Seoul 1988

Awarding the Summer Games to South Korea provided the impetus for the country to embrace democracy. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) boycotted, and was joined by Cuba, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. Still, records were set with 159 nations participating, 52 winning medals and 31 taking home gold medals.

Sprint scandal

Canadian Ben Johnson set a world record in the 100m sprint, but tested positive for steroids. Johnson was the first world-famous athlete to be disqualified for using drugs. After his disqualification, Carl Lewis was awarded the 100m gold, meaning he had successfully defended his 1984 Olympic title.

Debuts and firsts

For the first time, all three medallists in equestrian dressage were women. Swedish fencer Kerstin Palm became the first woman to take part in seven Olympic Games, and table tennis made its Olympic debut. Tennis also returned to the programme after a hiatus of 64 years. The event was open to professionals, and Steffi Graf concluded her Grand Slam tennis season by winning Olympic gold.

Greek medal

Haralampos Cholidis took the only medal for Greece in Seoul's Olympics. He was 3rd in wrestling

Memorable champions

German cyclist Christa Luding-Rothenburger, who was also a speed skater, earned a silver medal in cycling. Having already won two medals at the Winter Games, she became the only person in history to win winter and summer medals in the same year. Greg Louganis successfully defended his titles in both diving events and American swimmer Matt Biondi won seven medals, including five golds.

NOCs 159
Athletes 8,391
Events 237
Volunteers 27,221
Media 11,331 media (4,978 written press, 6,353 broadcasters)

Ελληνικές Συμμετοχές: 1
Flag bearer: Δήμας Πύρρος
Team Captain:


Babis Cholidis: Bronze Medal, Wrestling, Seoul 1988