chapter  6
Argentina and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics
ByCesar R. Torres
Pages 20

The opening ceremony of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics took place less than eight months after Rau´l Alfonsı´n was inaugurated as president of Argentina. Alfonsı´n’s election in October of the previous year had marked the return of democracy to his country. From March 24, 1976 to December 10, 1983, Argentina was governed by a military dictatorship that left the country in a terribly distressed state. After more than seven years of repression, censorship and brutality, Argentine society eagerly embraced the new political climate. As historian David Rock notes, ‘Relief and a feeling of deliverance pervaded the country’.1 Argentines showed optimism and sought to exercise their renewed freedoms in a myriad of ways. There was ‘an outburst of creative energy and cultural vitality’2 in addition to increased political participation in a variety of forms. Yet, the new government had considerable difficulty controlling the multiple malaises inherited from the dictatorship, and it implemented a series of policies that strengthened democracy, encouraged civic participation and attended to society’s accumulated demands.