Seoul, South Korea

Summer Olympics (1988)

In 1988, South Korea hosted the Summer Olympics (the Games of the XXIV Olympiad), becoming the second Asian nation to host this international summer event since Japan’s 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics.  Although 159 countries participated in this event, a few countries did boycott the event, including North Korea, which is still officially at war with South Korea (See our subchapter on the Korean War).

In terms of total medal count at the Seoul Olympics, South Korea came in sixth place with a total of 33 medals, making it the highest ranked Asian nation - fourth place in terms of Gold Medals with 12, the only Asian nation in the top 10 in this category. The U.S. came in third place with a total of 94 medals (of which 36 were Gold Medals).  (The then Soviet Union and East Germany came in first and second place, respectively, in terms of total medal count).