Awarding the Summer Games to South Korea provided the impetus for the country to embrace democracy. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) boycotted, and was joined by Cuba, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. Still, records were set with 159 nations participating, 52 winning medals and 31 taking home gold medals.
Canadian Ben Johnson set a world record in the 100m sprint, but tested positive for steroids. Johnson was the first world-famous athlete to be disqualified for using drugs. After his disqualification, Carl Lewis was awarded the 100m gold, meaning he had successfully defended his 1984 Olympic title.
Discover the lasting legacy that this edition of the Olympic Games created for its hosts.
For the first time, all three medallists in equestrian dressage were women. Swedish fencer Kerstin Palm became the first woman to take part in seven Olympic Games, and table tennis made its Olympic debut. Tennis also returned to the programme after a hiatus of 64 years. The event was open to professionals, and Steffi Graf concluded her Grand Slam tennis season by winning Olympic gold.
See the list of teams and medals won by each.See table