The highlight of the Games was Bob Beamon's astonishing 8.90m leap to take the long jump gold, beating the previous mark by 55cm. His record would stand until fellow American Mike Powell's lept 8.95m at the 1991 world championships in Tokyo.
Ethiopian Mamo Wolde, who won the marathon, was arrested in 1992 and thrown in prison for his part in the Red Terror tribunal a former dictatorial regime.
The home team were unable to take good advantage of competing in their own back yard, coming away with only three gold medals, two in the boxing ring (Ricardo Delgado and Antonio Roldan) and one from the swimming pool (Felipe Munoz).
In the super-heavyweight division a man who would become a boxing legend, George Foreman, punched his way to gold.
Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.