1996 Summer Olympics
See also: 1996 Summer Paralympics
The Games of the XXVI Olympiad
were held in 1996
, United States
. Atlanta was elected in 1990
. Athens had hoped to organise the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games
. The IOC
's vote for Atlanta was therefore slightly surprising, however the feeling was that Athens' infrastructure
could not be improved enough in time to successfully host the Games.
It was regarded by some as one of the least successful of the modern games. The problem of traffic congestion sometimes made travel between venues difficult. There were complaints at how omnipresent the advertising was, with Coca-Cola especially being marketed on every available surface. Also during the games, the Centennial Olympic Park bombing took place on July 27, 1996 killing Alice Hawthorne and wounding 111 others, and causing the death of Melih Uzunyol by heart attack. In his closing speech, Juan Antonio Samaranch, head of the IOC, for the first time did not describe the games as being the "best ever".
|Games of the XXVI Olympiad|
|Athletes participating||10,320 (6,797 men, 3,523 women)|
|Events||271 in 26 sports|
|Opening ceremonies||July 19, 1996|
|Closing ceremonies||August 4, 1996|
|Officially opened by||President Bill Clinton|
|Athlete's Oath||Teresa Edwards|
|Judge's Oath:||Hobie Billingsly|
|Olympic Torch||Muhammad Ali|
(to be expanded to a day-by-day article)
- Slovene gymnast Leon tukelj arises at the open ceremony as one of the oldest living sportsman in the world.
- Naim Suleymanoglu becomes the first weightlifter to win three gold medals.
- Michael Johnson wins gold in both the 200 m and 400 m, setting an amazing new World Record of 19,32 in the 200 m.
- Donovan Bailey of Canada wins the mens 100m.
- Marie-José Perec equals Johnson's performance, also winning the rare 200 m/400 m double.
- Softball, beach volleyball and mountainbiking debut on the Olympic programme, together with women's football and lightweight rowing.
- Cycling professionals were admitted to the Olympics, with five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain winning the inaugural individual time trial event.
- Michelle Smith of Ireland wins three gold medals and a bronze, but her victories are overshadowed by doping allegations, which are later reinforced as she is banned after failing a test in 1999.
- Amy Van Dyken wins four gold medals in the Olympic swimming pool, the first American woman to win four titles in a single Olympics.
- A record 197 nations, all current IOC member nations, take part, with a record 79 of them winning at least one medal.
- Five athletes were disqualified for using doping. A few more were reinstated since the drug they took had only been declared illegal a week prior to the Olympics.
- Kerri Strug becomes an American heroine after bringing victory to the American female gymnastics team in spite of having to jump perform an injury in the final event.
See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
- Modern Pentathlon
- Synchronized Swimming
- Table Tennis
- Water Polo
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