1986 Goodwill Games

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1986 Goodwill Games
Official logo
Host cityMoscow, Russian SFSR
CountrySoviet Union
Opening ceremony5 July 1986 (1986-07-05)
Closing ceremony20 July 1986 (1986-07-20)
Seattle 1990  >
The Goodwill Games inaugural opening ceremony at the Central Lenin Stadium

The 1986 Goodwill Games was the inaugural edition of the international multi-sport event created by Ted Turner, which was held from 5 – 20 July 1986. The main stadium was the Central Lenin Stadium in Moscow, Soviet Union. The Games were a response to the Olympic boycotts of the period, which saw the United States refuse to attend the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and the Soviet Union refusing to attend the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet athletes dominated the competition, winning 118 gold medals and 241 medals overall. The United States finished second place, with 42 golds and 142 medals in total.


Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting created and funded the inaugural Goodwill Games

A total of 3000 athletes from 79 nations took part in events in eighteen different sports. The Goodwill Games was the first time in ten years that elite athletes from Soviet Union and United States competed against each other in a major summer multi-sport event. In contrast to the selection methods of other major competitions, the Games was an invitation-only event. The event was broadcast over 129 hours on TBS in the United States.[1]

The Games themselves were subject to political issues, as the USSR banned teams from Israel and South Korea (two close allies of the US) from the competition. The organizers also closed the city to non-Muscovites.[2] The Goodwill Games, although commercial in nature, were not successful financially and Turner Broadcasting suffered millions of dollars of losses through its support of the event.[3]

A number of sporting world records were set over the course of the Games. In the athletics competition, Sergey Bubka broke the pole vault record with a mark of 6.01 m, Jackie Joyner-Kersee broke the heptathlon record with a score of 7148 points,[1] while Ben Johnson defeated Carl Lewis in the 100 metres to win his first major international title.[3] Vladimir Salnikov broke the 800 m freestyle world record in the swimming competition with a time of 7:50.64. In the cycling events, Michael Hübner and Erika Salumäe set world records in the men's and women's 200 m flying start race, respectively.[1]

The 1986 FIBA World Basketball Championship in Madrid was broadcast on Ted Turner's network and were thus classified as the official Goodwill Games event for the men's sport. In the women's basketball competition, the United States team broke the Soviets' undefeated international run, which had grown to 152 victories. The 1986 Games also saw the first ever international motorcycle polo, or motoball, competition.[3]


Medal table[edit]

Sergey Bubka won gold for the Soviet Union with a pole vault world record
Erika Salumäe was another Soviet athlete to win with a world record
1 Soviet Union (URS)1188043241
2 United States (USA)424951142
3 East Germany (GDR)7111028
4 Romania (ROU)66618
5 Bulgaria (BUL)472031
6 Poland (POL)23611
7 Canada (CAN)2024
8 Japan (JPN)1034
9 Australia (AUS)1023
10 Great Britain (GBR)1012
 Portugal (POR)1012
12 Ethiopia (ETH)1001
  Switzerland (SUI)1001
14 Czechoslovakia (TCH)09110
15 China (CHN)0459
16 France (FRA)0224
17 Hungary (HUN)0156
 Mongolia (MGL)0156
19 Venezuela (VEN)0123
20 Turkey (TUR)0112
 West Germany (FRG)0112
22 Finland (FIN)0101
 Nigeria (NGR)0101
24 North Korea (PRK)0066
25 Italy (ITA)0055
26 Brazil (BRA)0022
27 Colombia (COL)0011
 Ivory Coast (CIV)0011
 Kenya (KEN)0011
 Kuwait (KUW)0011
 Netherlands (NED)0011
 Norway (NOR)0011
Totals (32 nations)187178186551


  1. ^ a b c "1986, The Inaugural Games". Goodwill Games. Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  2. ^ Goodwill Games Open Without US Boxers
  3. ^ a b c Bell, Daniel (2003). Encyclopedia of International Games (pgs. 164–168). McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN 0-7864-1026-4.

External links[edit]