1984 Summer Olympics

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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. The only other interested city on the international level, Tehran, which was to host the Olympics declined to bid, because of the political and social changes that were going on in Iran at the same time in late 1970s. When Tehran, the only other city bidding for the 1984 Olympic Games, withdrew, Los Angeles was awarded the Games by the IOC.

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 (but not Romania) boycotted the Games. For differing reasons, Iran and Libya also boycotted. 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."[2] The Los Angeles boycott influenced a large number of events that were normally dominated by the absent countries. Boycotting countries organized another large event in June-September 1984, called the Friendship Games, however, not even a single competition was held between July 28 and August 12, and representatives of organizing countries, in particular of the USSR, underlined it was not "held to replace the Olympics". Elite athletes from the U.S. and USSR would only compete against each other at 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 LA84 Foundation, formerly called the Amateur Athletic Foundation until changing its name in 2007, led an initiative in 2010 to raise funds to support high school sports in Los Angeles, in response to massive budget cuts in the school district.[3] 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.

On July 18, 2009, a 25th anniversary celebration was held in the main stadium. This celebration included a speech by president of Los Angeles 1984, Peter Ueberroth, and an authentic re-creation of the lighting of the cauldron.

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