About the Games
8397 athletes from 159 teams participated in Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics and competed in 237 events.
Most medals won (from a total of 52 teams) by: 1. USSR – 132 (55, 31, 46), 2. GDR – 102 (37, 35, 30), 3. USA – 94 (36, 31, 27).
Lithuania in the Games
As many as 25 Lithuanian athletes participated in Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics and competed in rowing, handball, basketball, track and field athletics, football, cycling (road and track), swimming and equestrian events. Lithuanians won 10 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze medals.
Two gold medals were won by cyclist Gintautas Umaras. So far, no other Lithuanian managed to become an Olympic champion twice during the same Games.
In Seoul G. Umaras won both individual and team pursuit races. Artūras Kasputis also won gold in team pursuit races together with the USSR team. G. Umaras’ brother Mindaugas who had also participated in team races did not have the honor to climb on the podium, as he participated only in quarter-finals and was later replaced by another cyclist. However, he did receive a medal – his brother gifted him one of his trophies.
Four Lithuanian basketball players competed as a part of the champion USSR team – Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Valdemaras Chomičius and Rimas Kurtinaitis In the semifinals the USSR team beat the USA team led by the future NBA legend David Robinos with the score of 82:76, and won the finals against the Yugoslavian team with the score of 76:63.
Two Lithuanians Arminas Narbekovas and Arvydas Janonis became Olympic football champions. Narbekovas’ two goals, one of them during the overtime match with Italy, helped the USSR team to achieve victory.
Vice champion of the Moscow Summer Olympics handball player Voldemaras Novickis won gold.
Silver medals were won by swimmer Raimundas Mažuolis (4 × 100 freestyle relay), and track and field athletes Laimutė Baikauskaitė (1500 m race) and Romas Ubartas (discus throwing).
Cyclist Laima Zilporytė (road race) and basketball player Vitalija Tuomaitė won bronze.
The Seoul Games were boycotted by North Korea and its ally, Cuba. Ethiopia, Albania and the Seychelles did not respond to the invitations sent by the IOC.
Aruba, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Guam, Maldives, Vanuatu, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and South Yemen made their first Olympic appearance at these Games.
Canadian sailer Lawrence Lemieux was in second place in the Finn class and poised to win a silver medal when he abandoned the race to save an injured competitor. As a consequence he arrived in 21st place. He was recognized by the IOC with the Pierre de Coubertin medal honoring his bravery and sacrifice.
Soviet athlete Vladimir Artemov won four gold medals in gymnastics.
Anthony Nesty of Suriname won his country’s first Olympic medal. He won the 100 m butterfly and became the first black person to win an individual swimming gold.
Swedish fencer Kerstin Palm became the first woman to take part in seven Olympics.
For the first time in history, all the dressage events were won by women.
Table tennis was introduced at the Olympics, and tennis returned to the Olympics after a 64-year absence.
Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics website: