If one were to ask about the defining moment of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, those in the know would be hardpressed to pick just one. For starters, these were the first boycott-free Games in 20 years, thus ensuring the participation of a record 169 nations and over 9,000 athletes. One of these nations was South Africa, which returned to the Olympic fold after abolishing apartheid. The athletes of the former Soviet Union, except those from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, competed together one last time as the Unified Team, and they went out in a blaze of glory, winning 45 gold medals to top the medal standings.
A young, exciting American boxer named Oscar De La Hoya bagged the gold medal in his division, thus giving rise to a nickname that has stuck to this day: Golden Boy. And the United States put together what some believe is the greatest sports team ever assembled: the legendary Dream Team featuring Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and several other NBA stars. As far as opening ceremonies go, Barcelona was one of the best ever, with the Olympic cauldron being lit by a flaming arrow from paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo.
The Philippines had its share of modest success, with boxer Roel Velasco winning the bronze in the lightflyweight division and jins Bea Lucero and Stephen Fernandez also garnering bronzes in the demonstration sport of taekwondo. (Source: Olympic.org and Olympic.ph)
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