1996 Summer Olympics
Overview
The 1996 Summer Olympics of Atlanta, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, was an international
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 multi-sport event
Multi-sport event
A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports between organized teams of athletes from nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance was the modern Olympic Games.Many...

 which was celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.
Atlanta was selected on September 18, 1990, in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, over Athens, Belgrade, Manchester, Melbourne, and Toronto at the 96th IOC Session. Atlanta's bid to host the Summer Games that began in 1987 was considered a long-shot, since the U.S.
Encyclopedia
The 1996 Summer Olympics of Atlanta, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, was an international
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 multi-sport event
Multi-sport event
A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports between organized teams of athletes from nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance was the modern Olympic Games.Many...

 which was celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

Host city selection

Atlanta was selected on September 18, 1990, in Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, over Athens, Belgrade, Manchester, Melbourne, and Toronto at the 96th IOC Session. Atlanta's bid to host the Summer Games that began in 1987 was considered a long-shot, since the U.S. had hosted the Summer Olympics just 12 years earlier
1984 Summer Olympics
The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1984...

 in Los Angeles. Atlanta's main rivals were Toronto, whose front running bid that began in 1986 seemed almost sure to succeed after Canada had held a successful 1988 Winter Olympics
1988 Winter Olympics
The 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event celebrated in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 13 to 28 February 1988. The host was selected in 1981 after having beat Falun, Sweden and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy...

 in Calgary and Melbourne, Australia, who hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics
1956 Summer Olympics
The 1956 Melbourne Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which could not be held in Australia due to quarantine regulations...

 and felt that the Olympic Games should return to Australia. The Athens bid was based on sentiment, the fact that these Olympic Games would be the 100th Anniversary of the first Summer Games in Greece in 1896
1896 Summer Olympics
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era...

.
1996 Summer Olympics bidding results
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Atlanta  United States 19 20 26 34 51
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 Greece 23 23 26 30 35
Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 Canada 14 17 18 22
Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 Australia 12 21 16
Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 United Kingdom 11 5
Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 Kingdom of Yugoslavia 7

Effect on the city

Many consider the Games to be instrumental in transforming Atlanta into the cosmopolitan city it is today. The Games also resulted in many modern infrastructure improvements. One example is the mid-rise dormitories built for the Olympic Village, which became the first residential housing for Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Georgia State University is a research university in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Founded in 1913, it serves about 30,000 students and is one of the University System of Georgia's four research universities...

, and is now used by the Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States...

. Another example is Centennial Olympic Stadium
Centennial Olympic Stadium
Centennial Olympic Stadium was the 85,000-seat main stadium of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Construction of the stadium began in 1993, and it was complete and ready for the Opening Ceremony in July 1996, where it hosted track and field events and the closing ceremony...

, which by design was later converted into the baseball-specific Turner Field
Turner Field
Turner Field is a stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, home to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves since 1997. Turner Field was originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, it was completed in 1996 to serve as the centerpiece of the 1996 Summer Olympics...

 for the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 after the Games concluded, as there was no long-term need for a track and field venue in the city. Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a 21 acre public park located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA that is owned and operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The park was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as part of the infrastructure improvements for the Centennial...

, which was built for the events, is the city's lasting memorial of the games. The park initiated a revitalization of the surrounding area, and now serves as the hub for Atlanta's newly-emerging tourist district.

Cost

The Atlanta Olympics followed the financial model established by the 1984 Olympic Games
1984 Summer Olympics
The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1984...

 in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. The cost to stage the Games was US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

1.8 billion. Governmental funds were used for security, and around $500 Million of taxpayer money was used on the physical infrastructure including streetscaping, road improvements, Centennial Olympic Park, expansion of airport, improvements in public transportation, and redevelopment of public housing projects but neither paid for the actual Games and the new Venues themselves. To pay for the games, Atlanta relied on commercial sponsorship and ticket sales, resulting in a profit of $10 million.

Criticisms

Atlanta's heavy reliance on corporate sponsorship caused many to consider the Games to be overly commercialized. Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

, whose corporate headquarters is in Atlanta, received criticism for being the exclusive drink offered in Olympic venues. In addition, the city of Atlanta was found to have been competing with the IOC for advertising and sponsorship dollars. The city licensed street vendors who sold certain products over others, and therefore provided a presence for companies who were not official Olympic sponsors. In defense, the organizing committee stated the heavy corporate sponsorship was part of America's culture of capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

.

A report prepared by European Olympic officials after the Games was critical of Atlanta's performance in several key issues, including the level of crowding in the Olympic Village, the quality of available food, the accessibility and convenience of transportation, and the Games' general atmosphere of commercialism. The opening ceremony, featuring 500 cheerleaders and 30 pickup truck
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

s, was also seen as "garish" by some observers and considered questionable in taste by many foreign visitors, and many American spectators claim it had nothing to do with American culture
Culture of the United States
The Culture of the United States is a Western culture originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before the United States became a country with its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore...

.

