1996 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXVI. Olympics
1996 Summer Olympics logo
Venue: Atlanta ( United States )
Stadion: Centennial Olympic Stadium
Opening ceremony: July 19, 1996
Closing ceremony: 4th August 1996
Opened by: Bill Clinton (President of the USA )
Olympic oath : Teresa Edwards (athlete)
Hobie Billingsly (referee)
Disciplines: 37 (26 sports)
Competitions: 271
Countries: 197
Athletes: 10,320, of which 3,523 women
Barcelona 1992
Sydney 2000
Medal table
city ​​square country G S. B. Ges.
1 United StatesUnited States United States 44 32 25th 101
2 RussiaRussia Russia 26th 21 16 63
3 GermanyGermany Germany 20th 18th 27 65
4th China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China China 16 22nd 12th 50
5 FranceFrance France 15th 7th 15th 37
6th ItalyItaly Italy 13 10 12th 35
7th AustraliaAustralia Australia 9 9 23 41
8th CubaCuba Cuba 9 8th 8th 25th
9 UkraineUkraine Ukraine 9 2 12th 23
10 Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 7th 15th 5 27
... ... ... ... ... ...
18th SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 4th 3 - 7th
57 AustriaAustria Austria - 1 2 3
Complete medal table

The 1996 Summer Olympics (also known as the XXVI Olympiad Games ) took place from July 19 to August 4, 1996 in Atlanta . The capital of the American state Georgia prevailed in the choice of the venue for the 96th IOC session in Tokyo against competitors Athens , Toronto , Melbourne , Manchester and Belgrade . 10,320 athletes from 197 nations took part, which was a new record for the Summer Olympics . The most successful athletes were Amy Van Dyken with four gold medals, Michelle Smith with three gold and one bronze medal and Jenny Thompson with three gold medals, all three of whom competed in the swimming competitions.

The award to Atlanta was heavily criticized by the Greek competitors, as they would have liked to bring the Summer Games back to their place of origin for the centenary. The 1996 Summer Olympics were also heavily criticized for their commercialization. Sponsors were more important than ever before. The event was overshadowed by a July 27 bomb attack that killed two people and injured 111 people.

Application and award of the games


Six cities competed to host the 1996 Summer Olympics: Athens , Toronto , Melbourne , Manchester , Belgrade and Atlanta . The application for the Jubilee Games a hundred years after the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 by the Greek capital had been widely expected. The organizing committee and the government of Greece used the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the 1896 games on April 15, 1986 in the old Athens parliament building to announce this. There, Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou presented the unanimous cabinet decision in support of the application. The bid committee, chaired by Spyros A. Metaxa, promoted the tradition of this venue and was quite aggressive, which harmed the candidacy.

Atlanta's application for the 1996 Summer Olympics went back to attorney William "Billy" Porter Payne , who on February 8, 1987 founded the Georgia Amateur Athletic Foundation (GAAF) with this aim. Payne's plan was approved by the Mayor of Atlantas, Andrew Young , but he ruled out financial support for the Games from the city. So it was certain that when Atlanta was awarded the Olympic Games, as before in Los Angeles in 1984, they would have to be privately held. For his idea, Payne won over a group of local business people who became known as the Atlanta Nine .

On April 29, 1988, Atlanta in Washington prevailed against 14 other applicants when the USOC selected the American applicant location . In the final round, Minneapolis-Saint Paul was defeated by the capital of the state of Georgia. At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul , a delegation headed by Young and Payne first made contact with the IOC . Subsequently, in November 1988, the GAAF was converted into the Atlanta Organizing Committee (AOC). In the application phase, this committee had to deal with various problems that were raised against awarding the games to Atlanta. On the one hand, Athens claimed to be able to host the anniversary games, on the other hand, critics stated that not enough time had passed for a renewed award in the USA since the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Atlanta was also accused of not having enough athletic importance. In order to dispel these criticisms, representatives of the AOC established close contact with the members of the IOC. In addition, the mayor of Atlantas, Young, had a good reputation in the third world, which had a positive effect on the application. The candidate cities were judged by an eight-person panel from the Association of National Olympic Committees , with Atlanta performing best. However, this rating was not published, which was assessed as a mistake by the IOC because it would have taken the wind out of the sails of later criticism of the decision.


