Down the fire escape

One of the most delicate and tense moments that the Barcelona Games Organizing Committee (COOB’92) had to face was the celebration of the Dream Team’s first and only press conference. The American team exceeded all expectations and brought together 1,600 journalists in an auditorium planned for 1,200 people. The ending was like a movie, with Michael Jordan and company forced to leave the venue via the fire escape, accompanied by the police and a senior official from COOB’92, to escape the crowd and avoid any unpleasant incident.

It was difficult to convince the giant American players that after their press conference they should leave through the emergency exit, through a spiral staircase. After a tug of war, surprised by such a strange request for them, the United States internationals agreed to go down where they had been requested. Another police officer was waiting for them downstairs, to be taken directly to the luxurious hotel where they stayed in Barcelona, ​​since, as is usual with the American team, they refused to stay in the Olympic Village.

«We abandon our summer. We share the Olympic spirit like any other athlete, and we are criticized because we do business, but everyone does it with us », then proclaimed Magic Johnson, who a year earlier had announced that he was a carrier of the AIDS virus.

Managing that Dream Team press conference was already really difficult for those responsible for communication at the Olympic event. With a long queue in the street, the upper part of the Fira de Barcelona venue had to be set up to accommodate such a large number of media representatives, because the lower part only had 1,200 seats, and the Barcelona Organizing Committee ’92 was successful again.

In said appearance, when ‘Fat’ Barkley was asked about the United States’ first rival, he stated: “I have no idea about Angola, but Angola has a problem.” During the match he elbowed the Angolan Herlander Coimbra.

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