Drugs reared their head with the biggest scandal of modern times when sprinter Ben Johnson was disqualified after winning the 100m.
The Canadian was the biggest name to have ever failed a drugs test when he tested positive for an anabolic steroid and his world-record time was wiped from the records and Carl Lewis handed the gold medal.
Awarding the Games to South Korea was the IOC's bid to advocate democracy across the globe, but it prompted angry responses from North Korea and Cuba who boycotted the Olympics, along with Ethiopia and Nicaragua.
76-year-old Sohn Kee-chung ran the torch into the Olympic stadium in an emotional start to festivities - as the 1936 marathon champion had to run in those Games under a Japanese name as Korea was occupied by Japan at the time.
It was the final time two of the Olympic superpowers would be competing as both the Soviet Union and East Germany ceased to exist after these Games, and the penultimate time live doves were released after a number of birds were burnt by the lighting of the cauldron soon after.
American sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner cut one of the figures of the Olympics, not only for her flamboyant appearance but also for her magnificent performances as she won the 100m and 200m double.
A Sean Kerly-inspired men's hockey team won the gold medal for Britain, while Malcolm Cooper won gold at successive Olympics in the small bore rifle shooting and Adrian Moorhouse picked up first place in the 100m breaststroke in GB's three gold medals.
Tennis was included in the schedule for the first time in 64 years, and professionals were allowed to take part which came as great timing for Germany's Steffi Graf, who concluded her Grand Slam tennis season by winning Olympic gold.
Fellow German Christa Luding-Rothenburger, also a speed skater, earned a silver medal in cycling to become the only person in history to win winter and summer medals in the same year.
America's Matt Biondi won seven medals, including five golds, while team-mate Greg Louganis won gold in the springboard event despite cracking his head on the board during a qualifying dive.
Russia's world record holder and world champion Sergei Bubka won the pole vault gold medal, but that was to be his last appearance on an Olympic podium, and boxer Roy Jones Jr suffered a controversial defeat to home fighter Park Si-Hun and three judges were later suspended as a result.
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DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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Linford Christie sprinted to 100m gold for Britain at an Olympic Games best remembered for America's basketball dream team.