The choice of the venue was made on September 18, 1990 at the 96th IOC session in Tokyo . The IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch did not vote, as was tradition, so that with a total of 87 members present, the majority was 44 votes. In the course of the application phase, the favored Athens continued to gamble away its advantage through arrogant and aggressive behavior, so that an anti-Athens coalition emerged from which outsider Atlanta was finally able to prevail in the fifth ballot.

Result of the ballots:

location country Round 1 round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Atlanta United StatesUnited States United States 19th 20th 26th 34 51
Athens GreeceGreece Greece 23 23 26th 30th 35
Toronto CanadaCanada Canada 14th 17th 18th 22nd -
Melbourne AustraliaAustralia Australia 12th 21 16 - -
Manchester United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 11 5 - - -
Belgrade Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia Yugoslavia 7th - - - -

The defeat against the economic metropolis Atlanta was taken as an insult by the Greeks, so they announced that they would never again apply for the Olympic Games. This then became obsolete with the successful application of Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympics . The decision in favor of Atlanta also brought criticism from the IOC, as it consequently appeared to be for sale, the for-profit members of the IOC had prevailed against those committed to the traditional values ​​of the Olympic movement. In addition, USA Today published in 1991 that Robert Helmick , who was an influential representative of the Atlanta's bid committee, received a $ 300,000 consultancy fee to help promote the inclusion of golf in the Olympic program.



The Atlanta Committee of the Olympic Games (ACOG) was constituted on January 28, 1991 as a private, non-profit association. The ACOG president and general secretary was William Porter Payne , and co-chairmen were Robert M. Holder Jr. and Andrew Young . Other members included the IOC members Anita DeFrantz and James L. Easton , the Mayor of Atlanta, Maynard H. Jackson , the Secretary General of the USOC, Richard D. Schultz , and the USOC President, Leroy Walker .

The preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games was carried out by the ACOG in cooperation with the city of Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority (MAOGA) founded by the Georgia General Assembly in 1989 , the USOC and the IOC. The planning, financing and construction of the competition venues were part of the MAOGA's area of ​​responsibility, which consisted of the mayor of Atlanta, the president of the city council and three members appointed by the mayor. The ACOG and the USOC co-founded the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Properties (ACOP) on June 14, 1991 , which was responsible for marketing . The organization of the games was carried out by an executive committee and four standing committees established by the board of directors. Under Adolphus Drewery Frazier Jr. ten departments with different areas of responsibility such as sports and international relations were located. The ACOG employees were partly paid and partly volunteers. At the beginning of the Games, the ACOG employed 6560 people and 51,881 volunteers, plus 78,240 accredited contract partners.

The ACOG mainly took care of the organization of the competitions and the accommodation of the athletes and other team members. In July 1991, the ACOG entrusted the architects Sizemore Floyd Ingram with the creation of the master plan . Four local construction companies that received the construction contracts then formed the Olympic Facilities Construction Program joint venture in March 1992 . When building the sports facilities, the organizing committee limited itself to what was necessary, which is why there were fewer investment ruins than at other Olympic Games. The infrastructure was expanded by the state and local authorities. The city invested in the expansion of the motorway and local public transport, in which the network of metro and bus connections of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) was significantly expanded. In the course of improving public transport, a new connection was created between the airport in the south and the residential areas in the north of the city.

Of the total income of 2.6 billion US dollars, the ACOG had 1.7 billion US dollars available for spending. The largest sources of income were television rights with $ 568 million, the joint venture with 426 million and ticket sales with 425 million. The largest items on the spending side were sports venues with $ 494 million, technology with 218 million and TV installations with 141 million. Marketing revenue was generated on the one hand through the IOC's TOP III program, which included Coca-Cola , VISA , IBM and Kodak , and the ACOG and USOC joint venture called Centennial Olympic Partners (ACOP), which is owned by NationsBank , Motorola , Sara Lee Corporation , AT&T , Swatch , The Home Depot , McDonald’s , Anheuser-Busch and Delta Air Lines . In addition, the ACOP recruited 24 other partners and issued 120 licenses. The ACOP generated a total of $ 760 million.

Sports policy

The IOC sponsored the participating teams with a record sum of 21.677 million US dollars, which was one of the reasons for the high number of participants. The costs for six athletes and two officials per team were covered as in Seoul in 1988 and in Barcelona in 1992. In addition, each NOK received $ 8,000, plus another $ 800 per participant. Of the television revenue, the IOC distributed $ 56.42 million to the NOKs.

In Atlanta, following an IOC resolution from 1994, the members of the athletes' commission founded in 1981 were directly elected for the first time. Of the athletes entitled to vote, 5734 (54%) voted for the seven places to be filled. Czech athlete Jan Železný , Russian swimmer Alexander Popow , American volleyball player Robert Ctvrtlik , Canadian athlete Charmaine Crooks , Ukrainian athlete Serhij Bubka , Algerian athlete Hassiba Boulmerka and German rower Roland Baar were elected . The places for winter sports enthusiasts on this body were determined in the same way two years later at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano .


Sports facilities

The sports facilities for the 1996 Summer Olympics can be divided into three regions. The centerpiece of the Games was the Olympic Ring, a three-mile zone in the center of Atlanta, which also housed the Olympic Stadium. Other sports venues were in the metropolitan area of ​​Atlanta , others further away in Georgia and also in other states of the USA.

Olympic ring
Centennial Olympic Stadium , Georgia Dome (basketball, handball), Georgia Tech Aquatic Center (swimming, high diving, water polo, synchronized diving, capacity: 14,600 spectators), Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium , Georgia World Congress Center (fencing, judo, wrestling, handball, weightlifting, modern pentathlon, table tennis, the second largest US exhibition and events center with 762,000 sqm), Omni Coliseum , Alexander Memorial Coliseum , Georgia State University Sports Arena, Forbes Arena (Morehouse College) that the Atlanta University center belonging Herndon Stadium at Morris Brown College (hockey competitions, capacity: 15,000) and Clark Atlanta University Stadium (hockey competitions, capacity: 5,000).
Metropolitan area
Stone Mountain Tennis Center, Stone Mountain Park Archery Center , Stone Mountain Park Velodrome (all three located in Stone Mountain Park ), Sanford Stadium (Olympic football tournament, capacity: 86,300 spectators, located in Athens ), Stegeman Coliseum (rhythmic gymnastics, volleyball, Capacity: 10,500 spectators, 105 kilometers northeast of Atlanta), Wolf Creek Shooting Complex (shooting, modern pentathlon, capacity: 10,900 spectators, 34 kilometers southwest of the Olympic Village), Georgia International Horse Park . In addition, Lake Lanier , 90 kilometers north of Atlanta , on which the rowing competitions took place, and Atlanta Beach, 32 kilometers south of the Olympic Village, with two courts for beach volleyball competitions, which had a capacity of 7,500 and 3,500 spectators respectively.
Savannah River, Ocoee Whitewater Center , Golden Park , Legion Field (Olympic soccer tournament, capacity: 80,581, located in Birmingham ), RFK Stadium (Olympic soccer tournament, located in Washington, DC ), Florida Citrus Bowl (Olympic soccer tournament, located in Orlando ) , Miami Orange Bowl (Olympic football tournament), Wassaw Sound (sailing competitions, capacity for 13,000 spectators on escort ships)


