1990 Goodwill Games

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1990 Goodwill Games
Goodwill Games Seattle 1990 logo.png
Host citySeattle, Washington
CountryUnited States
OpeningJuly 20, 1990 (1990-07-20)
ClosingAugust 5, 1990 (1990-08-05)

The 1990 Goodwill Games was the second edition of the international multi-sport event created by Ted Turner, which was held between July 20 and August 5, 1990. Following an inaugural edition in Moscow, the second games took place in Seattle, United States, highlighting the competition's role in fostering good Soviet–U.S. relations. The games were opened at the University of Washington's Husky Stadium with a speech by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan,[1] as well as an address by Arnold Schwarzenegger and performances by the Moody Blues and Gorky Park. The top three nations in the medal table remained the same as the previous edition: the Soviet Union won 66 gold medals and a total of 188 medals, the United States was a close runner-up with 60 gold medals and 161 medals overall, while East Germany was a distant third with 11 golds.

A renovated Husky Stadium hosted the opening ceremony of the second games
The napkin on which the preliminary financial arrangements for the Games were sketched out.

The games' motto was "Uniting the World's Best", and a total of 2,312 athletes from 54 countries engaged in the 17-day program of 21 sports. Each countries' contingent of athletes did not parade separately at the opening ceremony, but instead all athletes entered the stadium as one large mass (emphasizing the theme of international unity).[2] The size of the sporting program meant that some events were held in other Washington cities, including Tacoma, Spokane, and the Tri-Cities area.[3] A number of venues in the region were built or renovated for the Games: Federal Way gained an aquatics venue (King County Aquatic Center) through the games, while Seattle itself gained a new track for Husky Stadium and new flooring for the Edmundson Pavilion.[1] The Seattle Space Needle had a large purpose-built gold medal hung around the structure during the Games.[4]

The competition featured a significant cultural aspect compared to the previous edition. Around 1,400 Soviet athletes went to the US and stayed with host families in Seattle.[3] Soviet cosmonauts also visited schools in the city and the Moscow State Circus gave a number of performances.[2] A Goodwill Games Arts Festival was held in conjunction with the sporting event – 1,300 artists took part in the festival, which featured a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet, a museum exhibition of Soviet history, and a 2 million-dollar stage production of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.[1][3] Similarly to the 1986 Goodwill Games, the 1990 edition of the event was not financially successful and Ted Turner personally lost $44 million as a result.[1]

Two world records were broken during the Games: the 200-meter breaststroke mark was topped by all three medalists in the race, with American Mike Barrowman improving the record to two minutes and 11.53 seconds. Soviet athlete Nadezhda Ryashkina completed a world record of 41:56.21 in the 10 km race walk.[3]


Seattle was awarded hosting rights for the 1990 Games by Turner on June 6, 1986, ahead of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta.[5]



Although the games were billed as occurring in Seattle, events took place at venues throughout Washington state:

Medal table[edit]

American Kristi Yamaguchi won her first major international gold medal in figure skating at the Games.

  *   Host nation (United States)

1 Soviet Union (URS)666854188
2 United States (USA)*605348161
3 East Germany (GDR)1182443
4 Bulgaria (BUL)87924
5 China (CHN)67316
6 Cuba (CUB)64313
7 West Germany (FRG)43815
8 Canada (CAN)41611
9 Poland (POL)4105
10 South Korea (KOR)3227
 Spain (ESP)3227
12 Romania (ROM)2428
13 Japan (JPN)231015
14 Italy (ITA)2215
15 Yugoslavia (YUG)2103
16 Hungary (HUN)1157
 Netherlands (NED)1157
18 Jamaica (JAM)1124
19 Denmark (DEN)1113
20 Mongolia (MGL)1102
21 Czechoslovakia (TCH)1001
 Mexico (MEX)1001
 Morocco (MAR)1001
 Suriname (SUR)1001
25 Australia (AUS)0437
26 Great Britain (GBR)0224
27 Turkey (TUR)0213
28 Ethiopia (ETH)0202
 New Zealand (NZL)0202
30 Brazil (BRA)0167
31 Kenya (KEN)0112
32 Bahamas (BAH)0101
33 France (FRA)0011
 Ireland (IRL)0011
 Sweden (SWE)0011
 U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV)0011
Totals (36 entries)192186202580


A total of 54 nations were represented at the 1990 Games with a total of 2312 athletes attending the games.[2] However, around 3500 athletes had received invitations to the games and the attendance was a marked decline from the inaugural edition.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ted Turner's Goodwill Games open in Seattle on July 20, 1990.. HistoryLink. Retrieved on June 23, 2010.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c d Past Goodwill Games – 1990 and Seattle Archived February 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Goodwill Games. Retrieved on June 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Space Needle selling big Goodwill medal. Spokane Chronicle, pg. A5, (August 1, 1990). Retrieved on June 23, 2010.
  5. ^ Newnham, Blaine (June 6, 1986). "Goodwill Games here: Seattle named next host city". The Seattle Times. p. A1.
  6. ^ a b c "Traffic Impacts During the Goodwill Games" (PDF).
  7. ^ "The 1990 Goodwill Games are Coming to Spokane". Spokesman-Review. June 21, 1990.
  8. ^ "Local Athletes DOT Games Lineup, Some Coaches Have Area Ties". The Seattle Times. July 19, 1990.
  9. ^ "Tri-Cities Coliseum Gets Ice Hockey, Skating". Spokesman-Review. March 16, 1989.

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