1984  Los Angeles Summer Olympics

1984 Summer Olympics - Olympic Memorabilia

Winner Medals

1984 olympic winner medal 1 1984 olympic winner medal 2
1st Place: Gold Medal Material: Gilt Silver
    Weight 142 gr
2nd Place: Silver Medal Material: Silver
    Weight 137 gr
3rd Place: Bronze Medal Material: Bronze
    Weight 116 gr
Diameter: 63,5 mm Design by: Prof. Guiseppe Cassioli,
and Dugald Stermer
    Mint: Jostens, Inc.
Thickness: 6 mm Ribbon: Magenta, Vermillion, Yellow
Obverse: Victory seated above stadium.
Reverse: Winner carried by jubilant athletes.
Numbers of Medals: Gold:     478                    Silver:   478                      Bronze:   498

  Fabrication of the medals 1984

The design and production of the medals was a long process that began in May 1983 and concluded with the delivery of the medals during the second week of July 1984.

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Victory Ceremony: Canoeing 1,000 mtr
Larry Cain, Ulrich Eicke and Henning Jakobsen

In May 1983, the LAOOC signed a contract with Jostens, a leading manufacturer of commemorative rings, medallions and awards, to produce the charter-mandated medals, medallions and diplomas. Shortly thereafter, the first designs were produced for the gold, silver and bronze medals as well as separate designs for the demonstration sports medals for baseball and tennis.

The first designs were just a prelude to a long process of designing and redesigning prototypes for approval by the LAOOC. In a December 1983 approval meeting, the LAOOC asked to have the medals redesigned. Dugald Stermer, a  well-known designer and artist, was asked to take over the designing of the medals.

( Source document: Official Report 1984,
Vol. 1, page 224)

Participation Medal

1984 olympic participation medal 1 1984 olympic participation medal 2
Material: Bronze Weight: 94 gr
Diameter: 60 mm Design by: Dugald Stermer
Thickness: 5 mm Mint: Jostens, Inc.
Obverse: Olympic torch
Reverse: Los Angeles Olympic emblem over Olympic rings and laurel branches.

The commemorative medals and the certificates were produced by Jostens. The medals, which were bronze in color and encased in a blue velvet box, were delivered to the villages7 July 1984. A total of 12,500 medals were delivered (7,000 to the USC Village, 4,500 to the UCLA Village and 1,000 to the UCSB Village) in time to be distributed with the athletes’ and officials’ gift packs. Additional medals were delivered for IOC/NOC officials (1,400) and technical officials/jury members (2,000).

(Source document:  Official Report 1984, page 226)


Presentation box

Participation Diploma 1984 Los Angeles


1984 olympic winner diploma

Size: 31 x 35 cm
Design by: Robert Miles Runyanand Associates
Printed by: unknown
Signed by: IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch,
Paul Ziffren, Chairman Organizing Committee 
Peter V. Ueberroth, President Organizing Committee
Harry L. Usher, Executive Vice President and Generalmanager Organizing Committee
Copies: 4.510

The awards staff devised a plan whereby the calligraphy staff obtained final results from the EMS terminals and then personalized the approximately 4,500 first through eighth place diplomas. The calligraphy supervisor was responsible for obtaining the results and distributing them among the staff. Each of the names was checked for correct spelling using a list provided by the Sports Department as a guide. Once the diplomas were completed, they were filed by country. At the end of the day, the diplomas were boxed, marked by country and taken to each village security package drop-off center for distribution to the NOC service center. Each NOC envoy was responsible for either distributing the diplomas or giving them to the chef de mission for distribution. The awards staff felt the key to this particular distribution plan was making the athletes aware of the procedure so they would know to contact their chefs if the chefs did not contact them. The Awards Department also offered an auto-pen service to each of the signees of the athletes' certificates.

