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Games of the XXV Olympiad: Barcelona 1992

Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics

Last modified: 2023-06-10 by zachary harden
Keywords: olympic games | barcelona | games | spain | ioc | cio |
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[Barcelona Olympics, 1992 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Zachary Harden, 8 February 2021

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Candidature logo on flag from "Official Report of the Games of the XXV Olympiad, Barcelona 1992"; image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

The first time that Barcelona was to be promoted as candidate city was at the 18th Session of the IOC held in Antwerp during the 1920 Olympics, in which Barcelona made a formal request to organise the Games in 1924. After Paris was selected to host the 1924 Games, Amsterdam was selected to host the 1928 Games and Los Angeles had been selected to host the 1932 Games, Barcelona again bid for the 1936 Games, a nomination (that) was to be decided in Barcelona on the 24th of April, 1931 at the 29th Session of the IOC. However, because of the lack of quorum, the decision about the site for the 1936 Games was adjourned and it was agreed that there would be a postal vote. The count was made in Lausanne one month later: Berlin (winner) obtained 43 votes; Barcelona 16; and there were 8 abstentions. Yet again, at the the 30th Session of the IOC in Los Angeles during the 1932 Games, Barcelona had again presented its candidature for (the) 1940 (Games). However, the Games were awarded to another city and due to the outbreak of World War II, the Games were cancelled. In 1965 (the) Barcelona City Council presented yet another application to organise the Olympic Games, this time in 1972. However, the President of the COE changed the venue city for Madrid. In the end, at the 64th Session of the IOC in Rome in April 1966, the Games were awarded to Munich.

In the mid-1980's, the mayor of Barcelona, Narcís Serra, and the deputy Mayors, Josep Miquel Abad, Josep Maria Cullelland Pasqual Maragall, began to carry out a study of the possibility of holding the Olympic Games in the city. On 31January 1981, at a dinner to celebrate the awards for the sportsmen and women of the year organised annually by the sports newspaper "El Mundo Deportivo" at the Hotel Princesa Sofía, Narcís Serra announced in public that he wished to offer the city as the site for the 1992 Olympic Games.

The City Council then started to debate the proposal for the bid and on June 30, 1981 the decision to run for the Games was adopted unanimously by all political parties represented at the City Council, namely PSC (Partido de los Socialistas de Cataluña), PSUC (Partido Socialista Unificado de Cataluña), CiU (Convergència i Unió), UCD (Unión de Centro Democrático) and ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya). Together with the Mayor's office approval on January 14, 1982, a special publication was launched, "Barcelona pretén els Jocs de 1992 (English: Barcelona seeks the 1992 Games") by Romà Cuyàs, aimed at communicating the formal bid of Barcelona. At the same time, a study of the works to be done in the city and the real chances it had of winning the nomination was prepared. The report, entitled "Projecte de Jocs Olímpics Barcelona 1992. Primeres aproximacions" (English: "Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games Project. First approach") was presented to reporters on November 11, 1982. It (also) pointed out that twenty-seven of the thirty-two venues required for the competitions already existed. The report also proposed that other towns around Barcelona should be used for Olympic competitions. On November 26, 1982, the Barcelona City Council approved the setting up of the Olympic Office, with Romà Cuyàs as commissioner.

The city presented its candidature through a series of election processes (mainly: the Preliminary Project for the Candidature stage in 1983-1984, with the formal establishment of the the operational framework for the Candidature which was formally established in January 1983, when the Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat of Catalonia signed the agreement constituting the Managing Council for the Barcelona Candidature for the 1992 Olympic Games, formally the "Comitè Organitzador Olímpic Barcelona'92 S.A. (Sociedad Anónima)". The Managing Council, which had to bring together all the institutions which were to make the Games of the XXV Olympiad possible, became the highest representational and decision making body. Its main function was to set out the guidelines for the Olympic project and coordinate the measures to be taken. In March 1983 the Olympic Office began to publish the bulletin Barcelona Olympic News in four languages, to keep the Olympic Family informed about the progress of the Candidature.

In November 1983, Pasqual Maragall met a group of businessmen under the aegis of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation and asked them to take part in the management and financing of the Candidature. This was the first time that a joint venture of this kind had been suggested to local firms. Later, they were joined by the Spanish government on April 2, 1985 and the COE on March 22 and ratified on June 13, 1985. In 1984 another publication came to light, called "Barcelona'92"; it was a summary of the Preliminary Project in which the initial ideas were made more specific. Also, a series of events were being held to raise awareness, namely the First Olympic Day (June 16, 1983), followed by the Second Olympic Day (June 6, 1984) as well as two additional ones, in 1985 and 1986. The Preliminary Project of the Barcelona Candidature was approved by the Managing Council on December 12, 1983. The Assembly of the Spanish Olympic Sports Federations gave its approval on December 21 the same year. Last, on February 28, 1984, the Spanish Olympic Committee also gave the go-ahead, after some reticence at the beginning. With this approval, the Candidatures of Jaca and Granada to organise the Winter Games in 1992 were discarded so as to concentrate all efforts on securing the nomination of Barcelona as host city for the Summer Games. The Consejo Superior de Deportes received the favourable reports from the Spanish Olympic sports federations and passed on the Preliminary Project to the government. At a meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 28, 1984 the project was approved and the Candidature given official support. In November the same year, Pasqual Maragall appeared before the Culture and Sports Committee of the Parliament of Catalonia to ask for the support of all the Catalan parties and institutions. A few months later, in May 1985, he did the same before the Education and Sports Committee of the Congress of Deputies. At both forums the Candidature received the formal support of all the parliamentary groups.