The Atlanta Olympics were marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing
Centennial Olympic Park bombing
The Centennial Olympic Park bombing was a terrorist bombing on July 27, 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States during the 1996 Summer Olympics, the first of four committed by Eric Robert Rudolph...

 on July 27. Security Guard Richard Jewell
Richard Jewell
Richard A. Jewell was an American security guard who became known in connection with the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, United States...

 discovered the pipe bomb and immediately notified law enforcement and helped evacuate as many people as possible from the area before it exploded. Although Jewell's quick actions are credited for saving many lives, the bombing killed spectator Alice Hawthorne wounded 111 others, and caused the death of Melih Uzunyol by heart attack. Eric Robert Rudolph
Eric Robert Rudolph
Eric Robert Rudolph , also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is a criminal responsible for a series of bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured at least 150 others in the name of an anti-abortion and anti-gay agenda...

 was charged with and confessed to this bombing and several others. He is now in a federal prison in Colorado
ADX Florence
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is a supermax prison for men that is located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies...

 serving a sentence of life imprisonment
Life imprisonment
Life imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life...

.

At the closing ceremony
1996 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony
The Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics took place on August 4, 1996 at the Centennial Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, United States at approximately 8:00 PM EDT...

, IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 President Juan Antonio Samaranch
Juan Antonio Samaranch
Don Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquis of Samaranch, Grandee of Spain , known in Catalan as Joan Antoni Samaranch i Torelló , was a Catalan Spanish sports administrator who served as the seventh President of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001...

 said in his closing speech, "Well done, Atlanta" and simply called the Games "most exceptional." This broke precedent for Samaranch, who had traditionally labeled each Games "the best Olympics ever" at each closing ceremony, a practice he resumed at the subsequent Games in Sydney in 2000
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

.

Songs and themes

The Olympiad's official theme, "Summon the Heroes," was written by John Williams, making it the third Olympiad for which he has composed. The song "The Power of the Dream
The Power of the Dream
"The Power of the Dream" is a single by Céline Dion, released on August 20, 1996 in Japan."The Power of the Dream" was written and produced by David Foster and Babyface for the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Dion performed it in front of more than 100,000 people, in addition to...

", composed by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and David Foster
David Foster
David Walter Foster, OC, OBC , is a Canadian musician, record producer, composer, singer, songwriter, and arranger, noted for discovering singers such as Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, and Charice Pempengco; and for producing some of the most successful artists in the world, such as Céline Dion, Toni...

, with words by Linda Thompson was performed in the opening ceremony by Céline Dion
Celine Dion
Céline Marie Claudette Dion, , , is a Canadian singer. Born to a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record...

 accompanied by Foster and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Centennial Choir
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Robert Spano has been its music director since 2001...

. Gladys Knight
Gladys Knight
Gladys Maria Knight , known as the "Empress of Soul", is an American singer-songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, and author...

 sang "Georgia on My Mind
Georgia on My Mind
"Georgia on My Mind" is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell . It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or...

", Georgia's official state song, at the opening ceremony. The closing ceremony
1996 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony
The Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics took place on August 4, 1996 at the Centennial Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, United States at approximately 8:00 PM EDT...

 featured Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan
Gloria María Milagrosa Fajardo García de Estefan; known professionally as Gloria Estefan is a Cuban-born American singer, songwriter, and actress. Known as the "Queen Of Latin Pop", she is in the top 100 best selling music artists with over 100 million albums sold worldwide, 31.5 million of those...

 singing "Reach", the official theme song of the 1996 Olympics. At the closing of the ceremony Trisha Yearwood
Trisha Yearwood
Patricia Lynn Yearwood, professionally known as Trisha Yearwood , is an American country music artist. She is best known for her ballads about vulnerable young women from a female perspective that have been described by some music critics as "strong" and "confident."Trisha Yearwood signed with MCA...

 performed the Olympics song "The Flame" just before the torch was extinguished.

Mascot

The mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 for the Olympiad was an abstract, animated character named Izzy. In contrast to the standing tradition of mascots of national or regional significance in the city hosting the Olympiad, Izzy was an amorphous, fantasy figure.

Highlights

A record 197 nations, all current IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 member nations, took part, with a record 79 of them winning at least one medal. Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 was allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time. Also for the first time, Olympic medals were won by the athletes from Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

.
Softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

, beach volleyball
Beach volleyball
Beach volleyball, or sand volleyball, is an Olympic team sport played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net.Like volleyball, the object of the game is to send the ball over the net in order to ground it on the opponent’s court, and to prevent the same effort by the opponent....

 and mountain biking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

 debuted on the Olympic program, together with women's soccer/football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 and lightweight rowing
Sport rowing
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

.

Opening ceremony

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

 lit the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies of the games and received a replacement gold medal for his boxing victory in the 1960 Summer Olympics
1960 Summer Olympics
The 1960 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held from August 25 to September 11, 1960 in Rome, Italy...

.
Slovene gymnast
Gymnast
Gymnasts are people who participate in the sports of either artistic gymnastics, trampolining, or rhythmic gymnastics.See gymnasium for the origin of the word gymnast from gymnastikos.-Female artistic:Australia...