While it is customary for IOC and OCOG presidents to personally sign all diplomas given to first through eighth place finishers, each gratefully accepted the auto-pen service. Matrixes were made for each of the four signees, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, LAOOC Chairman Paul Ziffren, LAOOC President Peter V. Ueberroth and LAOOC Executive Vice President/General Manager Harry Usher. Two staff members worked approximately 80 hours on the autopen machines to apply the signatures.

The approximate numbers of chartermandated certificates and diplomas were as follows:
                        o First through eighth place diplomas, 4,510
                        o Officials commemorative certificates, 5,900;
                           technical officials/jury members, 2,000;
                          IOC/NOC, 1,400;
                           team officials, 2,500
                        o Athlete participation certificates, 7,000

(Source document:  Official Report 1984, Vol. I, page 223)


1984 olympic games poster

Design by: Robert Rauschenberg
Size: 60 x 90 cm
Comment: There are 15 different posters

  Olympic signature poster series

The LAOOC commissioned an Olympic signature poster series in December of 1983. Twelve noted graphic designers were chosen from the Los Angeles area, each to depict a particular sport of the Olympic Games. The artists included:
Laurie Raskin (collage); 
Arnold Schwartzman (cycling); 
Keith Bright (torch pictogram); 
Marvin Rubin (gymnastics); 
Saul Bass (swimming);
John Von Hammersveld (javelin); 
Charles White Ill (weightlifting); Ken
Parkhurst (shot put); 
Rod Dyer (wrestling); 
Deborah Sussman (collage); 
James Cross (discus); and 
Don Weller (athletics). 

The requirements
were that the official Games typography be used, adherence to the color palette be maintained and that there be no duplication of sports. Photos and sketches were submitted to the LAOOC for review prior to final design of the posters.

( Source document:   Official Report 1984, Vol. 1, page 300)

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  Ernie Barnes Olympic Games sports posters

Ernie Barnes, an athlete turned artist, was commissioned by the LAOOC and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to draw on his sports experience and knowledge to create Olympic-related art. The posters sought to portray the ethnic diversity of Los Angeles, the power and emotion of sports competition and the singleness of purpose and hope that go into the making of athletes. Specific sports served as central themes in four of the posters, with community involvement the theme of the fifth poster. The posters were entitled: The Rhythmic Gymnast, The Finish (Track and Field), One-on-One (Basketball), Winning (Boxing) and The Neighborhood Games.

( Source document:   Official Report 1984, Vol. 1, page 297)

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Development of the sports pictograms

The review committee was given a presentation which surveyed the entire design development process used by Bright and Associates in creating the pictograms. Beginning with a critique
of the five previous Olympic pictograms, six criteria were isolated as essential to a successful pictogram:
                    o Clear communication; pictograms, by themselves, should be recognizable
                       by people of other nations.
                    o Consistency; the pictograms should be identifiable as a set, through
                       uniform treatment of scale, style and subject.
                    o Legibility and practicality; they should be highly visible, easy to
                       reproduce in any scale and in positive or negative form.
                    o Flexibility; the pictograms should not be dependent upon a border and
                       should work equally well in a positive or negative form.
                    o Design distinction; the pictograms should avoid stylistic fads or a
                       commercial appearance and should imply to a worldwide audience that
                       Los Angeles has a sophisticated, creative culture.
                    o Compatibility; they should be attractive when used with their Los
                      Angeles Olympic design elements and typestyles.

1984 olympic games pictograms

Designers: Keith Bright and Associates

Pictogramms used on the exterior of the Coliseum are in Festive Federalism colors.

In the development stage, Bright and Associates sought to create pictograms that would be used primarily for directional signing purposes, a critical factor in the Los Angeles area since the events would be held at a variety of locations. Therefore, it was essential that the pictograms communicate clearly and be highly visible. During the Games, the pictograms served primarily decorative purposes rather than as signing elements, but in 1980, no one anticipated that this would be the case. 

