The Barcelona Olympic Games: Looking Back 25 Years On (1)

Francesc Solanellas

Andreu Camps Povill

*Corresponding author: Francesc Solanellas

Original Language

Cite this article

Solanellas, F., & Camps, A. (2017). The Barcelona Olympic Games: Looking Back 25 Years On (1). Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 127, 7-26.



In 1992 Barcelona hosted the XXV Olympic Games. It was the most important event that has ever taken place in Barcelona and it will probably be many years before another of its kind is held. Twenty-five years on, our aim is to examine the Games’ impact on the city and the country in a series of articles that will analyse their economic, sports and social impact. During this period Barcelona has been a model for other cities which have sought to implement a transformation similar to the one which took place in the Catalan capital in recent times. However, this impact, which at first sight may seem obvious, needs to be based on empirical findings that enable us to verify the actual impact. Among other indicators we have found that the number of tourists has increased very markedly since the 1990s (419% between 1990 and 2015). In terms of sport, and with the methodological limitation of the availability of sufficient data from the 1980s and 1990s, there is a positive evolution in general sports activity in both Catalonia and Spain, although we cannot say that such evolution is a direct consequence of hosting the Olympic Games. Since Barcelona 1992 the city has been on the map more than ever and this was indeed one of the objectives of hosting the Games. However, today it is once again at the centre of the debate about the need to decide on its model, its evolution in the coming years and its international profile. This of course also includes its position in hosting major international events.

Keywords: Barcelona, Impact, Legacy, Olympic Games.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: January 17, 2017

Accepted: February 24, 2017

Published: January 01, 2017