 Leon Štukelj
Leon Štukelj
Leon Štukelj was a Yugoslav gymnast of Slovene nationality, Olympic gold medalist and athlete.Štukelj was born in Novo Mesto, Austria-Hungary . He is a noted figure in Slovenian sporting history...

 arose at the opening ceremony as one of the oldest living sportsmen in the world (age 97)

Gymnastics

Lilia Podkopayeva
Lilia Podkopayeva
Lilia Alexandrivna Podkopayeva ; born August 15, 1978 in Donetsk) is a retired Ukrainian gymnast who became the 1996 Olympic all-around champion, the 1995 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships all-around champion and the 1996 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships all-around champion...

 became an all-around olympic champion in women's gymnastics. Podkopayeva also won a second gold medal in the floor exercise final and a silver on the beam — becoming the only female gymnast since Nadia Comăneci
Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Elena Comăneci is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the first female gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She is also the winner of two gold medals at the 1980 Summer...

 to win an individual event gold after winning the all-round title in the same Olympics.
Kerri Strug of the United States women's gymnastics team vaulted with an injured ankle and landed on one foot. The US women's gymnastics team won its first gold medal.
Shannon Miller
Shannon Miller
Shannon Lee Miller is a former artistic gymnast from Edmond, Oklahoma. She is the most decorated gymnast in U.S. History, and considered one of the greatest gymnasts the United States has ever produced...

 of the United States won the gold medal on the balance beam event, the first time an American Gymnast had won an individual gold medal outside of a contested Olympic games.

The Spanish team won the first gold medal of the new competition by women's rhythmic group all-around. The team was formed by Estela Giménez
Estela Giménez
Estela Giménez Cid is a Spanish former rhythmic gymnast that won gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics as part of the group all-around event. The team was formed by Estela, Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Lorena Guréndez, Estíbaliz Martínez and Tania Lamarca.She was also in the cover of Your Shape game...

, Marta Baldó
Marta Baldó
Marta Baldó Marín is a Spanish rhythmic gymnast and Olympic Champion. She won a gold medal with the Spanish group at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The team was formed by Marta, Estela Giménez, Nuria Cabanillas, Lorena Guréndez, Estíbaliz Martínez and Tania Lamarca.-References:...

, Nuria Cabanillas
Nuria Cabanillas
Nuria Cabanillas Provencio is a Catalan-born and Extremaduran adoption rhythmic gymnast and Olympic Champion. She won a gold medal with the Spanish group at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The team was formed by Nuria, Estela Giménez, Marta Baldó, Lorena Guréndez, Estíbaliz Martínez and Tania...

, Lorena Guréndez
Lorena Guréndez
Lorena Guréndez is a Spanish rhythmic gymnast and Olympic Champion. She competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and won a gold medal with the Spanish group. The team was formed by Lorena, Estela Giménez, Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Estíbaliz Martínez and Tania Lamarca.-References:...

, Estíbaliz Martínez
Estíbaliz Martínez
Estíbaliz Martínez is a Spanish rhythmic gymnast and Olympic Champion. She competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and won a gold medal with the Spanish group. The team was formed by Estíbaliz, Estela Giménez, Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Lorena Guréndez and Tania Lamarca.-References:...

 and Tania Lamarca
Tania Lamarca
Tania Lamarca Celada is a Spanish rhythmic gymnast and Olympic Champion. She won a gold medal with the Spanish group at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The team was formed by Tania, Estela Giménez, Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Lorena Guréndez and Estíbaliz Martínez.-References:...

.

Swimming

Amy Van Dyken
Amy Van Dyken
Amy Van Dyken is an American swimmer who has six career Olympic gold medals. Four of these gold medals came in the 1996 Summer Olympics, making her the first American woman to accomplish such a feat and the most successful athlete at the 1996 Summer Olympics...

 won four gold medals in the Olympic swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

 pool, the first American woman to win four titles in a single Olympiad.
Penny Heyns,swimmer of South Africa, won the Gold Medals in both the 100 metres and 200 metres breaststroke events.
Michelle Smith
Michelle Smith
Michelle Smith is a retired Irish swimmer and practising Irish barrister. She was a triple gold medallist at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, for the 400 m individual medley, 400 m freestyle and 200 m individual medley...

 of Ireland won three gold medals and a bronze in swimming. She remains her nation's most decorated Olympian. However, her victories were overshadowed by doping
Doping (sport)
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport is commonly referred to by the term "doping", particularly by those organizations that regulate competitions. The use of performance enhancing drugs is mostly done to improve athletic performance. This is why many sports ban the use of performance...

 allegations even though she did not test positive in 1996. She received a four-year suspension in 1998 for tampering with a urine sample, though her medals and records were allowed to stand.

Weightlifting

Naim Süleymanoğlu
Naim Süleymanoglu
Naim Süleymanoğlu , formerly known as Naim Suleimanov , is a Turkish World and Olympic Champion in weightlifting...

 became the first weightlifter to win three gold medals.

