Twenty years is a very long time but when it comes to the Olympic Spirit, 20 years is nothing. Join me on a walk down memory lane to remember those magnificent summer Olympics held in Barcelona 1992, and take a look how the Montjuïc Olympic Ring is still magnificent even after 20 years!
It was the summer of 1992 and the whole world had their eyes glued to the TV screen to witness how the torch on the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc was going to be lit in a most peculiar way…
Twenty years has passed since that jaw-dropping moment that is now part of Barcelona’s history. It may be true that two decades have been left behind, but a huge monument to the Olympic Spirit rises at the top of Montjuïc, a hill to the southwest of the city center.
The Olympic Ring was home to many venues that held different competitions during the summer Olympics, such as:
- Cross-country course – modern pentathlon (running)
- Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc – opening/closing ceremonies, athletics
- Palau Sant Jordi – gymnastics, volleyball, handball, and basketball (home of the Dream Team)
- Piscines Bernat Picornell – swimming, synchronized swimming, and water polo
- Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc – diving and water polo
- Institut National d’Educació Física de Catalunya – wrestling
Some of these venues are still used for occasional sports or even concerts but when you are inside you can’t help but think that the Olympic glory was once held within those same walls.
The centerpiece of the Olympic Ring is the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc that is know called, ‘Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys’ in honor of the president of Catalunya during the Spanish Civil War. The access is now free but somewhat restricted, but you can still get a nice look of what the stadium might have been 20 years ago.
When you cross the street, there’s a small monument that I particularly like, because it commemorates the brotherhood between Seoul and Barcelona. It is there because Seoul was the host oh the 1988 summer Olympics, which later gave way to Barcelona ‘92. What I like the most is that it’s a very simple and zen like installation with a figure of a marathon runner carved into the stone and there’s even a space that has an imprint of the two feet of Seoul’s torch bearer. I think it’s a brilliant idea that will live on for many years to come.
The other big venue of the Olympic Ring is the Palau Sant Jordi. This is a huge stadium that now holds several sports matches that require to fit lots of people, like tennis, basketball, etc but it’s also a great place for music concerts. The best thing is this is the very same spot where the Dream Team made their amazing run for the Olympic gold. Can you imagine watching all those basketball legends playing together on the same court? Wow, that must have been amazing! (Kind of a basketball fan myself).
The whole ring is connected by a huge plaza filled with enormous columns that look very nice and leads to the gigantic communications tower designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava.
What better way to close our little time travel than with an amazing song from one of the best lead singers that ever existed, ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with Freddie Mercury’s presentation of his song Barcelona the hymn of the 1992 Olympics. Enjoy!
Do you remember the Barcelona 92 summer Olympics? Share your memories in the comments section below.