After U.S. presidents had for decades maintained a traditional hands-off approach to the Olympic Games, Ronald Reagan broke that in 1984 when he attended the summer opening ceremony in Los Angeles.

President Ronald Reagan holds the Olympic torch, while gymnast Kurt Thomas starts another torch. The Olympic Torch Relay came through Washington on the road to Los Angeles for the 1984 Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Lana Harris)

Reagan was in the midst of his re-election campaign and first made a two-day trip to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

President Reagan and the first lady with USA Olympic medalists in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Red McLenden)

After Reagan became the first sitting president to attend the games, he was followed in subsequent years by Bill Clinton in Atlanta and George W. Bush in Beijing.

Reagan and the first lady enjoy the Opening Ceremonies of the 23rd Olympiad in the Los Angeles Coliseum. (AP Photo)

The Los Angeles Games went on to gross $223 million; Reagan beat challenger Walter Mondale with 59 percent of the popular vote.