The Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games

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The Games of the XXIII Olympiad, Los Angeles 1984, reimagined the Olympic Games and reinvigorated a troubled Olympic movement. Its innovations included the following: a nationwide torch relay that yielded millions for children’s charities; an arts festival that surpassed any prior efforts; the first Opening Ceremony featuring a professional theatrical extravaganza; new sports disciplines, such as distance races for women, windsurfing, synchronized swimming, heptathlon, and rhythmic gymnastics; an army of volunteers; vast increases in sponsorship and television revenue while avoiding commercialization and keeping expenses low using existing facilities; and a financial surplus of over $232 million, which has endowed sports for youngsters in the Los Angeles area to this day—all through a privately financed organizing committee without government contributions.

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