In the Seoul Games, 159 nations were represented by a total of 8,391 athletes: 6,197 men and 2,194 women. 237 events were held and 27,221 volunteers helped to prepare the Olympics. 11,331 media (4,978 written press and 6,353 broadcasters) showed the Games all over the world.
These were the last Olympic Games for the Soviet Union and East Germany, as both ceased to exist before the next Olympic Games. The Soviets utterly dominated the medal table, winning 55 gold and 132 total medals. No country came close to this result after 1988.
The games were boycotted by North Korea and its ally, Cuba. Ethiopia, Albania and the Seychelles did not respond to the invitations sent by the IOC.Nicaragua did not participate due to athletic and financial considerations. The participation of Madagascar had been expected, and their team was expected at the opening ceremony of 160 nations. However, the country withdrew because of financial reasons. Nonetheless, the much larger boycotts seen in the previous three Summer Olympics (1976, 1980 and 1984) were avoided, resulting in the largest number of participating nations during the Cold War era.