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The XXVth Olympiad of Barcelona’’92 is considered to be a historic period for the global projection of Catalonia from its capital city, Barcelona. During the Olympic Games, Catalan identity was expressed in a variety of ways, starting with Catalan as the primary Olympic language alongside Spanish, French and English. The Catalan language was used on the signage of all venue entrances and services, as well as in the documents and public speeches of every official event of the XXVth Olympiad.

Catalan identity was projected both corporately through the use of elements such as Modernist mosaics in the graphic image of banners and murals, and spontaneously by citizens through the draping of huge Catalan flags (senyeres in Catalan) over the balconies of homes across the city, which was in keeping with what they usually do for national holidays in Catalonia.

The tourism potential of the Olympic Games also meant that the country’s gastronomy and heritage experienced a considerable degree of promotion. According to John Hargreaves (2000), the Barcelona’92 Olympic Games also served to arouse nationalist feelings, something that usually happens in every edition of the Olympic Games. However, the particular feature in the case of Barcelona’92 was that the people’’s national exaltation revolved around Catalan culture, whereas Spanish identity was promoted rather more institutionally in official ceremonies and events.

Selected resources

Freedom for Catalonia?: Catalan nationalism, Spanish identity and the Barcelona Olympic Games

Hargreaves, John (2000): Freedom for Catalonia?: Catalan nationalism, Spanish identity and the Barcelona Olympic Games. Cambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press.

Olympic Games as showcase


Harris, Sandra Ann (1992): Olympic Games as showcase. Barcelona: Centre d’Estudis Olímpics (CEO-UAB).

Nacionalisme i Jocs Olímpics del 1992

Crexell, Joan (1994): Nacionalisme i Jocs Olímpics del 1992. Barcelona: Columna.

In the repository

In the Municipal Contemporary Archive, you can consult the administrative and management documentation generated on this topic by the Organising Committee Barcelona’92, SA (COOB’92), Holding Olímpic SA (HOLSA), Anella Olímpica de Montjuïc SA (AOMSA) (Olympic ring), Vila Olímpica SA (VOSA) (Olympic village) and the Institut Municipal de Promoció Urbanística SA (IMPUSA) (municipal Institute of urban development).

If you need further information on the collection, read the collection guide.

In the library

En las bibliotecas de los centros de estudio de la Fundación Barcelona Olímpica (FBO) y la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) puedes encontrar la selección de documentos listados, y otros materiales bibliográficos sobre el tema.

In the libraries of the study centres of the Barcelona Olympic Foundation (FBO) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) you can find the selection of listed documents and other bibliographic materials on the subject.

If you are interested in knowing more about our Olympic collection, you can consult the Union Catalogue of Catalan Universities (UAB collection) or contact us by e-mail (FBO collection).

Sports in pictures

If you are interested in images of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Barcelona’92, the Image Service of the Olympic Foundation of Barcelona will help you identify the images that satisfy your needs.

The Foundation manages the official image archive of the Barcelona’92 Games. You can contact them by email to request more information about the services provided and the collection of images. In this page, we offer a selection of images on the event.