The 24th Summer Olympic Games were held in Seoul in 1988, with a record number of athletes (13,304 from 160 countries) attending the event. The Games adopted “reconciliation and progress” as the basic spirit. The organizing committee set the following objectives: participation of the largest number of athletes, worldwide harmony, best results, safety, and cost saving.
South Korea became the 16th country (and only the 2nd in Asia) to host the Summer Olympic Games. The competitions were held in 23 formal disciplines and 2 demonstration sports. South Korea ranked 4th overall, winning 12 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 11 bronze medals.
The 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics were significant in that they were focused on reconciliation between the Western and Eastern Blocs, after the Western Bloc’s boycotting of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics and the Eastern Bloc’s retaliatory boycotting of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. The event in Seoul transcended ideological conflict and racial discrimination pursuant to the Olympic Charter, and served as an occasion for publicizing the status of the country’s economic development and traditional culture, and the potential of Koreans worldwide.
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