IN SHORT

Olympics
Participating Nations: 159
Number of participants: 8,453
Sports: 28
Opening Ceremony: September 17, 1988
Closing Ceremony: October 2, 1988

Olympic Stadium
Opening: September 1984
Cost: 1.025 billion
Capacity: 69,950 (100,000 during the Olympics)
Project: Kim Swoo Geun (Space Group of Korea)

Olympic Editions
(South Korea)

The Olympic Games are not only an international showcase for the athletes but also a chance for the organizing country to show their country at its best. The Seoul Olympic Games were an excellent showcase for Mondo to display the quality of its products and become known on the Asian market.

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Another boycott?

In September of 1981 when the 1988 Olympics organization was awarded to South Korea, many questioned that choice since they were afraid of having to attend another boycotted edition of the Games, after what had happened in Montreal in 1976, in Moscow in 1980, and in Los Angeles in 1984. In fact, the Asian nation had complicated relations with many countries, especially those of the Soviet bloc "allies" of North Korea. Despite the failure of the Olympic Committee’s President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, to bring the two Koreas to take advantage of the Olympic spirit, the feared boycott did not happen.  The Seoul Olympics achieved a record in participating countries (160) and saw the return of the contest between the great sporting powers of that time (USA, USSR and East Germany), which, not surprisingly dominated the medals table. The only nations that did not participate in the Games were North Korea, Cuba, Ethiopia, Albania, Nicaragua and the Seychelles.

Seoul, like Tokyo

The organization of the 1988 Olympics was for the nation host, South Korea, a historical event that allowed them to show the world their great achievements and progress on all levels, not only on the economical one . Seoul, the second Asian city to host the Olympics, was able to repeat what was done in Tokyo in 1964. Just as it had happened in Japan, South Korea took advantage of this extraordinary event for the status of world power, showing the face of a great nation in growth, from the economical point a view to the political one showing their transition to full democracy that took place the year of the Olympic appointment. The Games were a success for Korean diplomacy that was able to create good relations with the countries from the Soviet bloc and China.

Harmony and Progress

For the 1988 Games, the Organizing Committee formulated the motto "Harmony and Progress" to best represent the Olympic spirit, the pacifist tradition of the Korean people and the search for harmony and progress of mankind through events like the Olympics. The organizers goal was to attempt to build a peaceful world, one of the primary objectives common to both the Olympics and the Korean people during its millennial history. For South Korea the Olympics should be a joyous feast in which different cultures could join with the hospitality of the Korean people. To fullfil the wish of the Olympic motto, the Organizing Committee was asked to achieve a series of objectives: to get the biggest possible participation in the Games, to offer the best service, and to host the Olympics without burdening the country's economy. Thanks to the great participation, after the three previous editions marked by boycotts, we can say that the Seoul Olympics reached their goal and became a peaceful place for cultural exchange between East and West.

Mondo and the Asian Market

Seoul 1988 was for Mondo the fourth Olympics as a supplier. The Gallo d'Alba company installed, among other things, the track for the Olympic village, the training track and the surface for the for diving platform springboards. "The installation of the diving tower equipment was spectacular - remembers Andrea Vallauri, Head of Mondo Export Division -. Our manager, which also suffered from vertigo, had to climb on the platform and operate several meters high to laydown the flooring when the pool had not yet been filled with water. " For both the springboards and platforms the track and field surface used was Sportflex Super X, perfect in both situations due to its characteristics, especially high strength and ability to provide excellent grip even when wet. The Seoul Olympics were an important window in the Asian market for the Mondo products. "For the company it was the first major project with significant visibility in the Asian market and allowed us to better understand and gain credibility in these new markets. Seoul certainly was an important step for the development of Asian markets, "said Vallauri.

Olympic Stadium

The center of the Seoul Games was the Olympic Stadium, designed by Kim Swoo Geun, Space Group of Korea. The stadium’s construction began in 1977 with the objective to have the facility ready to host the first Asian Games in 1986 and then, the 1988 Olympics. Opened in September 1984, the Olympic Stadium, with two floors completely covered, reminds us, by its profile, of the curves that distinguish the elegant porcelain vases of the Korean Joseon Dynasty. During the Games, the stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, athletic events, soccer tournament finals and riding. It is still the country's largest sports facility with a capacity of about 70,000 people (100,000 during the Olympics).

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