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1990 Goodwill Games

The 1990 Goodwill Games was the second edition of the international multi-sport event created by Ted Turner, which was held between July 20 and August 5, 1990. Following an inaugural edition in Moscow, the second games took place in Seattle, United States, highlighting the competition's role in fostering good Soviet–U.S. relations. The games were opened at the University of Washington's Husky Stadium with a speech by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan,[1] as well as an address by Arnold Schwarzenegger and performances by the Moody Blues and Gorky Park. The top three nations in the medal table remained the same as the previous edition: the Soviet Union won 66 gold medals and a total of 188 medals, the United States was a close runner-up with 60 gold medals and 161 medals overall, while East Germany was a distant third with 11 golds.

1990 Goodwill Games
Goodwill Games Seattle 1990 logo.png
Host citySeattle, Washington
Opening ceremony20 July 1990 (1990-07-20)
Closing ceremony5 August 1990 (1990-08-05)
Moscow 1986 Saint Petersburg 1994  >
A renovated Husky Stadium hosted the opening ceremony of the second games
The napkin on which the preliminary financial arrangements for the Games were sketched out.

The games' motto was "Uniting the World's Best", and a total of 2,312 athletes from 54 countries engaged in the 17-day program of 21 sports. Each countries' contingent of athletes did not parade separately at the opening ceremony, but instead all athletes entered the stadium as one large mass (emphasizing the theme of international unity).[2] The size of the sporting program meant that some events were held in other Washington cities, including Tacoma, Spokane, and the Tri-Cities area.[3] A number of venues in the region were built or renovated for the Games: Federal Way gained an aquatics venue (King County Aquatic Center) through the games, while Seattle itself gained a new track for Husky Stadium and new flooring for the Edmundson Pavilion.[1] The Seattle Space Needle had a large purpose-built gold medal hung around the structure during the Games.[4]

The competition featured a significant cultural aspect compared to the previous edition. Around 1,400 Soviet athletes went to the US and stayed with host families in Seattle.[3] Soviet cosmonauts also visited schools in the city and the Moscow State Circus gave a number of performances.[2] A Goodwill Games Arts Festival was held in conjunction with the sporting event – 1,300 artists took part in the festival, which featured a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet, a museum exhibition of Soviet history, and a 2 million-dollar stage production of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.[1][3] Similarly to the 1986 Goodwill Games, the 1990 edition of the event was not financially successful and Ted Turner personally lost $44 million as a result.[1]

Two world records were broken during the Games: the 200-meter breaststroke mark was topped by all three medalists in the race, with American Mike Barrowman improving the record to two minutes and 11.53 seconds. Soviet athlete Nadezhda Ryashkina completed a world record of 41:56.21 in the 10 km race walk.[3]


Seattle was awarded hosting rights for the 1990 games by Turner on June 6, 1986, ahead of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta.[5]



Although the games were billed as occurring in Seattle, events took place at venues throughout Washington State:

Medal tableEdit

American Kristi Yamaguchi won her first major international gold medal in figure skating at the Games.

  *   Host nation (United States)

1  Soviet Union (URS)666854188
2  United States (USA)*605348161
3  East Germany (GDR)1182443
4  Bulgaria (BUL)87924
5  China (CHN)67316
6  Cuba (CUB)64313
7  West Germany (FRG)43815
8  Canada (CAN)41611
9  Poland (POL)4105
10  South Korea (KOR)3227
  Spain (ESP)3227
12  Romania (ROM)2428
13  Japan (JPN)231015
14  Italy (ITA)2215
15  Yugoslavia (YUG)2103
16  Hungary (HUN)1157
  Netherlands (NED)1157
18  Jamaica (JAM)1124
19  Denmark (DEN)1113
20  Mongolia (MGL)1102
21  Czechoslovakia (TCH)1001
  Mexico (MEX)1001
  Morocco (MAR)1001
  Suriname (SUR)1001
25  Australia (AUS)0437
26  Great Britain (GBR)0224
27  Turkey (TUR)0213
28  Ethiopia (ETH)0202
  New Zealand (NZL)0202
30  Brazil (BRA)0167
31  Kenya (KEN)0112
32  Bahamas (BAH)0101
33  France (FRA)0011
  Ireland (IRL)0011
  Sweden (SWE)0011
  U.S. Virgin Islands (ISV)0011
Totals (36 nations)192186202580


A total of 54 nations were represented at the 1990 Games with a total of 2312 athletes attending the games.[2] However, around 3500 athletes had received invitations to the games and the attendance was a marked decline from the inaugural edition.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ted Turner's Goodwill Games open in Seattle on July 20, 1990.. HistoryLink. Retrieved on 2010-06-23.
  2. ^ a b c Bell, Daniel (2003). Encyclopedia of International Games (pgs. 164–168). McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN 0-7864-1026-4.
  3. ^ a b c d Past Goodwill Games – 1990 and Seattle Archived 2012-02-24 at the Wayback Machine. Goodwill Games. Retrieved on 2010-06-23.
  4. ^ Space Needle selling big Goodwill medal. Spokane Chronicle, pg. A5, (August 1, 1990). Retrieved on 2010-06-23.
  5. ^ Newnham, Blaine (June 6, 1986). "Goodwill Games here: Seattle named next host city". The Seattle Times. p. A1.
  6. ^ a b c "Traffic Impacts During the Goodwill Games" (PDF).
  7. ^ "The 1990 Goodwill Games are Coming to Spokane". Spokesman-Review. June 21, 1990.
  8. ^ "Local Athletes DOT Games Lineup, Some Coaches Have Area Ties". The Seattle Times. July 19, 1990.
  9. ^ "Tri-Cities Coliseum Gets Ice Hockey, Skating". Spokesman-Review. March 16, 1989.

External linksEdit