If there is a year that still persists in the memory of all Barcelona citizens and whose legacy is still alive more than 20 years later is 1992. 1992 was the year of Barcelona in capital letters: with the celebration of the considered as the best Olympics Games celebrated ever and which show to the whole world the Catalan capital as it is known today: an open and cosmopolitan city where you can enjoy every corner. What is the legacy of the 1992 Olympics and its memory in Barcelona?
The capital of sport
Barcelona is your city if you are a football fan, but thanks to all the sports infrastructure that the Olympics Games brought, Barcelona is your city also no matter the sports you practice: baseball fields, rugby, archery, athletics, swimming, basketball, tennis, canoeing … the list of sports that you can practice in Barcelona and its surroundings is infinite, and all certified with the quality seal of knowing that these infrastructures have been used to celebrate the biggest sporting event in the world.
The revaluation of Montjuïc
Montjuïc didn’t need the Olympics to look amazing, but as the epicentre of the celebration, the facelift that he underwent served to further enhance the monumentality of a space, the magic mountain, where every corner is filled with charm and where all kinds of activities can be done: from visiting its imposing castle to the national museum or the Miró foundation.
Precisely if we look at the corner of Olympic Stadium closest to the Miró Foundation, we find the most significant and symbolic element of these Olympics Games of Barcelona 1992: the cauldron where the Olympic flame rested during the celebration of the games. And after all these years, it is still able to transport us to that moment when the last carrier of the flame, Juan Antonio San Epifanio (Epi: recognized Spanish basketball player) fired an arrow that the archer Antonio Rebollo had to launch from the inside of the stadium to the cauldron: a magical moment in which 2,000 million viewers who followed the opening ceremony held their breath until the applause came in the moment the flames appeared.
Following from the cauldron to the nearby Juan Antonio Samaranch museum, an interactive museum dedicated to the sport and whose name reminds the IOC president, architect of these games, we find the walk of fame, where we can appreciate the footsteps of famous athletes such as Rafa Nadal, Pau Gasol, Roger Federer, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Martina Navratilova, Nadia Comaneci or Michael Jordan.
When Barcelona looked out to the sea
Barcelona has always been a mountain city: the liveliness and love that the locals have towards the hills, together with the imposing Collserola or different parks that cover the city from the height (the famous Park Güell, Montjuïc herself, the Bunkers of the Carmel etc.) have always been reasons of pride and a sign of exemplary preservation of heritage. But if we talk about how the Mediterranean capital has treated its beloved sea, we have not always found the beautiful beaches which are today the proud of Barcelona.
Before 1992, the impressive Barcelona’s industrial heritage concentrated on its seafront, in neighbourhoods like Poblenou or what today occupies the Olympic Village, the smokestack or concentration of cheap and degraded houses was the general rule. Neighbourhoods that today look their best side thanks to the restructuring which involved hiding the train tracks and creating the Olympic harbour and the sea promenade.
Olympics games of Barcelona: a historic Olympics
We have not only to remember the moment of the flames into the cauldron to resume the emotional moments that involves the Olympic Games of Barcelona. For example, we can just stand in front of the Magic Fountain and let emotion scroll through our veins to hear the impetuous voice of the soprano Montserrat Caballé a duo with which can be considered the most charismatic and energetic frontman of a band in the history of music: Freddie Mercury.
Or standing in front of the majestic towers of Port Olimpic and appreciating the fountain where the memorable mascot of all this celebration of sport and world unity is depicted: Cobi.
Allow yourself to be infected by the essentially pure sport spirit and find in Barcelona the legacy of what has been the best example of what the Olympics can do for the pride and appreciation of a city. Live the spirit of the Olympics Games from a family apartment in Barcelona!