Track and field

Donovan Bailey
Donovan Bailey
Donovan Bailey is a retired Canadian sprinter, who once held the world record for the 100 metres race following his gold medal performance in the 1996 Olympic Games. He was the first Canadian to legally break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m...

 of Canada won the men's 100 m, setting a new world record of 9.84 seconds at that time. He also anchored his team's gold in the 4x100 m relay
Athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympics - Men's 4 x 100 metre relay
These are the official results of the men's 4 x 100 metres relay event at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. There were 37 nations competing.Canada won the gold medal with the United States claiming the silver and Brazil taking the bronze....

.
Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson (athlete)
Michael Duane Johnson is a retired American sprinter. He won four Olympic gold medals and eight world championship gold medals. Johnson currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400 m and 4 x 400 meters relay. He formerly held the world and Olympic record in the 200 m, and the world...

 won gold in both the 200 m and 400 m, setting a new world record of 19.32 seconds in the 200 m. Johnson afterward began disputing Bailey's unofficial title as the "world's fastest man", which later culminated in a 150-metre race
Bailey-Johnson 150-metre race
The Bailey-Johnson 150-metre race was a track and field event that occurred in Toronto, Canada on 31 May 1997. In an effort to settle the dispute regarding who was the world's fastest man, a race was organized between 1996 Olympic 100 m champion Donovan Bailey from Canada, and 1996 Olympic 200 m...

 between the two to settle the issue. Marie-José Pérec
Marie-José Pérec
Marie-José Pérec is a French athlete, specialised in the 200 and 400 m, and a triple Olympic champion....

 equaled Johnson's performance, although without a world record, by winning the rare 200 m/400 m double.

Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis
Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis is an American former track and field athlete, who won 10 Olympic medals including 9 gold, and 10 World Championships medals, of which 8 were gold. His career spanned from 1979 when he first achieved a world ranking to 1996 when he last won an Olympic title and...

 won his 4th long jump gold medal at the age of 35.

Cycling
Cycling
Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists...

 professionals were admitted to the Olympics, with five-time Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

 winner Miguel Indurain
Miguel Indurain
Miguel Ángel Indurain Larraya is a retired Spanish road racing cyclist. He won five consecutive Tour de Frances from 1991 and 1995, the first to do so, and the fourth athlete to win five times. He won the Giro d'Italia twice, becoming one of only seven people in history to achieve the Giro Tour...

 winning the inaugural individual time trial
Individual time trial
An individual time trial is a road bicycle race in which cyclists race alone against the clock . There are also track-based time trials where riders compete in velodromes, and team time trials...

 event.

National firsts

Deon Hemmings
Deon Hemmings
Deon Hemmings is a former female 400 metres hurdler.Hemmings was the first ever Jamaican woman to win an Olympic Gold when she won the 400m Hurdles at the 1996 Olympics breaking the Olympic record which stood to 2004...

 became the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal for Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 and the English-speaking West Indies.

Lee Lai Shan
Lee Lai Shan
Lee Lai-Shan MBE BBS is a former world champion and Olympic gold medal-winning professional windsurfer from Hong Kong. She is the first and last ever athlete to win an Olympic medal representing Hong Kong, not as part of China...

 won a gold medal in sailing, the only Olympic medal that Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 ever won as a British colony (1952–1997). This meant that for the only time, the colonial flag of Hong Kong was raised to the accompaniment of the British national anthem God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

, as Hong Kong's sovereignty was later transferred to China in 1997.

The US women's soccer team won the gold medal in the first ever women's soccer event.

Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 won gold at the inaugural rhythmic gymnastics groups competition
Gymnastics at the 1996 Summer Olympics – Women's rhythmic team all-around
These are the results of the rhythmic group all-around competition, one of the two events of the rhythmic gymnastics discipline contested in the gymnastics at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Not since 1956 had there been a group competition in Rhythmic gymnastics.-Qualification:Nine teams...

 defeating the favorite and reigning world champion Bulgaria who had won the World Championship less than a month before.

Other

Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle
Kurt Steven Angle is an American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist. He is currently under contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is recognized as a 15-time World Heavyweight Champion...

 of the United States won the gold medal in 100 kg (220 lb) freestyle wrestling. He competed with a broken neck. After the '96 Olympic Games he pursued a career in "Sports Entertainment" style wrestling competing for both World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is a privately held professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett. The company broadcasts its events on television and the Internet fifty two weeks a year with over a million weekly viewers on its primary television program, Impact...

.
Alexander Karelin
Alexander Karelin
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Karelin, or simply Alexander Karelin, is a Hero of the Russian Federation and was a dominant Greco-Roman wrestler for the Soviet Union and later, after its dissolution, for Russia. He won gold medals at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Olympic Games...

 won his third Olympic gold medal as a Greco-Roman wrestler.

Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi
Andre Kirk Agassi is a retired American professional tennis player and former world no. 1. Generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Agassi has been called the best service returner in the history of the game...

 won the gold medal in tennis. This helped him become the first male player to ever win the career Golden Slam.
Deng Yaping
Deng Yaping
Deng Yaping is a Chinese table tennis player, who won six world championships and four Olympic championships between 1989 and 1997...

 of China won two gold medals in Women singles and doubles of table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

. She also won these two titles in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

.

Xeno Müller
Xeno Müller
Xeno Müller is a Swiss rower and Olympic gold medallist.His first international appearance was at the 1990 Junior World Rowing Championships - winning bronze in his single scull ....

 won gold for the Men's single scull event (rowing) in his first Olympic appearance. His time of 6:44.85 is still the current Olympic record.

Venues

Events of the Atlanta Games were held in a variety of areas. A number were held within the Olympic Ring, a three-mile circle from the center of Atlanta. Others were held at Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

, about 20 miles outside of the city. To broaden ticket sales, other events, such as soccer, occurred in various cities in the southeast (see below).

Inside the Olympic Ring


  • Centennial Olympic Stadium
    Centennial Olympic Stadium
    Centennial Olympic Stadium was the 85,000-seat main stadium of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Construction of the stadium began in 1993, and it was complete and ready for the Opening Ceremony in July 1996, where it hosted track and field events and the closing ceremony...

     (Now known as Turner Field
    Turner Field
    Turner Field is a stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, home to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves since 1997. Turner Field was originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, it was completed in 1996 to serve as the centerpiece of the 1996 Summer Olympics...

    ) – Opening/Closing Ceremonies, Athletics
  • Georgia Dome
    Georgia Dome
    The Georgia Dome is a domed stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, between downtown to the east and Vine City to the west. It is primarily the home stadium for the NFL Atlanta Falcons and the NCAA Division I FCS Georgia State Panthers football team. It is owned and operated by the...

     – Basketball (final), Gymnastics (artistic), Handball (men's final)
  • Georgia Tech Aquatic Center – Diving, Modern pentathlon (swimming), Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Water Polo
  • Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
    Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
    Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, often shortened to "Fulton County Stadium," was a multi-purpose stadium that formerly stood in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.-History:...

     – Baseball
  • Georgia World Congress Center
    Georgia World Congress Center
    The Georgia World Congress Center or GWCC is the major convention center in Atlanta. It is the fourth-largest convention center in the United States at 3.9 million ft2 and hosts more than a million visitors each year. At the time opened in 1976 the Georgia World Congress Center was the first state...

     – Fencing, Handball, Judo, Modern pentathlon (fencing, shooting), Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling
  • Omni Coliseum
    Omni Coliseum
    The Omni Coliseum, usually called The Omni, from the Latin for "all," or "every," was an indoor arena, located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Completed in 1972, the arena seated 16,378, for basketball and 15,278, for ice hockey...

     – Volleyball (indoor final)
  • Panther Stadium – Field hockey
  • Herndon Stadium
    Herndon Stadium
    Alonzo Herndon Stadium, named for Alonzo Herndon, is a 15,011-seat stadium on the campus of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is the only two-sided stadium in the Atlanta University Center. It is one block over from the locally known Herndon Home, and sits above the MARTA...

     – Field hockey (final)
  • Georgia State University Sports Arena – Badminton
  • Forbes Arena
    Forbes Arena
    The Forbes Arena is a 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It is home to the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers basketball team. It also hosted basketball preliminaries during the 1996 Summer Olympics and was the home arena to the Atlanta Glory. It was opened in 1996 at a cost of...

     (Morehouse College
    Morehouse College
    Morehouse College is a private, all-male, liberal arts, historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with Hampden-Sydney College and Wabash College, Morehouse is one of three remaining traditional men's colleges in the United States....

    ) – Basketball
  • Alexander Memorial Coliseum
    Alexander Memorial Coliseum
    The Alexander Memorial Coliseum is an indoor arena located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is the home of the basketball teams of Georgia Tech and hosted the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA from 1968–1972 and again from 1997–1999...

     – Boxing
  • Cycling road course - hiking(road)
  • Marathon course - cycling(marthon)
  • Walking course - Athletics (walks)

Elsewhere in metropolitan Atlanta

  • Stone Mountain Tennis Center
    Stone Mountain Tennis Center
    The Stone Mountain Tennis Center was a tennis venue at Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA. It was built to host the tennis events for the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1996 Summer Paralympics, at a total cost of $22 million...

     (at Stone Mountain, Georgia
    Stone Mountain, Georgia
    Stone Mountain is a city in eastern DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 at the 2010 census. It is an outer suburb of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.-Geography:...

    ) – Tennis
  • Stone Mountain Park Archery Center – Archery
  • Stone Mountain Park Velodrome – Cycling (track)
  • Atlanta Beach
    Clayton County International Park
    Clayton County International Park is a park located in Clayton County, Georgia, United States, in Jonesboro, south of Atlanta. Built for the beach volleyball competition for the 1996 Summer Olympics, the main venue is part of the Lakeview View Complex which is used for concerts.The area surrounding...