The consolidation stage in 1985-1986 kicked off with the President of the COE, Alfonso de Borbón, and the Candidature Commissioner, Joan Más Cantí, formally presenting the Barcelona application to organise the 1992 Olympic Games to the IOC on May 13, 1985. The City Council had unanimously approved the presentation of the Candidature a month earlier, on April 11. The communication stage, the official submitted Candidature Dossier) and the venue for the games which was selected after three rounds of voting, the final one held on October 17, 1986 being held during the IOC Assembly in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"(During) the closing ceremony at the Seoul Games marked the start of the XXV Olympiad, the four years during which Barcelona had to guard the Olympic colours. After the performance of a group of Catalan dancers before millions of viewers around the world, Pasqual Maragall, the mayor of Barcelona, received the Olympic flag from the hands of the president of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch. The Olympic Movement bade farewell to the Korean city and arranged to meet in Barcelona in 1992."(Source: "Official Report of the Games of the XXV Olympiad, Barcelona 1992", ISBN:84-7868-107-8 , p. 197, 207, 210, 217, 219, 223, 231-233, 235-243, 247-255, 261, 270, 275-289, 293, 300 and 305-319)
Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

Logo and Flag Design

Barcelona'92 Olympic Organizing Committee logo; image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

The Olympic Committee in charge of the organization of the games (both Olympic and Paralympic) was formally designated "Comitè Organitzador Olímpic Barcelona'92 S.A. (Sociedad Anónima)" (English: "Barcelona'92 Olympic Organizing Committee, plc." ), and officially abbreviated COOB'92, with its respective emblem featuring the respective sport pictogram (an athlete) with the Olympic interlocking rings below and the committee's official abbreviation below. It was headed by the Mayor of Barcelona at the time, Pasqual Maragall i Mira and its CEO Josep Miquel Abad i Silvestre. At the beginning of 1984, the Managing Council decided to provide the Candidature with a graphic image which would identify it and give it its own seal. In April a committee was constituted to draft the bases for a competition to choose it. In essence the image sought was not specifically local, but one which would communicate the Barcelona'92 concept and would be as understandable in the city as in an international context. Before the competition, other temporary designs had been used, such as the poster which showed the outline of Montjuïc with the five Olympic rings rising over the coastline. The bases of the competition specified the various applications for which the future logotype would be used, both internal for the Olympic Office (stationery, exterior signposting, publications) and external (sports events).
Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

[Barcelona Olympics, 1992 (Spain)] 2:3
no shadow variant; image by Zachary Harden, 8 February 2021

The logo used for the Games was designed by Josep Maria Trias. Elements of the logo were inspired by the colors of the flags of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain and was seen as an artistic tribute to local artist Joan Miró. There are two variants of the logo where there is a shadow on the main logo and one where it is not present. Both are allowed as per the 1992 Olympics Style Manual. The Pantone colors for the logo are as follows: 286 Blue, 123 Yellow, Process Black, 340 Green, 032 Red and 415 Gray; the red, yellow and blue used in the Olympic Rings are used in the logo. The font that is used in the logo is Times New Roman. As for the flag itself, both variants of the logo are used on a white background.
Zachary Harden, 8 February 2021

1992 Olympics Style Manual Variants

Barcelona'92 Olympic Organizing Committee logo shadows; image located by Esteban Rivera, 4 February 2022

Barcelona'92 Olympic Organizing Committee logo in multi-color variants; image located by Esteban Rivera, 4 February 2022

Other Bid Cities

Amsterdam (NL)

image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

Belgrade (YU)

image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

Birmingham (UK)

[The Olympic flag] image located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 January 2020

At Ebay, there's an offer for: 1986 Birmingham Bid for the Olympic Games 1992 large Flag. In this case it's a blue flag (1:2?) with white imagery: centred joined Olympic rings superimposed with a an Olympic torch, superimposed with three lines saying: "BIRMINGHAM", "1992", "THE HEART OF GOLD". There are stripes flanking the second line, suggesting that this is a mono-colour of an actual multi-colour design. Does anyone have more information, so I can go to the bank as I intended, rather than spend it looking up the non-existent 1992 Birmingham Olympics?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 January 2020

[The Olympic flag] image located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 January 2020

That's certainly the logo of the Games bid in 1992. But I've only ever seen it as a full coloured logo, not as a flag. Olympic rings in the usual colours, the v-shaped whatever-it-is (the City Council's then logo IIRC) blue and red, torch grey/white, the single line blue, the double line blue over red. But the slogan is absent from the copy of the logo I've seen.
Ian Sumner, 30 January 2020

Brumpic treats the Olympic bid, including the colour image. It doesn't seem to be exactly a flag in that photograph, but the image is clear. Indeed, no slogan. I guess this may be due to exact rules at that time for Olympic bid and other flags.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 18 May 2020

Brisbane (AU)

image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021

image located by Esteban Rivera, 22 January 2021