Goodwill Games

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Goodwill Games
Goodwill Games Seattle 1990 logo.png
Logo of the second Games in Seattle
First event Moscow, USSR in 1986
Occur every4 years
Last event Brisbane, Australia in 2001
PurposeReaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States

The Goodwill Games was an international sports competition created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s. [1] In 1979, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan caused the United States and other Western countries to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, an act reciprocated when the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries (with the exception of Romania) boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Ted Turner American media mogul, entrepreneur, and philanthropist

Robert Edward Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the Cable News Network (CNN), the first 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television.

Olympic Games major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European—since the Cold War, US American—shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.


Like the Olympics, the Goodwill Games were held every four years (with the exception of the final Games), and had a summer and winter component. The Summer Goodwill Games occurred five times, between 1986 and 2001, while the Winter Goodwill Games occurred only once, in 2000. They were cancelled by Time Warner, which had bought ownership of them in 1996, due to low television ratings after the 2001 games in Brisbane.

Brisbane capital city of Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.5 million, and the South East Queensland region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.5 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the historic European settlement and is situated inside a peninsula of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs)—most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is "Brisbanite".


The first Goodwill Games, held in Moscow in 1986, featured 182 events and attracted over 3,000 athletes representing 79 countries. World records were set by Sergey Bubka (pole vault), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (heptathlon), and both the men and women's 200 m cycle racing, by East Germany's Michael Hübner and the Soviet Union's Erika Salumäe, respectively. World records also fell at the 1990 Games in Seattle, to Mike Barrowman in the 200 m breaststroke and Nadezhda Ryashkina in the 10 km walk.

1986 Goodwill Games international sports event held in Moscow, USSR, in 1986

The 1986 Goodwill Games was the inaugural edition of the international multi-sport event created by Ted Turner, which was held from 5 – 20 July 1986. The main stadium was the Central Lenin Stadium in Moscow, Soviet Union. The Games were a response to the Olympic boycotts of the period, which saw the United States refuse to attend the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, and the Soviet Union refusing to attend the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The Soviet athletes dominated the competition, winning 118 gold medals and 241 medals overall. The United States finished second place, with 42 golds and 142 medals in total.

Sergey Bubka Ukrainian pole vaulter

Sergey Nazarovich Bubka is a Ukrainian former pole vaulter. He represented the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. Bubka was twice named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News, and in 2012 was one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame.

Pole vault track and field event

Pole vaulting is a track and field event in which a person uses a long flexible pole as an aid to jump over a bar. Pole jumping competitions were known to the ancient Greeks, Cretans and Celts. It has been a full medal event at the Olympic Games since 1896 for men and since 2000 for women.

The 1994 Games in Saint Petersburg, Russia were the first competition held since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Russians set five world records in the weightlifting section, and the games were the first major international event to feature beach volleyball, which would appear at the Olympics for the first time at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

1994 Goodwill Games international sports event held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1994

The 1994 Goodwill Games was the third edition of the multi-sport event, created by Ted Turner, which was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia between July 23 and August 7, 1994. The event – designed to improve Soviet Union – United States relations over the Cold War period – was originally awarded to Leningrad, but the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 saw the city return to its former name within a new Russia. In total, around 2000 athletes from 56 countries participated in the 16-day event. The Russian President Boris Yeltsin opened the games at Kirov Stadium on July 23.

Saint Petersburg Federal city in Northwestern, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union Process leading to the late-1991 breakup of the USSR

The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.

In October 1996, Turner's company, the Turner Broadcasting System, merged with Time Warner, thus bringing the Goodwill Games under the control of the latter. Ted Turner's last games were in 1998 in New York City, with memorable highlights including Joyner-Kersee winning her fourth straight heptathlon title, and the U.S. 4 × 400 m relay team setting a world's best time. Time Warner organized the 2001 Games in Brisbane, Australia, before announcing that this would be the last edition of the games. The 2001 edition witnessed Australia winning the most medals with 75, but it received very low television ratings in the United States. Nevertheless, critics praised Turner Network Television for showing the games live, rather than on tape delay.

Turner Broadcasting System is an American media conglomerate that is a division of Time Warner and manages the collection of cable television networks and properties initiated or acquired by Ted Turner

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. is an American media conglomerate that is a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia, and manages the collection of cable television networks and properties initiated or acquired by Ted Turner. The company was founded in 1965, and merged with Time Warner on October 10, 1996. It now operates as a semi-autonomous unit of WarnerMedia. The company's assets include CNN, TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Hulu (10%), Audience, Game Show Network (42%), AT&T SportsNet and TruTV. The headquarters of Turner's properties are located in both the CNN Center in Downtown Atlanta and the Turner Broadcasting campus off Techwood Drive in Midtown Atlanta, which also houses Turner Studios. Across Interstate 75/85 from the Techwood campus is the original home of Turner's WTBS superstation, which today houses the headquarters of Adult Swim and Williams Street Productions.

1998 Goodwill Games international sports event held in New York City, USA, in 1998

The 1998 Goodwill Games was the fourth edition of the international sports competition the Goodwill Games, which were created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s. The competition was held in and around New York City in the United States from July 19 to August 2, 1998. Some events were held in New York City, while many were held in nearby suburbs in Long Island, including Uniondale.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

During a live interview at the 2009 Denver SportAccord conference, Turner blamed the demise of the games on the short-sighted management of Time Warner, and stated, "If I'd have stayed there the Goodwill Games would not have been canceled." [2] [3] Turner expressed hope that the games would return as a bridge to restore cultural contact between Russia and the U.S., stating that the relationship between the two had steadily disintegrated since the Cold War, which he called a dangerous situation due to both countries' massive nuclear arsenals. He also reiterated his belief in the power of international sporting competitions to prevent war, saying that "as long as the Olympics are taking place and not being boycotted, it's virtually impossible to have a world war", because the nations involved "wouldn't want a war to mess up their chances". [2]

Summer Goodwill Games

EditionYearHost CityCountryNotes
I 1986 Moscow Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 3,000 athletes and 79 countries
II 1990 Seattle, Washington Flag of the United States.svg  United States 2,300 athletes and 54 countries
III 1994 Saint Petersburg Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 2,000 athletes and 59 countries
IV 1998 New York City, New York Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1,300 athletes and 60 countries
V 2001 Brisbane, Queensland Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Final edition
1,300 athletes
VI2005 Phoenix, Arizona Flag of the United States.svg  United States Games cancelled

Winter Goodwill Games

EditionYearHost cityCountryNotes
I 2000 Lake Placid, New York Flag of the United States.svg  United States Only Winter Goodwill Games ever held
II2005 Calgary, Alberta Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Games cancelled


Summer sports

Winter sports

Participating countries

See also

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  1. Jere Longmsn (December 22, 2001). "GOODWILL GAMES; Turner's Games, Losing Money, Are Dropped". The New York Times.
  2. 1 2 Ted Turner interview, Dever SportAccord 2009, YouTube
  4. Men's basketball was not held as a separate event in 1986 because the World Basketball Championship was taking place in Madrid at the same time. The world championship results determined the Goodwill Games winners.
  5. Motoball was held only in 1986; the host country was allowed to include one sport of its choice.
  6. At the 2000 Games, the figure skating event featured professional skaters because of conflicts with Olympic-eligible skaters competing in their national championships. This enabled France's Surya Bonaly to become the only skater in history to win the same event as both an amateur and professional skater as she also won in 1994.

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