Backgrounder: Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984: China returns to Olympic Family

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/7/27 11:15:48

Despite a boycott by the Eastern Bloc led by the former Soviet Union, after the US boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Los Angeles saw a record 140 countries and regions line up between July 28 and Aug. 12, 1984.

This was not the only record to fall in Los Angeles, since a record 6,829 athletes took part, including 1,566 women.

The Olympic Flame began its relay in New York and crossed 33 American states before arriving in Los Angeles, for Rafer Johnson, winner of the decathlon in the 1960 Games, to light the Torch.

A number of new events made their debuts, with American Joan Benoit winning the women's marathon, while Connie Carpenter-Phinney, also from the US, won the first road cycling event.

Los Angeles also witnessed the birth of the legend of Carl Lewis, the American runner who won the 100m and 200m, while leading his teammates to the gold medal in 4x100m relay.

Finland's Pertti Karpinnen won the gold for individual canoeing for the third straight time, British runner Sebastian Coe took home gold for the 1,500m for the second time and New Zealand archer Neroli Fairhall became the first paraplegic athlete to win an Olympic medal, sitting in his wheelchair.

Los Angeles 1984 also marked the return of China to the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored the Chinese Olympic Committee as a full member.

The first representation of the People's Republic of China was made up of 250 athletes, who caught the attention of the world.

The first gold medal of the 1984 Olympics went to China's Xu Haifeng for the pistol shooting event. IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch gave him the medal personally. This was followed by a series of gold medals for China, including for gymnast Li Ning, fencer Luan Jujie and the Chinese female volleyball team.

In total, China finished fourth in the rankings with 15 gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals.

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