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Goodwill Games


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I really miss watching the Goodwill Games. It's too bad that they disbanded the Goodwill Games. They cancelled the Winter Games that were going to Calgary in 2005. I have lots of memories about the Goodwill Games.

Oh I foget to tell you all about the Goodwill Games. It all started when Ted Turner made it all happen to get Soviet Union and the US atheletes to compete each other. They boycotted the Moscow and Los Angelas Olympic Games.

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Well, it seems that there's still people who remember these games, for coincidence, i was thinking about them these days :lol: . The first (and last) Goodwill Games i watched were Brisbane 2001, in Australia.

According to http://www.fotw.us/flags/int@gg.html website: The Goodwill Games were founded by Robert Edward "Ted" Turner in 1985. The year before he was watching the 1984 Summer Olympics (which the Soviet bloc boycotted) on TV and called his assistant, Robert Wussler, into his office. He said "We need to do something about this - This is wrong." He wanted to televise the Frendship '84 Games on his TBS "Superstation". The Soviets had organized these games as an alternative to the Olympics. But, the TBS board said no. So, instead, Turner began discussing the possibilty of TBS staging an Olympic-style competition in Moscow with the Soviets. In 1985 an agreement was reached: The inaugural Goodwill Games would take place in Moscow in 1986, with the games alternating every four years between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Ted Turner sold his company, Turner Broadcasting, (including Goodwill Games, Inc.) to TimeWarner (later AOL/TimeWarner) in 1998. TimeWarner continued the games with New York City hosting in 1998, but drastically downsized them. They staged a Winter Goodwill Games in Lake Placid in 2000, and the 5th Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia in 2001, but the games were never the same under TimeWarner's ownership. TimeWarner pulled the plug on the games after Brisbane.

The first Goodwill Games were held in 1986 at Moscow, Soviet Union (by then under the goverment of Gorbachev). Since they had all the venues ready because of the olympics being held 6 years before, it was very easy to host them. The opening ceremonies were held again at Lenin Stadium.


The first Games featured 182 events and attracted over 3,000 athletes representing 79 countries.

* Sergei Bubka set a pole vault world record of 19'8-3/4".

* A predominantly Soviet crowd cheered enthusiastically as the USA's Jackie Joyner-Kersee became the first to score over 7,000 points in the heptathlon; she compiled a world record 7,148 points to win.

* World records were set in both the men's and women's 200m flying start cycling race: Michael Hubner of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) at 10.244 and Erika Salumae of the Soviet Union at 11.489.

* Two-time Olympic gold-medalist Edwin Moses extended his personal winning streak to 111 consecutive races by capturing the gold in the 400m hurdles.

* U.S. world record-holder Evelyn Ashford defeated the GDR's Heike Drechsler in the 100m.

* U.S. high jumper Doug Nordquist recorded a personal best of 7'8" to post his first win over Soviet world record-holder Igor Paklin.

* Brothers Domingos and Dionisio Castro captured the 10,000m gold and bronze medals for Portugal.

* In the women's basketball finals, the United States broke a 152-game, 28-year Soviet winning streak against international competition by trouncing the world champions, 83-60. Brazil placed third.

* The Soviet Union won 11 of 12 gold medals in the boxing competition. The USA's Arthur Johnson was the only non-Soviet to claim a gold.

* The Soviet Union, led by Yuri Korolev and Yelena Shushunova, swept the gold medals in the individual and team gymnastics competitions. Only in rhythmic gymnastics was the Soviet's medal sweep broken; the GDR's Bianka Dittrich performed flawlessly to share top honors with Soviets Tatyana Druchinina and Marina Lobach in the rope event.


The second Goodwill Games were held in Seattle, the first ones at the United States. World records also fell at these games in Seattle, to Mike Barrowman in the 200m breaststroke and Nadezhda Ryashkina in the 10km walk.


The 1990 Games not only brought together the world's best athletes, but art festivals, conferences and friendship initiatives also brought people from more than 50 countries together. More than 1,400 Soviet citizens traveled to Seattle and stayed with local families. Worldwide attention focused on the Games' competition as 81 countries televised the Games, and more than 1,100 journalists from nearly 30 countries covered the event. TBS' cable-exclusive telecast reached more than 45 million homes in the United States.

* Three men broke the world record in the same 200m breaststroke race-the USA's Mike Barrowman got the record and the gold medal with a time of 2:11.53 while the USA's Kirk Stackle and Spain's Sergio Lopez tied for second at 2:12.24, also under the old mark.

* Three countries-Italy (men's volleyball), Yugoslavia (men's basketball) and Cuba (baseball)-won gold medals at the 1990 Goodwill Games and went on to win their respective world championships later that year.

* Surinam's Anthony Nesty validated his 1988 Olympic gold medal by outswimming the USA's Matt Biondi in the 100m butterfly race.

* In the 100m sprint, USA's Leroy Burrell edged past teammate Carl Lewis to win the gold medal before a crowd of 30,000.

* China's 11-year-old Fu Mingxia showed the world a glimpse of diving's future when she claimed the 10m platform gold for her first major international title.

