Estadio Olímpico Universitario

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Estadio Olímpico Universitario is a stadium located in Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City. It was built in 1952 and at that time was the largest stadium in Mexico. This stadium has a capacity of 63,186 . During the 50s and the 60s this stadium was used mostly for college American football matches between the largest Mexican public universities: UNAM and IPN. From the late 1950s it was used for football matches, some American football matches and athletics contests. It resembles a volcano, due to it being built in a volcanic stone surface.

The Olímpico Universitario hosted the Olympic Games of 1968; for the event the seating capacity was increased from 70,000 to 83,700 spectators (without substantially modifying the original structure) to cover the IOC requirements for an Olympic stadium. It was the location of the track & field competitions, equestrian events, certain association football matches, the arrival of the marathon and the opening & ending ceremonies. This was the Olympics in which Tommie Smith and John Carlos protested against the treatment of black people in the USA by performing a black power salute during the medal ceremony for the 200m. The stadium also hosted several games of the Football World Cup 1986, but the final match was played in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Tartan track was the first All Weather Running Track to be used in the Olympics. Such a track is now a requirement.

Now it is the home stadium of American football team Pumas Dorados de la UNAM and the football team Pumas de la Universidad.

During the final matches of the Mexican football league between Club America and UNAM Pumas in 1985 the authorities of the UNAM Pumas allowed more spectators into Estadio Olímpico Universitario than the capacity allowed for the building. During the attempt of the fans to get to the pitch in one of the access tunnels (the tunnel number 29) a number of people got stuck and died of suffocation.

This sport facility is part of the Ciudad Universitaria ("University City"), the main campus of the UNAM.

Architecture and art stadium

It is the work of architects Augusto Perez, Raul Salinas and Jorge Bravo Moro. The "Estadio Universitario, original name, was built specifically for the former practice of football.

On the east side of University Olympic Stadium, is a mural by Diego Rivera, called "The University, the Mexican family, peace and youth sports. In the construction of the relief in natural colored stones shows the university shield, with the condor and the eagle on a cactus. Under their wings outstretched, Rivera placed three figures representing the family: the father and the mother giving the dove of peace to his son. At the extremes are two gigantic figures that correspond to some athletes, male and female, who light the torch of Olympic flame. A huge feathered serpent, the symbolic image of the pre-Hispanic god Quetzalcoatl, complements the composition at the bottom.

Diego Rivera had planned to cover the entire outside of the stadium with designs similar to this, but the artist's death prevented him.

The asymmetric shape of the stands of the stadium-side with the more developed west-emphasizes the final composition of the joint project of the University City, which finished off its axis and principal, the stands closest to the Avenida Insurgentes, emphasizes the sense league stadium to the rest of the set.


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