In creating the new pictograms, exploratory sketches examined the use of partial figures, realistic figure images and speed lines combined with the figures. It was concluded that partial figures and realistic figures were difficult to decipher and movement associated with the figures made them too busy and impaired legibility. A simple figure composed of 10 fundamental body parts worked well: a circle for the head, an oval for the torso and eight simple parts representing the arms and legs. This modular figure, when placed against a grid pattern, could be recreated in any desired position, effectively portraying any Olympic event.

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These new pictograms met the specified criteria. They were easily seen at a distance and clearly communicated their message in a consistent manner using a system of modular forms and a common scale. The system was also practical and flexible, allowing for a variety of positions to be created with a minimal number of design modifications and permitting reproduction in a positive or negative form, with or without a panel or border. The design was distinctive, with the pure, geometric forms creating an idealized human figure which was memorable in appearance and free of stylistic fads.

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Registration and copyright of the pictograms

The 23 official pictograms were copyrighted and registered as trademarks
by the LAOOC in 1981. 

(Source document:   Official Report 1984, Vol. I, page 248)
© 1985 Copyright by the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee


Sam the Eagle

  Development of the mascot

Major Southern California animation and film studios were contacted by the LAOOC regarding the design of the mascot. Walt Disney Productions was ultimately selected from among three finalists. Emphasis first focused on developing something emblematic of the Southern California area, including such possibilities as the sun, palm trees and seals. Considerations were expanded to include the state of California, whose symbol is a bear, but that idea was soon discarded since the Moscow Games had used a bear mascot. Finally, design development focused on symbols representative of  the entire United States and the logical choice was the eagle. Generally considered a rather stern and aloof bird, a warmer, more friendly eagle had to be created. A short, stubby, cuddly little eagle evolved. He had a large head, bulbous middle section and a protruding derriere accented by an array of tail feathers. Besides serving as the national bird of the host country, the eagle was also universally recognized as an incarnation of the ideals cited in the Olympic motto:
“Citius, Altius, Fortius” (swifter, higher, stronger). 

Since the eagle would have to be shown as a competitor in the various athletic events, the wings were drawn to function as “arms” and the feathers as “fingers.” The eagle was designed to work as a costumed character as well as a two-dimensional graphic symbol.

The full-sized costume was successfully used for LAOOC promotional and youth activities. Moreover, Sam the Olympic Eagle proved commercially successful, as a doll and on mugs, pins, T-shirts and many other products.

(Text from Official Report 1984, Vol. I, page 246)

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  Overview of ticket printing 1984

The LAOOC developed a unique system for processing orders which represented a departure from the prevailing practice of producing preprinted physical tickets whereby each individual order had to be filled by tedious and error-prone manual methods. The new approach, for the first time, combined modern computer technology with the latest developments in  printing technology. The result was the printing of custom tickets for each order.

Ticket printing involved the following steps:
o Preparation of Olympic ticket stock
o Receipt of computer print tapes which contained all ticket orders
o Processing of the print tape through custom ticket printer
o Inspection and auditing of the tickets produced
o Stitching (stapling) of tickets
o Cutting tickets
o Stuffing tickets into envelopes
o Application of registered mail labels
o Packaging of tickets for shipping
o Accounting for all tickets printed, packaged and shipped
o Registered delivery by the United States Postal Service

1984 olympic games ticket

The remarkable feature of the LAOOC's ticket printing system was the ability to print customized tickets. After receipt of the raw, unprinted ticket stock, the computerized ticket printing machinery read information off of the print  tape which allowed it to imprint the raw stock with the appropriate sport pictogram, session, day, date and time, price, event, location and seat assignment. For tickets ordered by mail, the tape also provided the purchaser's name which was imprinted in the lower left hand corner of each ticket. The print tapes allowed printing of eight tickets at a time, each of which was part of a different order. Thus, the orders of eight persons who had each purchased ten tickets were printed simultaneously on ten sheets of eightticket stock. The ten sheets were then cut to form the ticket package for each person. This ten-sheet print process was much faster than the conventional method of printing the 80 tickets involved individually.

