in Olympic history.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
Edit article