Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium, the Estadi Lluís Companys as it is officially recognised, was at the coronary heart of the summer months Games held in the Catalan funds in 1992. It was the centerpiece of a person of the world’s major sporting activities that would alter the city of Barcelona forever.
However, the sports activities venue has a storied heritage that goes much over and above the 1992 Olympic Games. It was very first crafted virtually an entire century back, and because then has been at the heart of alternative Olympic notion to boycott the Nazis, a lot of La Liga football video games and lots of additional to occur, as very well as concerts of some of the largest artists on the earth.
The Olympic Stadium was built in 1929 for the Global Exposition in Barcelona, aimed at advertising and marketing the architecture and advances in technological know-how in Catalonia in the early 20th century. The celebration permitted for many legendary buildings to be manufactured, these kinds of as the Countrywide Artwork Museum of Catalonia setting up, the Magic Fountain, and the Teatre Grec.
The Expo brought about “significant changes for the location of Montjuïc all the way down to Plaça Espanya,” as spelled out to Catalan News by the director of the Olympic Ring, Carmen Lanuza. The Olympic Ring is the set of services and venues positioned on the hill of Montjuïc in Barcelona which also includes an open up-air pool with spectacular sights of the town, and the pavilion identified today as Palau Sant Jordi.
At the time of its building, it was one particular of the most important stadiums in Europe, capable of fitting close to 67,000 lovers. “It represented advancement for Barcelona, which aspired at the time to host an Olympic Video games, but this under no circumstances happened due to the fact of the Civil War,” Lanuza stated.
People’s Olympics, anti-Nazi boycott
The Olympic Video games of 1936 were held in Berlin, then under the reign of Adolf Hitler. As a type of protest, the Spanish Republic organized an choice anti-fascist People’s Olympics and encouraged other nations to boycott the Online games in Nazi Germany.
On the other hand, these plans were being upended by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, which began in the exact same summertime. Quite a few athletes who traveled at first to get portion in these Games stayed to sign up for the Global Brigades and combat for the Republican induce.
The war gave the Olympic Stadium a further entirely new purpose. The Olympic Stadium served as a area to accommodate all over 2,000 displaced people from the Catalan capital for the duration of the war, exemplifying the really different eras the facility has gone as a result of.
People today afflicted by the war slept there, ate there, and small children ended up even schooled there. From its very beginnings, it was a construction with the goal of serving the persons of Barcelona.
Deterioration and reconstruction
The framework fell into disrepair through the Franco dictatorship, which began in 1939 following the nationalist forces took electric power pursuing the Civil War. “It wasn’t a time that the Olympic Stadium experienced much use, very little by little, it commenced deteriorating,” the director of the Olympic Ring services advised us.
Neglect and a deficiency of maintenance remaining the stadium in a point out of ruin, whilst the facility was however utilised for some youth sporting routines all over these a long time.
1992 adjusted almost everything for the Olympic Stadium. When the Catalan money was picked as the host metropolis in 1986, element of the challenge was to renovate the floor into one thing able of placing on just one of the greatest demonstrates in the entire world.
Lanuza states that the Catalan Joan Antoni Samaranch, then-president of the Intercontinental Olympic Committee, gave the town and its Olympic services a shot in the arm. “He put Barcelona on the map by supporting gain the rights to host the Olympics.”
The facility was cleaned up, modernized, and the pitch and encompassing running track was reduced 11 meters further to permit for a bigger potential of fans in the stadium. Its new splendor was uncovered to the world in the Opening ceremony, which highlighted a performance of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé’s anthem ‘Barcelona,’ sung by Caballé and Josep Carreras, as the legendary charismatic Queen frontman experienced passed absent just months earlier. Another of the numerous highlights of this opening ceremony was Paralympian Antonio Rebollo’s flaming arrow lighting up the Olympic cauldron.
Legacy given that 1992
A recent report from the Intercontinental Olympic Committee suggests that around 90% of the facilities employed in the Barcelona Games of 1992 are even now in use, location an example for the rest of the world as a design to observe.
In the latest instances, the Estadi Lluís Companys has not been in use on a weekly basis, but it does consistently maintain concerts by some of the biggest names in music. Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, and The Rolling Stones are just some of the large international names to have performed at the open-air venue. “We’re one particular of the stops on environment excursions of some of the largest international artists,” Lanuza pointed out.
It has also been the location for many sporting functions, a little something that will occur with considerably much more regularity from 2023 when it turns into the short-term house of one particular of the largest football clubs in the world, FC Barcelona, whilst renovation is effective are getting undertaken at the Camp Nou.
The stadium has also been the dwelling of the Barcelona Dragons American football team and La Liga facet Espanyol for much more than a 10 years whilst their latest RCDE stadium was under design.