1992 Summer Paralympics

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IX Paralympic Games
Host cityBarcelona and Madrid, Spain
MottoSport Without Limits
(Catalan: Esport Sense Límits)
(Spanish: Deporte Sin Límites)
Nations82 (BCN)
75 (MAD)[1]
Athletes3,020 (BCN)
1,600 (MAD)[1][2]
Events487 in 15 sports (BCN)
68 in 5 sports (MAD)
Opening3 September (BCN)
15 September (MAD)
Closing14 September (BCN)
22 September (MAD)
Opened by
Antonio Rebollo (BCN)
Coral Bistuer (MAD)
StadiumEstadi Olímpic de Montjuïc (BCN)
Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid (MAD)
1992 Summer Olympics

The 1992 Summer Paralympics (Spanish: Juegos Paralímpicos de Verano de 1992; Catalan: Jocs Paralímpics d'estiu de 1992) were the ninth Paralympic Games to be held. They were held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. In addition, the 1992 Paralympic Games for Persons with mental handicap were held immediately after the regular Paralympics in the Spanish capital, Madrid.[2]

Host city selection[edit]

Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain and the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, and the hometown of then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch and the famous European club, FC Barcelona that from the beginning of the candidacy provided support and financially helped the project. The city was also a host for the 1982 FIFA World Cup with two venues who were also used during the games. On 17 October 1986, Barcelona was selected to host the 1992 Summer Olympics over Amsterdam, Netherlands; Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Birmingham, United Kingdom; Brisbane, Australia; and Paris, France, during the 91st IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland.[3] With 85 out of 89 members of the IOC voting by secret ballot, Barcelona won a majority of 47 votes. Samaranch abstained from voting. In the same IOC meeting, Albertville, France, won the right to host the 1992 Winter Games. Paris and Brisbane would eventually be selected to host the 2024 and 2032 Summer Paralympics respectively.[4]

Barcelona had previously bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics that were ultimately held in Berlin.

1992 Summer Olympics bidding results[5]
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Barcelona  Spain 29 37 47 57 67 85
Paris  France 19 20 23 18 18 -
Brisbane  Australia 11 9 10 10 - -
Belgrade  Yugoslavia 13 11 5 - - -
Birmingham  Great Britain 8 8 - - -
Amsterdam  Netherlands 5 - - -

And the fact that the Spanish city was chosen to host the Olympic Games, gave hope to the Paralympic movement that the city would host the Games, days after the Summer Olympics Closing Ceremonies. On August 2, 1987, the city had its Paralympic bid unanimously and unreservedly approved by the International Coordinating Committee (ICC). Unlike their predecessors, the Spanish bid that had an impressive and innovative factor as the two bids were made by the same Organizing Committee that was committing to organize and hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games together, something completely different, innovative and risky at that time.[6]


The games consisted of 560 events spread over fifteen sports. Powerlifting and weightlifting were considered to be a single sport. Wheelchair tennis, a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Paralympics, was contested as an official medal sport for the first time. This was the first time that lawn bowls and snooker were dropped from the Summer Paralympic Games program.[1]


In total 11 venues were used at the 1992 Summer Olympics and one new one was used at the Games in Barcelona.[7]


Parc del Mar[edit]

Vall d'Hebron[edit]

In the north of the city, the Horta-Guinardó District, hosted three sports:

Other Venues[edit]


Medal count[edit]

A total of 1710 medals were awarded during the 1992 games: 555 gold, 557 silver, and 594 bronze. The United States topped the medal count with more gold medals, more silver medals, and more medals overall than any other nation. Germany took the most bronze medals, with 59.[8] The Madrid medals are counted too and added in the table[2] In the table below, the ranking sorts by the number of gold medals earned by a nation (in this context a nation is an entity represented by a National Paralympic Committee).

  Host country (Spain)

1 United States (USA)755248175
2 Germany (GER)615159171
3 Great Britain (GBR)425145138
4 Spain (ESP)*393249120
5 Australia (AUS)373736110
6 France (FRA)363635107
7 Canada (CAN)29232981
8 Unified Team (EUN)19151650
9 Sweden (SWE)16331968
10 China (CHN)168731
Totals (10 entries)3703383431051

Participating delegations[edit]

103 delegations participated at the 1992 Summer Paralympics.

South Africa returned to the Paralympics for the first time since being declared "undesirable" due to its policy of apartheid in 1980.[9][10] Countries who made their first appearances in the Barcelona Games were Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Seychelles, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Yemen.

Germany competed as a reunified country for the first time in the Summer Paralympics after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Latvia and Lithuania competed as independent countries for the first time due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union (Estonia having competed independently at the 1992 Winter Paralympics as well), while Croatia and Slovenia did the same due to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The remainder of Yugoslavia competed as Independent Paralympic Participants due to sanctions. Some former Soviet republics competed as a Unified Team (consisting of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine)[citation needed], all of whom would compete independently by the 1996 Games.

Twenty-one countries did not send a delegation to Barcelona, but sent one to Madrid; they were: Aruba, Bolivia, Côte d'Ivoire, Curaçao, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Zimbabwe.[2]


The official mascot was Petra, an armless girl designed by Javier Mariscal.

Paralympic Games for Persons with mental handicap[edit]

The first Paralympic Games for Persons with mental handicap were held immediately after the regular Paralympic games in the Spanish capital of Madrid from 15 to 22 September.[11] Over 1,400 athletes from 74 nations participated in the competition, which was sponsored by the Association Nacional Prestura de Servicio (ANDE) and sanctioned by the International Coordinating Committee of World Sport Organizations for the Disabled and the International Association of Sport for the Mentally Handicapped. The games featured a cultural exchange group, a group of intellectually disabled men from Nagasaki who played taiko (traditional drums) during the opening and closing ceremonies and selected track events.[2][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Barcelona 1992 – General Information". International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Madrid 1992 – the Paralympic Games that time forgot!". Paralympicanorak.wordpress.com. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  3. ^ "IOC Vote History". Aldaver.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  4. ^ Miller, Judith (18 October 1986). "Barcelona gets 1992 Summer Olympics" (Archives). The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Past Olympic Host City Election Results". Archived from the original on 30 June 2011.
  6. ^ Brittain, Ian (2012). From Stoke Mandeville to Stratford : a history of the summer paralympic games (PDF). Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing LLC. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-86335-988-7.
  7. ^ elmundodeportivo.es. "Sedes e instalaciones". Retrieved 5 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Medal Standings – Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games". International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  9. ^ "'The Netherlands against Apartheid' – 1970s", International Institute of Social History
  10. ^ South Africa at the Paralympics, International Paralympic Committee
  11. ^ Yabe, Kyonosuke; Kusano, Katsuhiko; Nakata, Hideo (2012). Adapted Physical Activity: Health and Fitness. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 23. ISBN 978-4-431-68272-1.
  12. ^ DePauw, Karen P; Rich, Sarah (Winter 1993). "Paralympics for the mentally handicapped". Palaestra. Vol. 9, no. 2. pp. 59–64.
Preceded by Summer Paralympics

IX Paralympic Summer Games (1992)
Succeeded by