Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games

Randy Snow and Candace Cable at 1996 Atlanta Paralympics Opening Ceremony
Associated Press photo/Tannen Maury

U.S. Paralympic team members Randy Snow and Candace Cable share a laugh during the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.


These were the first Paralympic Games to attract corporate sponsorship and also the first to include Persons with an Intellectual Disability.

Jean Driscoll, who had previously won gold in the sprint relay races, won the gold medal in the women’s marathon and 10,000 meters. Swimmer Trischa Zorn won gold in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley, the fifth consecutive Paralympics in which she won gold.

Australia’s Louise Savage dominated the women’s wheelchair racing events, winning four gold medals (400m, 800, 1,500 and 5,000).

Paralympic Highlights

  • Nations: 104
  • Athletes: 3,808 (2,643 men, 1,165 women)
  • Disciplines: 19
  • Medal Count: United States 158 (47 gold, 46 silver, 65 bronze); Germany 149 (40 gold, 58 silver, 51 bronze); Great Britain 122 (39 gold, 42 silver, 41 bronze)
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.
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.
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