     (Jonesboro, Georgia
    Jonesboro, Georgia
    Jonesboro is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,724 as of the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Clayton County....

    ) – Volleyball (beach)
  • Wolf Creek Shooting Complex
    Wolf Creek Shooting Complex
    The Wolf Creek Shooting Complex, now known as the Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds, is a firing range located southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, United States, in Fulton County. During the 1996 Summer Olympics, it hosted the shooting event...

     – Shooting
  • Georgia International Horse Park
    Georgia International Horse Park
    The Georgia International Horse Park is located in Conyers, Georgia, United States, 30 miles east of Atlanta.-History:...

     (Conyers, Georgia
    Conyers, Georgia
    Conyers is the only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, USA. It is twenty-four miles east of Atlanta. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 10,689. Census estimates of 2005 indicate a population of 12,205. The city is the county seat of Rockdale County. By 2009, the reported population was...

    ) – Cycling (mountain), Equestrian, Modern pentathlon (riding, running)
  • Lake Lanier
    Lake Lanier
    Lake Lanier is a reservoir in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created by the completion of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in 1956, and is also fed by the waters of the Chestatee River. The lake encompasses of water, and of shoreline at normal level, a "full...

     (Near Gainesville, Georgia
    Gainesville, Georgia
    -Severe Weather:Gainesville sits on the very fringe of Tornado Alley, a region of the United States where severe weather is common. Supercell thunderstorms can sweep through any time between March and November, but are concentrated most in the spring...

    ) – Canoeing (sprint), Rowing

Other venues

  • Sanford Stadium
    Sanford Stadium
    Sanford Stadium is the on-campus playing venue for football at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, United States. The 92,746-seat stadium is the seventh largest stadium in the NCAA. Architecturally, the stadium is known for the fact that its numerous expansions over the years have been...

     (Athens, Georgia
    Athens, Georgia
    Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

    ) – Football (final)
  • Stegeman Coliseum
    Stegeman Coliseum
    Stegeman Coliseum is a 10,523-seat multi-purpose arena in Athens, Georgia, United States. The arena opened in 1964. It is home to the University of Georgia Bulldogs basketball and gymnastics teams. It was also the venue of the rhythmic gymnastics and preliminary indoor volleyball matches during the...

     (Athens, Georgia
    Athens, Georgia
    Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

    ) – Gymnastics (rhythmic), Volleyball (indoor)
  • Wassaw Sound
    Wassaw Sound
    Wassaw Sound is a bay of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Georgia, United States near Savannah where which the Wilmington River flows.-American Civil War naval battle:...

     (at Savannah, Georgia
    Savannah, Georgia
    Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

    ) – Sailing
  • Ocoee Whitewater Center
    Ocoee Whitewater Center
    The Ocoee Whitewater Center, near Ducktown, Tennessee, United States, was the canoe slalom venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The Olympic race course was built in the dry riverbed of the Upper Ocoee river. The Upper Ocoee is the section between Ocoee Dam #3 and its downstream...

     (Polk County, Tennessee) – Canoeing (slalom)
  • Golden Park
    Golden Park
    Golden Park is a 5,000-seat baseball-only stadium in Columbus, Georgia, United States, that opened in 1926. Located on the Chattahoochee River in Downtown Columbus, it currently is not home to any professional baseball team...

     (Columbus, Georgia
    Columbus, Georgia
    Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Muscogee County, Georgia, United States, with which it is consolidated. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 189,885. It is the principal city of the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, which, in 2009, had an estimated population of 292,795...

    ) – Softball
  • Legion Field
    Legion Field
    Legion Field is a large stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, primarily designed to be used as a venue for American football, but is occasionally used for other large outdoor events. The stadium is named in honor of the American Legion, a U.S. organization of military veterans. At its peak...

     (Birmingham, Alabama
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

    ) – Football
  • RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    ) – Football
  • Citrus Bowl
    Citrus Bowl
    The Florida Citrus Bowl is a stadium in Orlando, Florida, USA, built for football, which currently seats around 70,000 people....

     (Orlando, Florida
    Orlando, Florida
    Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

    ) – Football
  • Miami Orange Bowl
    Miami Orange Bowl
    The Orange Bowl, formerly Burdine Stadium, was an outdoor athletic stadium in Miami, Florida, west of downtown in Little Havana. Considered a landmark, it was the home stadium for the Miami Hurricanes college football team...

     (Miami, Florida
    Miami, Florida
    Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

    ) – Football


After the Olympics, Centennial Olympic Stadium was converted into Turner Field
Turner Field
Turner Field is a stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, home to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves since 1997. Turner Field was originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, it was completed in 1996 to serve as the centerpiece of the 1996 Summer Olympics...

, which became home of the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 baseball team for the 1997 season. Once the Braves moved, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was demolished, and the site became a parking lot for Turner Field; the Omni was demolished that same year to make way for Philips Arena
Philips Arena
Philips Arena is an indoor arena in Atlanta, Georgia.Completed in 1999 to replace The Omni, at a cost of $213.5 million, it is home to the Atlanta Hawks, of the National Basketball Association, and the Atlanta Dream, of the Women's National Basketball Association...

 on its site. The only other Olympic venue to be closed since has been the Miami Orange Bowl
Miami Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl, formerly Burdine Stadium, was an outdoor athletic stadium in Miami, Florida, west of downtown in Little Havana. Considered a landmark, it was the home stadium for the Miami Hurricanes college football team...

, demolished in 2008 for the Florida Marlins
Florida Marlins
The Miami Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise called the Florida Marlins, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins played their home games at...

' new baseball stadium to be built on its site.

Participating nations

A total of 197 nations were represented at the 1996 Games, and the combined total of athletes was about 10,318. Twenty-four countries made their Olympic debut this year, including eleven of the ex-Soviet countries that competed as part of the Unified Team in 1992
Unified Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics
The Unified Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, was a joint team consisting of twelve of the fifteen former Soviet republics. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania competed separately. The team has been informally called the Commonwealth of Independent States team, though Georgia was...

. Russia competed independently for the first time since 1912
1912 Summer Olympics
The 1912 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the V Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Stockholm, Sweden, between 5 May and 27 July 1912. Twenty-eight nations and 2,407 competitors, including 48 women, competed in 102 events in 14 sports...

, when it was the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia competed as Yugoslavia.

The 14 countries making their Olympic debut were: Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

, Comoros
Comoros
The Comoros , officially the Union of the Comoros is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar...

, Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

, Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Senegal to the north, and Guinea to the south and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to its west....

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, Nauru
Nauru
Nauru , officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, to the east. Nauru is the world's smallest republic, covering just...

, Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis , located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population....

, Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is an island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 620 km2 and has an...

, São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about apart and about , respectively, off...

, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

.

The 10 countries making their Summer Olympic debut (after competing at the 1994 Winter Olympics
1994 Winter Olympics
The 1994 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 12 to 27 February 1994 in and around Lillehammer, Norway. Lillehammer failed to win the bid for the 1992 event. Lillehammer was awarded the games in 1988, after having beat...

 in Lillehammer
Lillehammer
is a town and municipality in Oppland county, Norway, globally known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillehammer. As of May 2011, the population of the town of Lillehammer was...

) were: Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

, Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. The Czech Republic and Slovakia attended the games as independent nations for the first time since the breakup of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, while the rest of the nations that made their Summer Olympic debut were formerly part of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

Broadcast rights

: Seven Network
Seven Network
The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...

: BRTN
Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep
The Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie , or VRT, is a publicly-funded broadcaster of radio and television in Flanders ....

: Rede Globo
Rede Globo
Rede Globo , or simply Globo, is a Brazilian television network, launched by media mogul Roberto Marinho on April 26, 1965. It is owned by media conglomerate Organizações Globo, being by far the largest of its holdings...

, Rede Bandeirantes
Rede Bandeirantes
Rede Bandeirantes , officially nicknamed Band or Band Network, is a television network from Brazil, based in São Paulo. Part of the Grupo Bandeirantes de Comunicação , it aired for the first time in 1967...

, Rede Record
Rede Record
Rede Record de Televisão is a Brazilian television network, founded in 1953 by Paulo Machado de Carvalho, also founder of Rádio Record. Currently it is owned by businessman Edir Macedo, founder and bishop of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Since 2007 it is Brazil's second largest...

 and Rede Manchete
Rede Manchete
Rede Manchete was a television network from Brazil. It first aired on June 5, 1983 in Rio de Janeiro and simultaneously in other 5 Brazilian cities, like São Paulo on Rede Exclesior's old channel 9 frequency...

: RTB and Astro Olympics
Astro SuperSport
Astro SuperSport 2 is the first sister channel of Astro SuperSport. Launched on November 18, 2009, it is broadcast on Astro via Channel 816. Sporting events that are aired on this network events include the BWF Super Series, the ATP World Tour Finals, the Bundesliga, the Ligue 1 as well as American...

: CBC
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

: TVN
Televisión Nacional de Chile
TVN is Chile's state-owned television station. Its inaugural transmission took place on 1969. TVN is owned, but not funded, by the state, and it functions independently from it; a very particular case of public television in South America...

: CCTV
China Central Television
China Central Television or Chinese Central Television, commonly abbreviated as CCTV, is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 19 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers...

: TF1
TF1
TF1 is a national French TV channel, controlled by TF1 Group, whose major share-holder is Bouygues. TF1's average market share of 24% makes it the most popular domestic network...

: ARD
ARD (broadcaster)
ARD is a joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters...

 and ZDF
ZDF
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen , ZDF, is a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz . It is run as an independent non-profit institution, which was founded by the German federal states . The ZDF is financed by television licence fees called GEZ and advertising revenues...

: ATV
Asia Television Limited
Asia Television Limited is one of the two free-to-air television broadcasters in Hong Kong, the other being rival Television Broadcasts Limited . It launched in 1957 under the name Rediffusion Television as the first television station in Hong Kong...

 and TVB
Television Broadcasts Limited
Television Broadcasts Limited, commonly known as TVB, is the second over-the-air commercial television station in Hong Kong. It commenced broadcasting on 19 November 1967...

