With LA expected to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we wanted to take a look at how much the world has changed since the City of Angels last hosted the Olympics 33 years ago. From the athletes winning medals to the president who opened the Games, here is what the world looked like when LA hosted its second Olympics in 1984.
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In addition to Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984, that year also saw the Olympic Winter Games Sarajevo 1984 six months prior, so Olympians were all over the news. It was also the year 2004 Olympic tennis player Martina Navratilova defeated Andrea Jaeger to win the singles tournament in Wimbledon and two-time Olympic gold medalist basketball legend Michael Jordan was picked in round one of the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls.
When the 1984 Olympics got underway at the end of July, the president was Ronald Reagan. And as the former governor of California from 1967 to 1975, he was proud to officially open the Games. When his first term in office was over later that year, he successfully went on to defeat Walter F. Mondale with 59 percent of the popular vote during the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 6.
In The News
Two weeks after the Closing Ceremony, the Space Shuttle Discovery took off on its maiden voyage on Aug. 30 and six days later returned home safely. During that mission, astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made man’s first untethered space walk.
It’s hard to remember a time before personal computers, but it was 33 years ago that the original Macintosh Apple computer went on sale in January 1984 for the asking price of $2,500. Also new to the market was commercial CD players. While the adults were getting their first taste of high tech electronics, kids were playing with My Little Pony and Transformers.
As they are today, fashion trends in the mid-80s were heavily influenced by popular culture. And while mini skirts, tracksuits and muscle shirts were in everyone’s closets, pastel shirts were a big hit after "Miami Vice" made its debut that year. And Madonna was to thank for the influx of lace and fishnet gloves.
When viewers weren’t watching the 1984 Olympics, they were glued to new shows like "Murder She Wrote," "Who’s the Boss?," "Miami Vice," "Highway to Heaven," "Punky Brewster" and "Charles in Charge." "The A-Team" was another popular show, which debuted the year before.
On The Radio
While the rock film "Purple Rain" — starring Prince in his acting debut — was climbing the box office charts,“When Doves Cry” was getting heavy rotation on the radio. Other popular tunes were “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner and “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” by Wham.
At The Box Office
In 1984, the price of a movie ticket was a mere $2.50. Even with the cost of a ticket only being a couple of dollars, the highest grossing movie that year, "Beverly Hills Cop," still made $15,214,805 opening day. The movies that topped the box office the weekend of the Opening Ceremony were "Purple Rain," "Ghostbusters" and "The Jungle Book."
The Cost Of Things
It’s not likely that you’ll be able to get many Olympic tickets in 2028 for $17, but that was the average price of a seat back then. Also cheap was gas ($1.10/gallon), a pound of apples (43 cents) and a pound of bacon ($1.69). You could also score a Chevrolet Corvette for the low, low price of $23,392.
Comings And Goings
Olympic gold medalist alpine skier Julia Mancuso was born the year of the 1984 Olympics, as were silver medal figure skater Sasha Cohen and three-time Olympic basketball medalist starLeBron James. Unfortunately it was also the year one of the world’s best swimmers, Johnny Weissmuller passed away at 80. In his younger days he won five Olympic gold medals and one bronze. He also portrayed Tarzan on the big screen in a dozen films.