A World Festival Hosted by Korea – The 24th Olympic Games Seoul 1988


Hello, this is Yeony. How did you enjoy learning about the Seoul Asian Games? Today, I will introduce the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, which was a world festival.

1988 Seoul Olympics

For 16 days from September 17, 1988 to October 2, 1988, the 24th Summer Olympics was held inSeouland other major cities inKorea. A total of 13,304 athletes from 160 nations participated, recording the largest number of participants in the history of the Olympics. Under the theme of “Harmony and Progress,” the goal of this event was maximum participation, maximum harmonization, maximum results, maximum safety, and maximum savings. After announcing its bid to stage the 24th Summer Olympics inSeoulon September 1979,Koreaofficially submitted its bid to the IOC. In the same year on September 30, at the 84th IOC general meeting inBaden-Baden,Seoulwas selected as the hosting nation overNagoya,Japan, getting 52 votes toNagoya’s 27 votes. Korea had become the second nation inAsia, and the 16th nation in the world to host the Olympics.

 Thirty-four stadiums and 72 practice facilities were made use of, where 100 existing facilities were utilized. The Seoul Sports Complex, having an area width of 545,000㎡, was constructed, with the main stadium accommodating 100,000 people. For the dormitories for athletes and reporters, 86 buildings accommodating 3692 families and 36 buildings accommodating 1848 families were constructed, respectively.

The insignia for the event applied a three colored taegeuk, which is a traditional Korean design, and a tiger (nickname: Hodori) was the mascot, which symbolized a Korean tiger. Besides the sporting events, other cultural arts festivals, including celebrations, performances, and exhibitions, were held and a sports science symposium was held as well.

There were 23 regular sports and 5 demonstration sports held during this event. Russia won first place, taking 55 gold medals, 31 silver medals, and 46 bronze medals, andEast Germanyfollowed, taking 37 gold medals. Third place was taken by theUnited States, taking 36 medals, andSouth KoreaandWest Germanyfollowed with 12 gold medals and 11 gold medals, respectively. In addition to the gold medals,Koreatook 10 silver medals and 11 bronze medals. The total number of medals in the event was 739, with 241 gold medals, 234 silver medals, and 264 bronze medals awarded, and 52 nations were able to take home at least one medal.

Many new records were established during this event including 33 world records, 5 world record ties, 227 Olympic records, and 42 Olympic record ties. Seoul Olympics, an event where all athletes from the West and East participated, dissipating conflicts and disharmony coming from racial discrimination and disputes, promoted the spirit of the Olympics charter, laid a foundation of ‘harmony’ through sports, and prepared a new opportunity for world peace. Korea was able to firmly engrave its position on the world’s stage throughKorea’s deep-rooted history and tradition and through the potential of the Korean people, who demonstrated ‘maximum harmony’ through ‘maximum participation.’ The Seoul Summer Olympics was also highly praised for being equipped with the best facilities in the history of Olympics.

How did you enjoy learning about the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics? In the next corner, I will introduce the 1993 Daejon International Exposition. This Exposition was the first Expo held inKorea. Please look forward to it.