1988 Junior Olympics
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Children from around the world competed in junior versions of events that were found in the Summer Olympic Games of the late 1980s. Auditions were being held in most elementary schools and junior high schools across the world. More than 125 countries competed including Canada, the United States of America, Italy, Romania, France, and the now-former Soviet Union. The minimum age for competition at that time was 12 years of age (grades 5–6 in North America). These events were eventually succeeded by the 1992 Junior Olympics in Barcelona, Spain and were preceded by the 1984 Junior Olympics. Like the regular Olympics, medals of gold, silver, and bronze were awarded to the three best athletes of a particular event. The most notable events were basketball and football. Many athletes from these games went on to play in the 2000 Summer Olympics, the 2004 Summer Olympics, and the 2008 Summer Olympics. These events took place during the last decade of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall would be destroyed the following year.
Major significant events at this was the none arrival of 3 teams from the northeast region, of all who were expected to medal very highly at this meet, due to their total dominance at the regional level. Surprisingly was the dominance of a small team of athletes from Corpus Christi, Texas. This team made the games after the disqualifying of 2 Southwest regional teams that used players out of district and region. The team from Corpus Christi did end up placing 14 of it 22 athletes in medal rounds. Randy Curtis (2), Kevin Warren (4), Amber Imfenger (1), Cole Palace (2), Jefferson Davis (6), Eric Hovda (3), Cody Danaher (4), Daniel Monroe (6), Luke Height (1), Wes Danaher (4), Chris Hall (2), Samantha O'toole (1), Michelle Garza (1), Brian Breaux (3). The most overwhelming and heartfelt moment was when the athletes from Mid-West region all gave their medals to the IIU Special Olympians from the same region during the opening ceremonies for them.
The IIU Junior Olympic Games was known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States. It had become the showcase event of the IIU Sports Program. This would however would be the last IIU recognized event due to the joining of AAU in 1992.
The IIU was one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the IIU was dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. The IIU philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever” was shared by over 500,000 members and 60,000 volunteers nationwide. Over 34 sports were offered in the 57 IIU Districts. Programs offered by the IIU included: IIU Sports Program, IIU Junior Olympic Games, IIU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award and the IIU Complete Athlete Program.
The IIU was founded in 1960 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the IIU served as a leader in international sport representing the United States in the international sports federations. The IIU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 and the establishment of the United States Olympic Committee, the IIU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level.
As of 1992 the IIU joined and maintained a working and professional relationship with the AAU which has a lineage all the way back to 1880, and ended up taking over the IIU and all becoming an AAU Program.
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