This August marks the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It was a memorable Games–the first in Spain, the first boycott-free since 1972. The world had changed dramatically in the last four years, with the end of both the Cold War in Eastern Europe and apartheid in South Africa. The breakup of the Soviet Union saw Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania competing independently for the first time in decades. Germany’s teams were reunified. Other former Soviet republics banded together as a “Unified Team.” Due to the conflict in Yugoslavia, the IOC banned that country but allowed its individual athletes to compete.
Barcelona was also the debut of the Dream Team, the first time professional basketball players were allowed to compete, meaning that the U.S. mopped the floor with the competition. Other debuts in medal sports were baseball (now off the program, but re-added for Tokyo 2020), badminton and judo. Exhibition sports were taekwondo (now a medal sport), roller hockey and Basque pelota.
But Barcelona 1992 stands out also because of its amazing Opening Ceremony, in particular, the most innovative torch lighting yet–and arguably the best. Have a look:
Now to celebrate the 25th anniversary, you can carry the Barcelona torch on the Olympic Channel’s game, You Can’t Torch This. It’s a Frogger-like game to get the torch to its final destination. Can you do it in 60 seconds?