The largest problem in the printing process was related to the receipt of print tapes from the computer center. The ticketing computer system, because of the complex sorting requirement of the print process, could not always create print tapes in advance of the completion of printing the prior tapes. This resulted in a start/ stop type of print operation while waiting for more tapes to be produced. Another problem inherent in the printing operation concerned the possibility of printing duplicate tickets.

This could occur whenever it was necessary to restart the machine following a stoppage. Stoppages were fairly frequent because of paper jams or other causes. Extreme vigilance was necessary to detect the printing of duplicate tickets. In several instances duplicate tickets were discovered during the final audit process. The final phase of the process required the application of registered mail labels to the ticket envelopes for delivery through the United States Postal Service. This process required large amounts of manpower and could not be mechanized.

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Ticket design

Tickets for prior Games were preprinted in advance of sale and normally included a different ticket stock for each sport or venue. Since the LAOOC's ticket system printed tickets to customer order, separate ticket stock for each sport could not be produced. Consequently, with the exception of the Opening Ceremonies ticket, all ticket stock printed through the main system was the same. Variable data was printed for each individual order and included sport, date, time, venue, seat location, customer name, customer order number, sport pictogram and event code. 

The ticket design included a festive rainbow tint to coordinate with the overall Look of the Games. Security features included a watermark imbedded in the ticket stock and a recently developed ink which disappeared when heat was applied. The color would disappear and then return to its normal state when the heat was removed. The latter anti-counterfeiting feature was significant since the ink was new on the market and had not been used commercially in the United States prior to the 1984 Olympic Games. Tickets were bound in a binder which was color coordinated with the tickets.

Separate ticket stock was designed for over-the-counter sales of football tickets for matches held at sites outside of Los Angeles. These tickets contained minimal security features since the LAOOC did not believe there was any economic benefit to the counterfeiting of these tickets. A third stock was used for Southern California Ticket and Information Center sales. The primary security feature contained in these tickets was metallic lettering which could not be copied by colorreproducing photocopiers presently on the market.

(Source document:   Official Report 1984, Vol. 1, page 802)

Identity Card

Accreditation and Access Control

Accreditation concepts, goals and requirements

Need for accreditation

The sole purpose of accreditation was to provide a system of identification for individuals participating in any aspect of the Games. This system was designed to discern their function and therefore, the privileges to which they were entitled. The accreditation system developed by the LAOOC not only identified each individual by name, country and function but detailed each venue that could be entered and when and where the individual was entitled to be seated in a venue. The system further identified an individual's access to special transportation, food, hospitality or accommodations services. 

The Accreditation Department was formed to organize and implement efficient procedures for the identification and registration of all persons involved in the Olympic Games and for controlling the access of these persons to villages, competition and training venues and other controlled areas. To accomplish this, the Accreditation Department determined the access and site privileges for each member of the Olympic Family, including 8,700 press, 11,000 athletes and officials and over 90,000 support personnel. It then produced the identification badges and developed the computer support systems.

The first development and testing of an accreditation system began in late 1982 in preparation for the January 1983 IOC Executive Board meetings in Los Angeles. Design work began on a computer-supported accreditation system that would print badges on demand on various colors of paper stock. Accreditation at the meeting went well, despite frequent malfunctions. It showed at a very early stage that a computer-supported system could work for the Games, but that considerable work in planning and operations would be required.

