1996 Summer Olympics

Multi-sport event in Atlanta, Georgia, US / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The 1996 Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, also known as Atlanta 1996 and commonly referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games)[2][3][4] was an international multi-sport event held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. They were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, and marked the centennial of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. They were also the first Summer Olympics since 1924 to be held in a different year than the Winter Olympics, as part of a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years. The 1996 Games were the first of the two consecutive Summer Olympics to be held in a predominantly English-speaking country preceding the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. They were also the last Summer Olympics to be held in North America until 2028, when Los Angeles will host the games for the third time.

Quick facts: Host city, Motto, Nations, Athletes, Events...
Games of the XXVI Olympiad
Emblem of the 1996 Summer Olympics
Host cityAtlanta, United States
MottoThe Celebration of the Century
Athletes10,320 (6,797 men, 3,523 women)
Events271 in 26 sports (37 disciplines)
OpeningJuly 19, 1996
ClosingAugust 4, 1996
Opened by
StadiumCentennial Olympic Stadium
1996 Summer Paralympics

10,320 athletes from 197 National Olympic Committee compete in 26 sports, including the Olympic debut of beach volleyball, mountain biking and softball, as well as the new disciplines of lightweight rowing, women's fencing, team rhythmic gymnastics, and women's association football. A total of 24 countries made their Summer Olympic debuts in Atlanta, including 11 former Soviet Republics participating for the first time as independent nations. With a total of 101 medals, the United States topped the medal table for the first time since 1984 (and for the first time since 1968 in a non-boycotted Summer Olympics), also winning the most gold (44) and silver (32) medals out of all the participating nations. Notable performances during the competition included those of Andre Agassi, whose gold medal in these Games would be followed up with the French Open title in 1999, making him the first men's singles tennis player to complete the Golden Slam; Donovan Bailey, who set a new world record of 9.84 for the men's 100 metres; Lilia Podkopayeva, who became the second gymnast to win an individual event gold medal after winning the all-around title in the same Olympics; and the Magnificent Seven, who dramatically won the first ever U.S. gold medal in the Women's artistic gymnastics team all-around.[5]

The Games were marred by violence on July 27, 1996, when a pipe bomb was detonated at Centennial Olympic Park (which had been built to serve as a public focal point for the festivities), killing two and injuring 111. Years later, Eric Rudolph confessed to the bombing and a series of related terrorist attacks, and was sentenced to life in prison. Nonetheless, the 1996 Olympics turned a profit, helped by record revenue from sponsorship deals and broadcast rights, and a reliance on private funding, among other factors. There was some criticism of the apparent over-commercialization of the Games, with other issues raised by European officials, such as the availability of food and transport. The event had a lasting impact on the city; Centennial Olympic Park led a revitalization of Atlanta's downtown area, and has served as a symbol of the legacy of the 1996 Games; the Olympic Village buildings have since been used as residential housing for area universities; and the Centennial Olympic Stadium has since been redeveloped twice, first as the Turner Field baseball stadium, then as the Center Parc college football stadium.