This was the first time that an administrative region was organising the games and not a city. On the other hand, whereas since 1951, the year the first edition took place, the pace of the event was that it was taking place one year before the Olympic Games, it would now change so that it would be organised one year after the Olympic Games. Moreover, this 12th edition took place two years after the previous one. The Games took place in the period between 16 and 27 June and for the first time, well before the Olympic Games, they were staged on a regional level to avoid building white elephants and to take advantage of the infrastructure, whereas the heart of the organisation was located in Agde where the opening ceremony was held in the presence of French President François Mitterrand. Delegations from nineteen nations participated in the Games (a total of 2,598 athletes, comprising 1,994 men and 604 women) featuring thirteen European countries, three African countries and two Asian countries; and for the first time Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. France naturally was the largest delegation with 413 athletes and was ranked first in terms of medals (195) including 84 titles. The stars were Noureddine Morceli, who did not break the world record in 1500m for just two milliseconds; in the football tournament, future stars like Zinedine Zidane, Lilian Thuram, Hakan Sükür and Roberto Baggio; and last but not least the French rugby team with its mythical captain Jean-Pierre Rives who waltzed through the tournament. A French 20 Franc coin commemorating the Mediterranean Games was issued on the occasion of the event.