: Doordarshan
DoorDarshan
Doordarshan is an Indian public service broadcaster, a division of Prasar Bharati. It is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in India in terms of the infrastructure of studios and transmitters. Recently, it has also started Digital Terrestrial Transmitters. On September 15, 2009,...

: TVRI: RTÉ
Raidió Teilifís Éireann
Raidió Teilifís Éireann is a semi-state company and the public service broadcaster of Ireland. It both produces programmes and broadcasts them on television, radio and the Internet. The radio service began on January 1, 1926, while regular television broadcasts began on December 31, 1961, making...

: Rai
Rai
Rai may refer to:Acronyms*RAI, radioactive iodine, in the medical context of the treatment of thyroid problems*RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana, Italian public broadcasting*Praia International Airport in Cape Verde, IATA airport code...

: NHK
NHK
NHK is Japan's national public broadcasting organization. NHK, which has always identified itself to its audiences by the English pronunciation of its initials, is a publicly owned corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee....

: TDM Olympics
Canal Macau
Canal Macau is a Portuguese-language television channel in Macau owned by Teledifusão de Macau and together with its sister Cantonese language station has Macau TV....

: RTM TV1 and Astro Olympics
Astro SuperSport
Astro SuperSport 2 is the first sister channel of Astro SuperSport. Launched on November 18, 2009, it is broadcast on Astro via Channel 816. Sporting events that are aired on this network events include the BWF Super Series, the ATP World Tour Finals, the Bundesliga, the Ligue 1 as well as American...

: NPO: PTV 4
National Broadcasting Network
People's Television is the flagship government television network owned by the Philippine Government through People's Television Network, Inc. . Its head office, studios and transmitter are located at Broadcast Complex, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City .-History:The country's government...

: TVP
Telewizja Polska
Telewizja Polska Spółka Akcyjna is Poland's public broadcasting corporation...

: VGTRK Olympiade: Singapore Television Twelve
MediaCorp TV12
MediaCorp TV12 is a subsidiary of MediaCorp. It operates the Suria, Vasantham and okto channels, which cater to specific groups in Singapore. It once operated Central...

 Premiere 12
MediaCorp TV12 Central
MediaCorp TV12 Central or Central was an English and Tamil language Television channel in Singapore it was launched on 31 March 1996 replacing Premiere 12 it was launched since on 1 January 1994 as Television Corporation of Singapore since 1994.The channel was a combination of 3 distinct...

: KBS, MBC
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC (Hangul : 문화방송주식회사, Munhwa Bangsong Jushikoesa) is one of four major national South Korean television and radio networks. Munhwa is the Korean word for "culture". Its flagship terrestrial television...

 and SBS: TVE
Televisión Española
Televisión Española is the national state-owned public-service television broadcaster in Spain. TVE's activities were previously financed by a combination of advertising revenue and subsidies from the national government, but since it's been supported by subsidies only.TVE belongs to the RTVE...

: SRG SSR idee suisse
SRG SSR idée suisse
SRG SSR is the Swiss public broadcasting organisation, founded in 1931 as SRG-SSR. Headquartered in Bern, SRG SSR is a non-profit organisation, funded mainly through radio and television licence fees and making the remaining income from advertising and sponsorship.Switzerland's system of direct...

: TTV
Taiwan Television
Taiwan Television Enterprise, Ltd. , commonly known as TTV is launched), is the first television broadcast station in Taiwan...

, CTV
China Television
China Television Company, Ltd. was established on September 3, 1968 by the then-ruling Nationalist Party of the Republic of China . The party owned the majority stake of the network...

 and CTS
Chinese Television System
Chinese Television System is a broadcast television station in Republic of China .-History:Founded on October 31, 1971, CTS started off as a joint venture between the ROC's Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Education. At the time of its establishment, CTS was the only VHF-supported...

: National Sports
National Broadcasting Services of Thailand
National Broadcasting Services of Thailand was formed by Radio Thailand and Television of Thailand' and is a national public broadcasting state media government mass media conglomerate of radio and television services in the Kingdom of Thailand. It is owned and operated by Government's Public...

: BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

: 1000 NBC
Olympics on NBC
NBC Sports' coverage of the Olympic Games consists of broadcasts on the various networks of NBC Universal in the United States, including the NBC broadcast network, Spanish language network Telemundo, and many of the company's cable networks....


Medal table

These are the top ten nations that won medals at these Games. The host nation, United States, is highlighted.
1 44 32 25 101
2 26 21 16 63
3 20 18 27 65
4 16 22 12 50
5 15 7 15 37
6 13 10 12 35
7 9 9 23 41
8 9 8 8 25
9 9 2 12 23
10 7 15 5 27

Disqualifications

Five athletes were disqualified for using banned drugs. A few of these athletes were reinstated since the drug they took had been declared illegal only a week before the Olympics.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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