Soviet pole vaulter Sergei Bubka was named the outstanding athlete of the 3,000 who competed in Goodwill Games, which came to a close tonight with Ted Turner pronouncing the two weeks of competition "an unqualified success."
Bubka's spectacular world record pole vault of 19 feet 8 3/4 inches two weeks ago took top billing in the 17 days of track and field, swimming, sailing and other sports events.
Addressing a largely Soviet crowd at the closing ceremonies, Turner, the competition's originator, financial backer and head cheerleader, said the games "have proved that all the people of the world can cooperate in sport in a worthwhile manner irrespective of our different political and religious beliefs. Everything went off without a hitch."
The evening ceremonies, held in the concert hall of the Rossiya Hotel, ended a ragtag day of weightlifting, rowing and other final events. The Soviet Union, which dominated the competition, won 13 golds on the final day to finish nearly 100 medals ahead of the United States in the first Olympic-style competition between the countries since 1976.
The closing ceremonies featured speeches by Turner and Soviet sports minister Marat Gramov, the director of the sports committee and key Soviet organizer of the games.
Calling the games "17 days of unforgettable meetings," Gramov said they turned out to be "a real reflection of the spirit of Geneva, of the Soviet-American dialogue on the summit level." The games brought about 500 U.S. athletes to Moscow.
The face-off between U.S. and Soviet track stars, boxers, swimmers and other athletes, following the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, was one of the triumphs of the Goodwill Games.
Another was the emergence of fresh talent -- Ben Johnson, the Canadian sprinter who beat Carl Lewis in the 100 meters and came close to a world record; Sean Killion, the 18-year-old Californian who beat Soviet superswimmer Vladimir Salnikov in the 400-meter freestyle, and others.
Like the games, the closing show was a display of pageantry, featuring flags from the participating countries, the awarding of trophies and the unveiling of a portrait of Samantha Smith, the young American who traveled to the Soviet Union in 1983 as a guest of Yuri Andropov and later died in a plane crash.
The talent represented and the level of competition at the games ranged widely, from world-class to mediocre.
With today's final results, the Soviet Union won 118 gold, 80 silver and 43 bronze medals. The United States, runner-up in total medals, won 42 gold, 49 silver and 51 bronze.