* In the women's individual all-around, Soviet gymnast Natalya Kalinina scored a surprise upset over favored teammate Svetlana Boginskaya.

* The USA's Kristi Yamaguchi won her first major international figure-skating title, defeating teammate and world champion Jill Trenary in the process.

* Soviet Nadezhda Ryashkina established a world mark of 41:56.21 in the women's 10 km race walk.

* The Soviet Union made its international debut in the sport of baseball.


USA gymnast Katie Web during the games

The third games were hosted by St. Peterburg, Russia. When the city of Leningrad was selected in 1990 as the host city for the 1994 Goodwill Games, no one anticipated the changes that would affect not only the city, but also the whole country one year later. In just 11 months, a failed coup helped change the political structure of the Soviet Union, the host city was renamed, and the agencies and partners staging the Goodwill Games changed.


# The USA's Melvin Stewart and Jackie Joyner-Kersee each won a third consecutive Goodwill Games gold medal, a feat neither athlete had achieved in any other international competition. Stewart defeated Russia's Denis Pankratov in the 200m butterfly; Joyner-Kersee won the heptathlon.

# Weightlifting was dominated by Russian athletes, and a total of five world records were set in two weight classes. In the 99 kg weight class, Sergei Syrtsov set world marks in the snatch, clean-and-jerk and total. Teammate Andrei Chemerkin followed Syrtsov's performance with world record-setting lifts of his own in the 108+ kg weight class, setting new marks in the snatch and clean-and-jerk to finish well ahead of the field.

# Figure skating saw local favorites capture gold medals in front of sell-out crowds. St. Petersburg native Aleksei Urmanov, the 1994 Olympic gold medalist, skated a near-flawless performance to take the men's title, finishing ahead of the USA's Todd Eldredge and France's Phillippe Candeloro. Natalya Mishkutyonok and Artur Dmitriyev, the St. Petersburg skaters who placed first at the 1992 and second at the 1994 Olympic Games, won their first Goodwill Games pairs title with a dazzling performance that brought the crowd to its feet.

# Triathlon was also very popular with the local citizens and athletes as the running and cycling courses were lined with spectators. Great Britain's Simon Lessing won the men's competition, with the women's crown going to France's Isabelle Mouthon.

# The debut of beach volleyball in a major international competition was a huge success, as sell-out crowds jammed the beaches at the foot of the Peter and Paul Fortress to watch Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan of the United States, and Jan Kvalheim and Bjorn Maaseide of Norway take the gold medals in the women's and men's events, respectively.

# Perennial boxing powerhouses Cuba and Russia continued their dominance of international competition by winning 11 out of 12 weight classes. Cuba won six gold medals and Russia took five. The USA claimed the remaining title.

1998. The games were held again in USA, this time at New York City. This were the last games under the regency of Ted Turner.


# Michelle Kwan proved she remains the world's best figure skater, winning the gold medal in front of 13,000 people.

# Jackie Joyner-Kersee closed out her illustrious career, winning her fourth Goodwill Games heptathlon gold medal.

# In his first full decathlon since winning gold at the 1996 Olympics, Dan O'Brien beat Chris Huffins to claim the Goodwill Games title with a score of 8,755 points, setting a Games record.

# Michael Johnson won the 400 meters in 43.76, posting the fastest time of '98 at that time and establishing a new Goodwill Games record. Johnson also anchored the world-record setting 4x400-meter relay team that included Antonio Pettigrew, Tyree Washington, Johnson and Jerome Young. They posted a 2:54.20, earning them a $100,000 world-record bonus.

# Marion Jones wowed crowds on two nights, first claiming gold and a new Games record in the 100 meters. Jones came back the next night in the 200 meters and clocked a 21.80, securing her second Goodwill record and gold medal.

# On the basketball court, the college "kids" from the U.S. won the gold medal, edging Australia 93-85 in overtime. The win gave Americans their first "non-Dream Team" victory in international tournament play since 1986.

# Great Britain's four-time World Champion Simon Lessing was the victor in the men's triathlon, and it was a 1-2 finish for the Aussies in the ladies event. Australia's Loretta Harrop and Michellie Jones took first and second place, respectively, against a field that included the world's best triathletes.

Brisbane 2003. The last Goodwill Games and the first under the regency of Time Warner company. Sadly i don't have much information of the sport events there.


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I embraced the concept of the Goodwill Games at first and was thrilled when the syndicated coverage of the inaugural Games was to be shown on one of my local stations. The first event they featured was the women's marathon (joined-in-progress), the first five in the standings were Soviet women. On to boxing, two Soviets fighting each other. It quickly dawned on me that this big international gathering was really a giant USA vs USSR event with a few other countries sprinkled in. I lost interest by the end of the first weekend.

Didn't see any of the 1990 event, they were on cable and I didn't have access to the coverage.

I did follow them a little more in 1994. I remember the swimming pool with the green water. It actually resembled an international sporting event.

The 1998, 2000 winter, and 2001 editions just didn't hold my interest. I guess I am just too brand-loyal to the Olympics.

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