Games of the XXV Olympiad
For the first time in 20 years, every nation with a National Olympic Committee was represented. For the first time since 1972, the Olympic Games were boycott-free. The Olympic Truce was proclaimed for the first time.
The 314-member Canadian team lived up to its pre-Game promise by winning the most medals ever with the exception of the boycotted 1984 Games. Team members had placed in the top three in 16 events at the previous year’s world championships, and repeated the feat by winning 18 Olympic medals.
Nicolas Gill won the first medal of the Games – a bronze in the 86kg judo event. Mark Tewksbury electrified the world with a come-from-behind victory in the 100m backstroke and then added a bronze as part of the 4x100m medley relay team. Cyclist Curt Harnett added a bronze in the sprint to the silver he had won in the 1,000m in 1984. The athletics contingent contributed three medals: Mark McKoy gave Canada its first athletics gold medal since 1932 when he won the 110m hurdles, Guillaume Leblanc sped to silver in the 20km walk, while Angela Chalmers won bronze in the women’s 3,000m. The women’s rowing team dominated the competition, winning gold in the coxless pairs, the coxless fours and the eights.
In one of the most dramatic stories of the Games, Silken Laumann came back from a devastating injury 10 weeks before the Games to win bronze in the single sculls. The men’s eight rowing team rounded out Canada’s medal spree with another gold. Back in the pool, a judging error forced Sylvie Fréchette to settle for silver in the synchronized swimming solo; the error is corrected months later and she is awarded a gold medal. Twins Penny and Vicky Vilagos also won silver. This time on the water instead of in the water, Ross MacDonald and Eric Jesperson earned a bronze in Star class yachting. Rounding out the medals were three more in combative sports: boxers Marc Leduc (63.5kg) and Chris Johnson (75kg) earned silver and bronze respectively, while Jeff Thue wrestled his way to silver in the 130kg class. Canadians competing in the demonstration sport of taekwondo brought home five more medals – three silver and two bronze.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Luis Doreste Blanco (sailing)
Olympic Oath (officials): Eugenio Asensio (football)
Olympic Oath (coaches): None
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Antonio Rebollo (Paralympic archer)
Official Opening: King Juan Carlos I