Number of athletes
Europe (5,205 athletes from 48 nations)
America (2,183 athletes from 42 nations)
Asia (1,616 athletes from 42 nations)
Africa (753 athletes from 53 nations)
Oceania (585 athletes from 12 nations)
(Number of athletes)
* first participation in summer games

Competition program

There were 271 competitions (163 for men, 97 for women, 1 mixed and 10 open competitions) in 26 sports / 37 disciplines, 14 competitions, 1 sport and 3 disciplines more than in Barcelona in 1992 . The changes are detailed below:

  • In badminton , the mixed doubles were added.
  • Softball , the baseball variant , became Olympic for women.
  • In fencing , epee singles and epee teams were added for women.
  • Women's debut in the team sport soccer .
  • In athletics , the 5000 m replaced the 3000 m for women - in addition, the triple jump was added for women.
  • In the modern pentathlon there was no team competition for men.
  • In cycling , the women's program in track cycling was expanded to include the points trial - on the road , the individual time trial for men and women replaced the team time trial for men. The individual time trial for men was already Olympic between 1912 and 1924. In addition, the mountain bike discipline became Olympic for men and women.
  • In rowing , both the two-man and the four-man with helmsman were omitted - for women, the lightweight double scull replaced the four-man without a helmsman that had just been introduced in Barcelona. In addition, the lightweight four without a helmsman for men was introduced.
  • When shooting , the program was expanded to include double traps for men and women and the open Skeet class was converted into a men's class.
  • In swimming , the women's 4 × 200 m freestyle relay was added to the program.
  • In synchronized swimming , the women's group replaced the individual competition.
  • In sailing , the Flying Dutchman open boat class has been replaced by lasers. In windsurfing, the Mistral board replaced the Lechner A-390.
  • In the rhythmic gymnastics team competition was added for women.
  • In volleyball , beach volleyball became an Olympic discipline for women and men.

Olympic sports / disciplines

Number of competitions in brackets

Time schedule

Time schedule
discipline Fri.
July August
Olympic rings.svg Opening ceremony
Badminton pictogram.svg badminton 2 3 5
Baseball pictogram.svg baseball 1 1
Basketball pictogram.svg basketball 1 1 2
Archery pictogram.svg Archery 1 1 2 4th
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 7th 5 12th
Fencing pictogram.svg fencing 1 2 2 1 2 2 10
Football pictogram.svg Soccer 1 1 2
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
Handball pictogram.svg Handball 1 1 2
Field hockey pictogram.svg hockey 1 1 2
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 14th
Canoeing Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Canoe racing 5 7th 12th
Canoeing (slalom) pictogram.svg Canoe slalom 2 2 4th
Athletics pictogram.svg athletics 2 4th 5 8th 5 4th 6th 9 1 44
Modern pentathlon pictogram.svg Modern pentathlon 1 1
Cycling Cycling (track) pictogram.svg rail 1 1 2 4th 8th
Cycling (mountain biking) pictogram.svg Mountain bike 2 2
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg road 1 1 2 4th
Equestrian sport Equestrian Dressage pictogram.svg dressage 1 1 2
Equestrian Jumping pictogram.svg Leap 1 1 2
Equestrian Eventing pictogram.svg versatility 1 1 2
Wrestling Wrestling Freestyle pictogram.svg Freestyle 3 2 3 2 10
Wrestling pictogram.svg Greco-Roman 6th 4th 10
Rowing pictogram.svg rowing 7th 7th 14th
Shooting pictogram.svg shoot 2 2 1 2 3 1 3 1 15th
Swimming sport Swimming pictogram.svg swim 4th 5 6th 3 5 5 4th 4th 32
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Synchronized swimming 1 1
Water polo pictogram.svg Water polo 1 1
Diving pictogram.svg Jumping in the water 1 1 1 1 4th
Sailing pictogram.svg sail 4th 1 2 2 1 10
Softball pictogram.svg Softball 1 1
Tennis pictogram.svg tennis 2 2 4th
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 1 1 1 1 4th
Gymnastics Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Gymnastics 1 1 1 1 3 7th 14th
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svg Rhythmic sports gymnastics 1 1 2
volleyball Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg beach volleyball 1 1 2
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg volleyball 1 1 2
Olympic rings.svg Closing ceremony
Demonstration competitions
Wheelchair athletics 2
decisions 16 13 17th 10 16 10 14th 24 24 22nd 10 16 17th 17th 30th 18th 271
July August

Color legend

  • Opening ceremony
  • Competition day (no decisions)
  • Competition day (x decisions)
  • Closing ceremony
  • Highlights

    Outstanding athletes

    • The most successful athletes were two swimmers, the Russian Alexander Popow and the American Gary Hall junior . Both freestyle specialists, who were direct opponents on the sprint distances, each won two gold and two silver medals. While Popow won both direct comparisons and Hall referred each time to the silver rank, this won twice with the US relay before Russia.
    • Most of the medals were again won by a gymnast: the Russian Alexei Nemov won two gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
    • The reigning 200 and 400 meter world champion Michael Johnson won gold on each of his two special courses. Over the 200 meters he set a world record with 19.32 s.
    • Carl Lewis won the fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the same competition by winning the long jump. The same thing had previously only been achieved by Al Oerter in the discus throw at the 1968 Summer Olympics .
    • When she won the fastest 400-meter race in ten years, French rider Marie-José Pérec set a new Olympic record with 48.25 seconds, which also earned her third place in the all-time world best list behind Marita Koch and Jarmila Kratochvílová .
    • The best Germans this time were the riders: Isabell Werth won the individual and team gold medal in dressage. Ulrich Kirchhoff was individual and team Olympic champion in show jumping.
    • Karch Kiraly won his third Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball . He secured the first two gold medals in 1984 and 1988 with Team USA (indoor volleyball).
    • Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin won his third consecutive gold medal in the Greco-Roman style super heavyweight. Since his international debut in 1987, the six-time world and nine-time European champion has remained undefeated in all fights.
    • The American Kurt Angle won, as it later turned out, the gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the heavyweight division with a double fracture in the neck area.

    Worth mentioning

    • The oldest living Olympic champion, the 97-year-old Slovenian gymnast Leon Štukelj, was invited to the opening ceremony and the 100th anniversary .
    • On July 27, there was a bomb attack in the Olympic Park in which two people were killed and 111 injured. As the perpetrator was Eric Rudolph , an activist of the terrorist group Army of God , was sentenced to life imprisonment. Previously, the security guard Richard Jewell , who was innocent in the attack, was the victim of a smear campaign by the US media.
    • During the opening ceremony, Tall Boys, designed by Peter Minshall , were used for the first time and are now used as advertising media around the world.
    • Izzy , the official mascot of the Games, was the first mascot in Olympic history that was neither based on a living being nor on an object.

    Web links

    Commons : 1996 Summer Olympics  - collection of images, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. Volker Kluge : Olympic Summer Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 676.
    2. a b c Volker Kluge: Summer Olympic Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 677.
    3. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 678.
    4. a b c Volker Kluge: Summer Olympic Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 679.
    5. a b Volker Kluge: Summer Olympic Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 681.
    6. a b Volker Kluge: Summer Olympic Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 682.
    7. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. The Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 693.
    8. Volker Kluge: Olympic Summer Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 683.
    9. a b Volker Kluge: Summer Olympic Games. Chronicle IV. Seoul 1988 - Atlanta 1996. Sportverlag Berlin, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-328-00830-6 , p. 685.
    10. "City Guide Atlanta - All sports facilities and sights", Sport-Bild from June 26, 1996, pp. 37-48, p. 39.
    11. Atlanta in 1996 on www.olympic.org