Although a revenge boycott led by the Soviet Union depleted the field in certain sports, a record 140 nations took part. Joan Benoit won the inaugural women's marathon and Connie Carpenter-Phinney the first women's cycling road race. Carl Lewis won both sprints and the long jump and earned a fourth gold in the 4x100m relay. Pertti Karppinen won single sculls rowing for the third time. Sebastian Coe became the first repeat winner of the men's 1,500m. Archer Neroli Fairhall was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event. She competed in a wheelchair.
140 NOCs (Nations)
6,829 athletes (1,566 women, 5,263 men)
9,190 media (4,327 written press, 4,863 broadcasters)