Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (1984)
Call it our deep-lying love of patriotism. Or perhaps it's our never-ending devotion to capitalism. But any hyper-choreographed event that raises a flag upside down (see 5:05) is one to be forgotten. Five months later, at the Los Angeles Summer Games, the Opening Ceremony would forever be changed by 84 grand pianos sounding the music of George Gershwin and wagons ferrying pioneers from California to New England. As Guttman again observes in The Olympics, sociologists including Alan Tomlinson were not impressed with "the world according to Disney," condeming the "heights, depths and breadths of shallowness, oversimplification [and] superficiality." Like it or not, the Hollywoodification of the Games had arrived.