Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games

The United States’ women’s teams enjoyed resounding success at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, capturing the first-ever gold medals in women’s soccer and softball, as well as winning gold in women’s gymnastics team all-around and women’s basketball.

For the first time, the Summer Games were held in a different year than the Winter Games and this marked the centenary of the first-ever modern Olympics, the Athens 1896 Olympic Games. Twenty-four nations made their Olympic debut, but it was the host United States that led the medal count for the first time since 1984 and for the first-time in a non-boycotted Olympic Games since 1968. Swimmer Amy Van Dyken became the first American woman to win four gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Tragedy occurred in the middle of The Games, when a bomb exploded in the Centennial Olympic Park, killing two people and injuring 110 others.

Olympic Highlights

  • Nations: 197
  • Athletes: 10,318 (6,806 men, 3,512 women)
  • Disciplines: 37
  • Medal Count: United States 101 (44 gold, 32 silver, 25 bronze); Germany 65 (20 gold, 18 silver, 27 bronze); Russia 63 (26 gold, 21 silver, 16 bronze)
  • New Sports: beach volleyball, mountain biking, softball, lightweight rowing, women’s soccer
The first Olympic Games held without government financing since the first modern Games in 1896, the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games became a model for the future with its reliance on existing facilities and corporate sponsors, turning a $223 million profit.
Landowner Alexander Cushing had a dream of turning an uninhabited valley near Lake Tahoe into the host of the Olympic Winter Games. Within five years, Squaw Valley transformed from an undeveloped site into a fully functioning town.
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