1996 Olympics - Atlanta

The Atlanta Games were certainly the largest (a record 197 nations competed), most logistically complicated Olympics to date and perhaps the most hyped and over commercialized as well. Despite all the troubles that organizers faced, from computer scoring snafus and transportation problems to a horrific terrorist attack, these Olympics had some of the best stories ever.

The Games began so joyously with Muhammad Ali, the world's best-known sports figure now stricken by illness, igniting the Olympic cauldron. Sadly, just eight days later horror was the prevailing mood after a terrorist's bomb ripped apart a peaceful Friday evening in Centennial Olympic Park. In the explosion, one woman was killed, 111 people were injured and the entire world was reminded of the terror and tragedy of Munich in 1972.

As they did in '72, the Games would go on. In track and field, Michael Johnson delivered on his much-anticipated, yet still startling, double in the 200 and 400 meters. One thing that many didn't foresee is that he would be matched by France's Marie-Jose Perec, who converted her own 200-400 double, albeit with much less attention. Carl Lewis pulled out one last bit of magic to win the long jump for the ninth gold medal of his amazing Olympic career. Donovan Bailey set a world record in the 100 and led Canada to a win over a faltering U.S. team in the 4x100 relay.

The U.S. women's gymnastics squad took the team gold after Kerri Strug hobbled up and completed her final gutsy vault in the Games' most compelling moment. Swimmer Amy Van Dyken became the first American woman to win four golds in a single Games. Ireland's Michelle Smith won three golds (and a bronze) of her own, but her victories were somewhat tainted by controversy surrounding unproven charges of drug use.

The USA faired well in team sports also. The men's basketball “Dream Team” was back and, predictably, stomped the competition on its way back to the winners' podium. Also the U.S. women won gold at the Olympic debut of two sports–softball and soccer.


Event   Time  
 100m Donovan Bailey, CAN 9.84 WR
  Frankie Fredericks, NAM 9.89  
  Ato Boldon, TRI 9.90  
 200m Michael Johnson, USA 19.32 WR
  Frankie Fredericks, NAM 19.68  
  Ato Boldon, TRI 19.80  
 400m Michael Johnson, USA 43.49 OR
  Roger Black, GBR 44.41  
  Davis Kamoga, UGA 44.53  
 800m Vebjoern Rodal, NOR 1:42.58 OR
  Hezekiel Sepeng, RSA 1:42.74  
  Fred Onyancha, KEN 1:42.79  
1500m Noureddine Morceli, ALG 3:35.78  
  Fermin Cacho, SPA 3:36.40  
  Stephen Kipkorir, KEN 3:36.72  
5000m Venuste Niyongabo, BUR 13:07.96  
  Paul Bitok, KEN 13:08.16  
  Khalid Boulami, MOR 13:08.37  
10,000m Haile Gebrselassie, ETH 27:07.34 OR
  Paul Tergat, KEN 27:08.17  
  Salah Hissou, MOR 27:24.67  
Marathon Josia Thugwane, RSA 2:12:36  
  Lee Bong-Ju, S. Kor 2:12.39  
  Eric Wainaina, KEN 2:12.44  
110m H Allen Johnson, USA 12.95 OR
  Mark Crear, USA 13.09  
  Florian Schwarthoff, GER 13.17  
400m H Derrick Adkins, USA 47.54  
  Samuel Matete, ZAM 47.78  
  Calvin Davis, USA 47.96  
Joseph Keter, KEN 8:07.12  
  Moses Kiptanui, KEN 8:08.33  
  Alessandro Lambruschini, ITA 8:11.28  
20k Walk Jefferson Perez, ECU 1:20:07  
  Ilja Markow, RUS 1:20:16  
  Bernardo Segura, MEX 1:20:23  
50k Walk Robert Korzeniowski, POL 3:43:30  
  Mikhail Shchennikov, RUS 3:43:46  
  Valentin Massana, SPA 3:44:19  
4x100m Canada (Donavan Bailey, Robert Esmie,
Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin, Carlton Chambers)
  USA 38.05  
  Brazil 38.41  
4x400m USA (Anthuan Maybank, Derek Mills,
LaMont Smith, Alvin Harrison,
Jason Rouser)
  Great Britain 2:56.60  
  Jamaica 2:59.42  
Event   Mark  
High Jump Charles Austin, USA 7-10 OR
  Artur Partyka, POL 7-91/2  
  Steve Smith, GBR 7-81/2  
Pole Vault Jean Galfione, FRA 19-51/4 OR
  Igor Trandenkow, UKR 19-51/4  
  Andrei Tiwonchik, GER 19-51/4  
Long Jump Carl Lewis, USA 27-10 3/4  
  James Beckford, JAM 27-21/2  
  Joe Greene, USA 27-01/2  
Triple Jump Kenny Harrison, USA 59-41/4 OR
  Jonathan Edwards, GBR 58-8  
  Yoelvis Quesada, CUB 57-23/4  
Shot Put Randy Barnes, USA 70-111/4  
  John Godina, USA 68-21/2  
  Oleksandr Bagach, UKR 68-1  
Discus Lars Riedel, GER 227-8  
  Vladimir Dubrovchik, BLR 218-6  
  Vassili Kaptyukh, BLR 215-10  
Hammer Balazs Kiss, HUN 266-6  
  Lance Deal, USA 266-2  
  Oleksiy Krykun, UKR 262-6  
Javelin Jan Zelezny, CZR 289-3  
  Steve Backley, GBR 286-10  
  Seppo Raty, FIN 285-4  
Decathlon Dan O'Brien, USA 8824 pts  
  Frank Busemann, GER 8706  
  Tomas Dvorak, CZR 8664  