To begin the planning and testing of the computer system, the Accreditation Department hired a full-time director in March 1983. The director was responsible for the development of the system for the LA83 events held that summer. Because the director was hired late, the systems were developed quickly and were not adequately tested during the LA83 events. Accreditation badge elements Several important elements went into the fabrication of every accreditation badge, including:

     o Personal Identification (PID) number, badge number and Identity Card (ID) number
     o General information (name, function, country and organization)
     o Category ("A," "B," "C," "D," "E," "F," "Fo," "Fx," "G," "J," "K," "L," "O")
     o Access zone privileges
     o Photograph
     o Pictogram (sport/ticket requirement)
     o Bar code
     o Insurance information
     o Color stock (color differed for each badge category)
     o Preprinted stock with Star in Motion, Games of the XXlllrd Olympiad
     o Signature of accredited individuals

The following security features were also incorporated into the fabrication of every accreditation badge:

     o Badge serial number
     o LAOOC trademark
     o Security seal
     o Corporate seal

During the pre-Olympic competitions, the Accreditation Department developed operating plans, identified and trained volunteer staff and implemented the actual accreditation and badging process. These LA83 events provided valuable planning and operational experience to the department and formed the basis of the Olympic operation. 

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  Key elements of accreditation badge

1   ldentification (in English and French) of the
     Games in Los Angeles

2   Star in Motion symbol

3   Photograph of badge holder

4   Letter designating accreditation-type

5   Name, function and country of badge holder

6   Access zone privileges

7   Pictogram for site access

8   Bar code of Personal Identification Number
    (PID) of badge holder

9    Personal Identification Number (PID) of
     badge holder

10  Signature of badge holder

11  Designation of insurance status of badge holder

12  Badge stock serial number

13  Seal and copyright designation of the LAOOC

  Separation of accreditation and access privileges

In accordance with the Olympic Charter (1978 Provisional Edition), the LAOOC was required to issue accreditation cards to individuals participating in the Games. The charter specified only the categories "A" - "G" and vaguely identified privileges that were to be granted to persons in these categories. At previous Games, the accreditation badge not only provided identification as required by the charter but provided access to seating and other privileges. The LAOOC decided to separate privileges and access and developed a revolutionary concept that divided the functions of the accreditation badge into two areas: one for identification and one for access. In doing so, the LAOOC fulfilled the charter mandate to provide accreditation, but reserved the right to determine access privileges.

A ticket system was developed in support of the accreditation and access control system whereby eligible Olympic Family members had to obtain complimentary tickets for selected high-demand events. This helped to reduce the need for Olympic Family seating at some venues, allowing greater use by the spectating public. The ticketing system was operated by the LAOOC Ticketing Department. It required that all members of the Olympic Family (accredited "A"-"G") use a ticket to attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. For most sports events, tickets were not required for Olympic Family members, except for athletes ("F") and team officials ("Fo") who were required to use tickets when attending events at venues other than their own. For preselected high-demand events, tickets were generally required for Olympic Family members, except for category "A" (IOC members and guests). Categories of badges The following accreditation badge categories are mandated by the Olympic Charter (1978 Provisional Edition):

     o "A"; IOC members and honorary members, IOC director and one guest each.
     o "B"; IOC commissions, IOC secretariat, IF presidents, IF secretariesgeneral, and 
         12 transferable badges. IF presidents and secretaries-general allowed one guest each. 
         OCOG presidents and secretaries-general of Sarejevo, Calgary and Seoul.
     o "C"; NOC chefs de mission, assistant chefs de mission, Olympic attaches, transferable
          badges given to the chef de mission of each eligible NOC, and to the president of
          each IF. OCOG delegations (up to six persons) from Calgary, Sarejevo and
          Seoul reporting to the IOC Session.
     o "D"; IF jury members, technical officials (sports-specific referees, judges, umpires,           timekeepers).
     o "E"; Media (newspaper, radio, TV and support and auxiliary personnel).
     o "F"; Athletes, coaches, administrative, technical personnel, or other officials of each NOC
         ("Fo"); extra team officials ("Fx").
     o "G"; Distinguished guests of the LAOOC. Two additional badge categories were
         created by the LAOOC in response to specific accreditation needs. They were:
     o "J"; IF special, sport-specific accreditations for executive board members.
     o "O"; Observers from cities bidding for future Olympic Games.

(Source Document:   Official Report 1984,   Vol. I,  page 40) 
Read More:  Official Report 1984, Vol. I,   page  40 - 56


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