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Barcelona 1992 - year of the Unified Team and the end of the East German Women
09/02/2009

I added the Barcelona opening ceremonies this week.  As I watch the 1992 Olympics I am reminded of the times.  It was just as the Soviet Union was breaking up.  The individual countries had not set up their own Olympic organizations so the countries that used to make up the Soviet Union competed as the Unified Team.  When they won team medals, the Olympic Anthem was played instead of the Soviet Union Anthem.  When individual gold medals were won, the anthem of the individual countries were played.  It must have seemed sort of anti-climactic to those athletes.  

I also realize this was the first year without the juggernaut of the East German women - especially in swimming.  I remember thinking last summer in Beijing, that the USA women's swimming team wasn't doing too well.  I forget that in 1988, Janet Evans won the only gold for the USA women in swimming.  East Germany was still doping their women and they were still the dominant team.  By 1992 all the doping was out in the open and the age of the East German swimmers was over.  

I find it one of the most interesting things about the Olympic Games to put them in their historical positions over the years.  1992 was certainly a transitional year. 

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Linda