Event   Time  
 100m Gail Devers, USA 10.94  
  Merlene Ottey, JAM 10.94  
  Gwen Torrence, USA 10.96  
 200m Marie-Jose Perec, FRA 22.12  
  Merlene Ottey, JAM 22.24  
  Mary Onyali, NGR 22.38  
 400m Marie-Jose Perec, FRA 48.25 OR
  Cathy Freeman, AUS 48.63  
  Falilat Ogunkoya, NGR 49.10  
 800m Svetlana Masterkova, RUS 1:57.73  
  Ana Quirot, CUB 1:58.11  
  Maria Mutola, MOZ 1:58.71  
1500m Svetlana Masterkova, RUS 4:00.83  
  Gabriela Szabo, ROM 4:01.54  
  Theresia Kiesel, AUT 4:03.02  
5000m Wang Junxia, CHN 14:59.88  
  Pauline Konga, KEN 15:03.49  
  Roberta Brunet, ITA 15:07.52  
10,000m Fernanda Ribeiro, POR 31:01.63 OR
  Wang Junxia, CHN 31:02.58  
  Gete Wami, ETH 31:06.65  
Marathon Fatuma Roba, ETH 2:26:05  
  Valentina Yegorova, RUS 2:28:05  
  Yuko Arimori, JPN 2:28:39  
100m H Ludmila Engquist, SWE 12.58  
  Brigita Bukovec, SLO 12.59  
  Patricia Girard, FRA 12.65  
400m H Deon Hemmings, JAM 52.82 OR
  Kim Batten, USA 53.08  
  Tonja Buford-Bailey, USA 53.22  
10K Walk Yelena Ninikolayeva, RUS 41:49  
  Elisabeta Perrone, ITA 42.12  
  Gao Hongmiao, CHN 42.19  
4x100m USA (Chryste Gaines, Gail Devers,
Inger Miller, Gwen Torrence)
  Bahamas 42.14  
  Jamaica 42.24  
4x400m USA (Rochelle Stevens, Maicel
Malone, Kim Graham, Jearl Miles,
Linetta Wilson)
  Nigeria 3:21.04  
  Germany 3:21.14  
Event   Mark
High Jump Stefka Kostadinova, BUL 6-83/4
  Niki Bakogianni, GRE 6-8
  Inga Babakova, UKR 6-7
Long Jump Chioma Ajunwa, NGR 23-41/2
  Fiona May, ITA 23-01/2
  Jackie Joyner-Kersee, USA 22-113/4
Triple Jump Inessa Kravets, UKR 50-31/2
  Inna Lisovskaya, RUS 49-13/4
  Sarka Kasparkova, CZR 49-13/4
Shot Put Astrid Kumbernuss, GER 67-51/2
  Sun Xinmei, CHN 65-23/4
  Irina Khudorozhkina, RUS 63-6
Discus Ilke Wyludda, GER 228-6
  Natalya Sadova, RUS 218-1
  Ellina Zvereva, BLR 215-4
Javelin Heli Rantanen, FIN 222-11
  Louise McPaul, AUS 215-0
  Trine Hattestad, NOR 213-2
Heptathlon Ghada Shouaa, SYR 6780 pts
  Natasha Sazonovich, BLR 6563
  Denise Lewis, GBR 6489