About the Games
A total of 10 318 athletes from 197 countries participated in Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics. For the first time in history, all recognized National Olympic Committees were represented at the Games.
The Games’ cauldron was lit by sporting legend Muhammad Ali and the athletes competed in 271 events.
Most medals won (from a total of 79 teams) by: 1. USA – 101 (44, 32, 25), 2. Russia – 63 (26, 21, 16), 3. Germany – 65 (20, 18, 27), … 71-79. Lithuania, India, Israel, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Puerto Rico, Tunisia, and Uganda.
Lithuania in the Games
In Atlanta, Lithuania was represented by as many as 61 athletes of the following sports: canoeing, boxing, cycling (road and track), wrestling, rowing, basketball, track and field athletics, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, shooting, and modern pentathlon.
Lithuania’s men’s basketball team was the only to win a medal. The team coached by Vladas Garastas consisted of only 11 players: Gintaras Einikis, Artūras Karnišovas, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Darius Lukminas, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Tomas Pačėsas, Arvydas Sabonis, Saulius Štombergas, Rytis Vaišvila, Eurelijus Žukauskas, and Mindaugas Žukauskas. The Lithuanians won bronze by defeating the Australian team with the score of 80:74.
Many Lithuanian athletes managed to get pretty close to the victory podium: the Games debutants discus thrower Virgilijus Alekna and cyclist Jolanta Polikevičiūtė both won 5th place. The latter also placed 7th in individual race. High jumper Nelė Žilinskienė was 5th, rack cyclist Rasa Mažeikytė – 6th, and discus thrower Vaclovas Kidykas placed 8th.
Like in Barcelona 1992, during the Opening ceremony the Lithuanian national flag was carried by swimmer Raimondas Mažuolis.
Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics were marked by a tragedy when on July 27 a bomb exploded in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. The explosion killed 2 and injured 111 people.
Softball, beach volleyball, mountain biking, women’s football and lightweight rowing debuted on the Olympic program.
24 countries made their Summer Olympic debut.
Austrian sailer Hubert Raudaschl became the first person ever to compete in nine Olympics.
American Michael Johnson became the first man in the Olympic history to win both the 200 m and 400 m running events.
Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu became the first weightlifter in history to become an Olympic champion three times consecutively.
Athletes from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burundi, Ecuador, Georgia, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mozambique, Slovakia, Tonga, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan won the first Olympic medals for their countries.
Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games
Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics website: