Olympic Summer Games
Games of the I Olympiad
The revival of the ancient Olympics attracted athletes from 14 nations, with the largest delegations coming from Greece, Germany, France and Great Britain. On 6 April 1896, the American James Connolly won the triple jump to become the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years. Winners were awarded a silver medal and an olive branch. The German athlete Carl Schumann finished in the top five events of three different sports. The people of Athens greeted the Games with great enthusiasm. Their support was rewarded when a Greek shepherd, Spyridon Louis, won the most popular event, the marathon.
14 NOCs (Nations)
241 athletes (0 women, 241 men)
Games of the II Olympiad
The Games of 1900 were held in Paris as part of the Exposition Universelle Internationale - the Paris World's Fair. The exposition organizers spread the events over five months and de-emphasized their Olympic status to such an extent that many athletes died without ever knowing that they had participated in the Olympics. Women made their first appearance in the modern Games. The first to compete were Mme. Brohy and Mlle. Ohnier of France in croquet. The first female champion was in tennis: Charlotte Cooper of Great Britain. Tennis was one of five sports in which athletes from different nations competed on the same team. The others were football, polo, rowing and tug of war. Alvin Kraenzlein won four athletics events in three days and, on 16 July, Ray Ewry, who had overcome childhood polio, won three championships in one day - all in the standing jump events.
24 NOCs (Nations)
997 athletes (22 women, 975 men)
ST LOUIS 1904
Games of the III Olympiad
The 1904 St. Louis Olympics organizers repeated all of the mistakes of 1900. The Olympic competitions, spread out over four and a half months, were lost in the chaos of a World's Fair. Of the 94 events generally considered to have been part of the Olympic program, only 42 included athletes who were not from the United States. The 1904 Olympics did have a few highlights. They were the first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third place. Boxing and freestyle wrestling made their debuts. Marathon runners Len Tau and Jan Mashiani, Tswana tribesmen who were in St. Louis as part of the Boer War exhibit at the World's Fair, became the first Africans to compete in the Olympics. One of the most remarkable athletes was the American gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals even though his left leg was made of wood. Chicago runner James Lightbody won the steeplechase and the 800m and then set a world record in the 1,500m.
12 NOCs (Nations)
651 athletes (6 women, 645 men)
Games of the IV Olympiad
The 1908 Olympics were originally awarded to Rome, but were reassigned to London. At the Opening Ceremony, the athletes marched into the stadium by nation, as most countries sent selected national teams. Archers William and Charlotte Dod became the first brother and sister medalists. Oscar Swahn, aged 60, was the oldest ever competitor to earn an Olympic gold medal, winning the running deer shooting, single shot. 1908 marked the first appearance of diving and field hockey. In the spirit of sportsmanship, the final in middleweight Greco-Roman wrestling between Frithiof Martensson and Mauritz Andersson was postponed one day to allow Martensson to recover from a minor injury. Martensson won. Ray Ewry won the standing high jump and the standing long jump for the third time and became the only person in Olympic history to win a career total of eight gold medals in individual events. The event that caught the public imagination around the world was the dramatic ending of the marathon. After 42 kilometres (26 miles) of running, the first man to enter the stadium was Dorando Pietri of Italy, but he collapsed on the track five times and was disqualified when officials carried him across the finish line.
22 NOCs (Nations)
2,008 athletes (37 women, 1,971 men)
Games of the V Olympiad
Held in Stockholm, the 1912 Olympics were a model of efficiency. The Swedish hosts introduced the use of unofficial electronic timing devices for the track events, as well as the first use of a public address system. The modern pentathlon was added to the Olympic program. Women's events in swimming and diving were also introduced. Sweden would not allow boxing contests to be held in their country. After the Games, the International Olympic Committee decided to limit the power of host nations in deciding the Olympic program. If there was an unofficial theme of the 1912 Games, it was endurance. The course for the cycling road race was 320km (199 miles), the longest race of any kind in Olympic history. In Greco-Roman wrestling, the middleweight semifinal match between Russian Martin Klein and Finland's Alfred Asikainen lasted eleven hours. Hannes Kohlemainen of Finland won three gold medals in long-distance running. The most popular hero of the 1912 Games was Jim Thorpe of the United States. Thorpe won the five-event pentathlon and shattered the world record in the ten-event decathlon. One member of the Austrian team that finished second in the team sabre fencing event was Otto Herschmann, who was, at that time, president of the Austrian Olympic Committee. Herschmann is the only sitting national Olympic committee president to win an Olympic medal.
28 NOCs (Nations)
2,407 athletes (48 women, 2,359 men)
Games of the VII Olympiad
The 1916 Olympics were scheduled to be held in Berlin, but were canceled because of what came to be known as World War I. The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honor the suffering that had been inflicted on the Belgian people during the war. The Opening Ceremony was notable for the introduction of the Olympic flag and the presentation of the Athletes' Oath. In a performance unequaled in Olympic history, Nedo Nadi of Italy earned gold medals in five of the six fencing events. Ethelda Bleibtrey of the United States won gold medals in all three women's swimming contests. Including preliminary heats, she swam in five races and broke the world record in every one. France's Suzanne Lenglen dominated women's tennis singles so completely that she lost only four games in the ten sets she played. At age 72, Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn earned a silver medal in the team double-shot running deer event to become the oldest medalist ever. The 1920 12-foot dinghy sailing event was the only event in Olympic history to be held in two countries. The first race was staged in Belgium, but the last two races took place in the Netherlands because both entrants were Dutch.
29 NOCs (Nations)
2,626 athletes (65 women, 2,561 men)
Games of the VIII Olympiad
At the 1924 Paris Games, the Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius", (Swifter, Higher, Stronger) was introduced, as was the Closing Ceremony ritual of raising three flags: the flag of the International Olympic Committee, the flag of the host nation and the flag of the next host nation. The number of participating nations jumped from 29 to 44, signaling widespread acceptance of the Olympics as a major event, as did the presence of 1,000 journalists. Women's fencing made its debut as Ellen Osiier of Denmark earned the gold medal without losing a single bout. Johnny Weissmuller of the United States won two gold medals in swimming on 20 July alone. That same day he earned a bronze medal in water polo. He later went to Hollywood and starred as Tarzan in twelve movies. American swimmer Gertrude Ederle won a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle. Two years later she caused a sensation by becoming the first woman to swim across the English Channel (La Manche) - and in a time almost two hours faster than any man had ever achieved. Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, won five gold medals to add to the three he had won in 1920. His most spectacular performance occurred on 10 July. First he easily won the 1,500m. Then, a mere 55 minutes later, he returned to the track and won the 5,000m. Nurmi's teammate, Ville Ritola, did not do badly either in 1924: he won four gold medals and two silver.
44 NOCs (Nations)
3,089 athletes (135 women, 2,954 men)
Games of the IX Olympiad
The Amsterdam Olympics of 1928 were held in an atmosphere of peace and harmony that preceded twenty years of economic uncertainty and war. Perhaps the Games were best exemplified by the experience of Australian rower Henry Pearce. Midway through his quarterfinal race, he stopped rowing to allow a family of ducks to pass single file in front of his boat. Pearce won the race anyway and, later, the gold medal as well. At the Opening Ceremony, the team from Greece led the Parade of Nations and the host Dutch team marched in last. Greece first, hosts last would become a permanent part of the Olympic protocol. Athletes from 28 different nations won gold medals in Amsterdam, a record that would last for 40 years. The number of female athletes more than doubled as women were finally allowed to compete in gymnastics and athletics. For the first time, Asian athletes won gold medals. Mikio Oda of Japan won the triple jump, while his teammate, Yoshiyuki Tsuruta, won the 200m breaststroke. Meanwhile the team from India swept to victory in field hockey. Between 1928 and 1960, Indian teams won six straight gold medals. Another winning streak began in 1928. Hungary earned the first of seven consecutive gold medals in team sabre fencing.
46 NOCs (Nations)
2,883 athletes (277 women, 2,606 men)
LOS ANGELES 1932
Games of the X Olympiad
Because the 1932 Olympics were held in the middle of the Great Depression and in the comparatively remote city of Los Angeles, half as many athletes took part as had in 1928. Nevertheless, the level of competition was extremely high and 18 world records were either broken or equalled. The crowds set records too, starting with the 100,000 people who attended the Opening Ceremony. The 1932 Olympics were the first to last 16 days. The duration of the Olympics has remained between 15 and 18 days ever since. Between 1900 and 1928, no Summer Olympics was shorter than 79 days. For the first time, the male athletes were housed in a single Olympic Village. (The women stayed in a luxury hotel.) At the victory ceremonies, the medal winners stood on a victory stand and the flag of the winner was raised. Official automatic timing was introduced for the track events, as was the photo-finish camera. 14-year-old Japanese Kusuo Kitamura won the 1,500m freestyle to become the youngest male in any sport ever to earn a gold medal in an individual event. 21-year-old American Babe Didrikson qualified for all five women's track and field events, but was only allowed to compete in three. She won the javelin throw and set world records in the high jump and the 80m hurdles. Ivar Johansson, a Swedish policeman, won gold medals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Another Swedish wrestler, Carl Westergren, won his third Greco-Roman title, each in a different division. In the spirit of fair play, British fencer Judy Guinness gave up her hopes for a gold medal when she pointed out to officials that they had not noticed two touches scored against her by her final opponent, Ellen Preis of Austria.
37 NOCs (Nations)
1,332 athletes (126 women, 1,206 men)
Games of the XI Olympiad
The 1936 Olympics, held in Berlin, are best remembered for Adolf Hitler's failed attempt to use them to prove his theories of Aryan racial superiority. As it turned out, the most popular hero of the Games, was the African-American sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. During the long jump competition, Owens' German rival, Luz Long, publicly befriended him in front of the Nazis. 1936 saw the introduction of the torch relay, in which a lighted torch is carried from Olympia to the site of the current Games. The 1936 Olympics were also the first to be broadcast on a form of television. Twenty-five large screens were set up throughout Berlin, allowing the local people to see the Games for free. Basketball, canoeing and team handball made their first appearances, while polo was included in the Olympic programme for the last time. Thirteen-year-old Marjorie Gestring of the United States won the gold medal in springboard diving. She remains the youngest female gold medalist in the history of the Summer Olympics. Inge Sorensen of Denmark earned a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke at the age of 12, making her the youngest medalist ever in an individual event. Hungarian water polo player Olivier Halassy won his third medal despite the fact that one of his legs had been amputated below the knee following a streetcar accident. Rower Jack Beresford of Great Britain won a gold medal in the double sculls event, marking the fifth Olympics at which he earned a medal. Kristjan Palusalu of Estonia won the heavyweight division in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.
49 NOCs (Nations)
3,963 athletes (331 women, 3,632 men)
Games of the XIV Olympiad
The 1948 London Games were the first to be shown on home television, although very few people in Great Britain actually owned sets. A women's canoeing event was held for the first time - and won by Karen Hoff of Denmark. 17-year-old American Bob Mathias won the decathlon only four months after taking up the sport. He is the youngest athlete in Olympic history to win a men's athletics event. Two athletes who were Olympic champions in 1936 managed to defend their titles twelve years later. They were Ilona Elek of Hungary in women's foil fencing and Jan Brzak of Czechoslovakia in the canoeing Canadian pairs 1,000m. Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands was the world record holder in six events, but, according to the rules of the day, was only allowed to enter four. She won all four: the 100m dash, the 80m hurdles, the 200m and the 4x100m relay. Concert pianist Micheline Ostermeyer of France won both the shot put and the discus throw. Karoly Takacs was a member of the Hungarian world champion pistol shooting team in 1938 when a grenade shattered his right hand - his pistol hand. Takacs taught himself to shoot with his left hand and, ten years later, he won an Olympic gold medal in the rapid-fire pistol event.
59 NOCs (Nations)
4,104 athletes (390 women, 3,714 men)
Games of the XV Olympiad
The 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki started in spectacular fashion with Pavvo Nurmi, then aged 55, entering the stadium with the Olympic flame and lighting the cauldron on the ground. Then, young football players carried the torch up to the top of the stadium tower, where another Olympic cauldron was lit by 62-year-old Hannes Kolehmainen.
It seemed appropriate that the most impressive achievements in Helsinki should be those of another long-distance runner, Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia, who became the only person in Olympic history to win the 5,000, 10,000 and marathon at the same Olympics. The Soviet Union entered the Olympics for the first time. Although their athletes were housed in a separate "village", warnings that Cold War rivalries would lead to clashes proved unfounded. Particularly impressive were the Soviet women gymnasts who won the team competition easily, beginning a streak that would continue for forty years until the Soviet Union broke up into separate republics. One of the first women allowed to compete against men in the equestrian dressage was Lis Hartel of Denmark. Despite being paralyzed below the knees after an attack of polio, Hartel, who had to be helped on and off her horse, won a silver medal. Lars Hall, a carpenter from Sweden, became the first nonmilitary winner of the modern pentathlon. Back in 1924, Bill Havens had been chosen to represent the United States in coxed eights rowing, but declined in order to stay home with his wife, who was expecting their first child. Twenty-eight years later, that child, Frank Havens, won a gold medal in the Canadian singles 10,000m canoeing event.
69 NOCs (Nations)
4,955 athletes (519 women, 4,436 men)
MELBOURNE / STOCKHOLM 1956
Games of the XVI Olympiad
Melbourne won the right to host the 1956 Olympics by one vote over Buenos Aires. Australian quarantine laws were too severe to allow the entry of foreign horses, so the equestrian events were held separately in Stockholm in June. The Melbourne Games were the first to be held in the southern hemisphere. Laszlo Papp of Hungary became the first boxer to win three gold medals. American Pat McCormick won both diving events, just as she had in 1952. Two athletes dominated the gymnastics competition. On the men's side, Ukrainian Viktor Chukarin earned five medals, including three gold, to bring his career total to eleven medals, seven of them gold. Agnes Keleti of Hungary brought her career total to ten medals by winning four gold medals and two silver. The U.S. basketball team, led by Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, put on the most dominant performance in Olympic history, scoring more than twice as much as their opponents and winning each of their games by at least 30 points. U.S. weightlifter Paul Anderson weighed 137.9kg. In weightlifting, ties are broken by awarding the higher place to the athlete with the lower body weight. Incredibly, this worked to Anderson's advantage when he tied for first with Humberto Selvetti of Argentina. Selvetti weighed 143.5kg. Prior to 1956, the athletes in the Closing Ceremony marched by nation, as they did in the Opening Ceremony. In Melbourne, following a suggestion by a young Australian named John Ian Wing, the athletes entered the stadium together during the Closing Ceremony, as a symbol of global unity.
72 NOCs (Nations)
3 314 athletes (376 women, 2 938 men)
Games of the XVII Olympiad
Fifty-four years after Italy had to give up hosting the Olympics, Rome finally got its chance. They made the most of their dramatic history, holding the wrestling competition in the Basilica of Maxentius. Among the other ancient sites that were used were the Caracalla Baths (gymnastics) and the Arch of Constantine (finish of the marathon). Paul Elvstrom of Denmark won the gold medal in the single-handed dinghy class yachting - for the fourth consecutive time. Hungarian fencer Aladar Gerevich earned his sixth consecutive gold medal in the team sabre event. In canoeing, Sweden's Gert Fredriksson won his sixth gold medal. Yugoslavia, which qualified for the final by winning a coin toss, won the football tournament after losing in the final three times in a row. Sante Gaiardoni of Italy became the only cyclist in Olympic history to win both the time trial and the match sprint events. By winning the silver medal in light-welterweight boxing, Clement "Ike" Quartey of Ghana became the first black African Olympic medalist. Five days later in the marathon, Abebe Bikila, running barefoot, outlasted Rhadi Ben Abdesselem of Morocco to become the first black African Olympic champion. Rafer Johnson and C.K. Yang were decathlon training partners at UCLA, but in Rome Johnson represented the United States and Yang represented Chinese Taipei. In a dramatic finish, they took first and second places and then, exhausted, fell against each other for support. Suffering from concussion and a broken collarbone after a fall in the endurance test of the three-day equestrian event, Bill Roycroft left his hospital bed to compete in the jumping test and ensure the gold medal for Australia.
83 NOCs (Nations)
5,338 athletes (611 women, 4,727 men)
Games of the XVIII Olympiad
The 1964 Tokyo Games were the first to be held in Asia. The Japanese expressed their successful reconstruction after World War II by choosing as the final torchbearer Yoshinori Sakai, who was born in Hiroshima the day that that city was destroyed by an atomic bomb. Judo and volleyball were introduced to the Olympic programme. American swimmer Don Schollander won four gold medals. Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia became the first repeat winner of the marathon - less than six weeks after having his appendix removed. Russian rower Vyacheslav Ivanov won the single sculls for the third time, and Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser won the 100m freestyle for the third time. Al Oerter of the United States did the same in the discus throw despite a cervical disc injury that forced him to wear a neck harness and torn rib cartilage incurred a week before the competition. Hungarian water polo player Dezso Gyarmati won his fifth medal in a row. Another Hungarian, Greco-Roman wrestler Imre Polyak, finally won a gold medal after finishing second in the same division at the previous three Olympics. By winning two medals of each kind, Larysa Latynina of the Ukraine brought her career medal total to an incredible 18. She is also one of only four athletes in any sport to win nine gold medals.
93 NOCs (Nations)
5,151 athletes (678 women, 4,473 men)
Games of the XIX Olympiad
The choice of Mexico City to host the 1968 Olympics was a controversial one because of the city's high altitude, 2,300m, which meant that the air contained 30% less oxygen than at sea level. Sure enough, the rarefied air proved disastrous to many athletes competing in endurance events. On the other hand, the high altitude led to world records in all of the men's races that were 400m or shorter, including both relays, and in the 400m hurdles, in the long jump and triple jump as well. Bob Beamon's spectacular long jump of 8.90m would last as a world record for 22 years. The Mexico City Olympics, the first Summer Games to include sex testing for women, were blessed with many outstanding heroines. Mexican hurdler Enriqueta Basilio became the first woman to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. Eulalia Rolinska of Poland, Gladys de Seminario of Peru and Nuria Ortiz of Mexico were the first women to compete in shooting. Wyomia Tyus of the United States became the first repeat winner of the 100m dash. The most popular female athlete of the 1968 Games was Vera Caslavska, the Czech gymnast. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia two months before the Olympics, Caslavska went into hiding for three weeks. She emerged to win four gold medals and two silvers. On the male side, Al Oerter of the United States won the discus throw for the fourth time. The 1968 Games also saw the first drug disqualification, as a Swedish entrant in the modern pentathlon, Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, tested positive…for excessive alcohol.
112 NOCs (Nations)
5,516 athletes (781 women, 4,735 men)
Games of the XX Olympiad
The 1972 Munich Games were the largest yet, setting records in all categories, with 195 events and 7,173 athletes from 121 nations. They were supposed to celebrate peace and, for the first ten days, all did indeed go well. But in the early morning of 5 September, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village, killed two members of the Israeli team and took nine more hostage. In an ensuing battle, all nine Israeli hostages were killed, as were five of the terrorists and one policeman. The Olympics were suspended and a memorial service was held in the main stadium. In defiance of the terrorists, the International Olympic Committee ordered the competitions to resume after a pause of 34 hours. All other details about the Munich Games paled in significance, but it did have its highlights. Archery was reintroduced to the Olympic programme after a 52-year absence and handball after a 36-year absence. Whitewater (or slalom) canoeing was included for the first time. The 1972 Games were also the first to have a named mascot: Waldi the dachshund. U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz won an incredible seven gold medals to go with the two he had earned in 1968. Lasse Viren of Finland fell midway through the 10,000m final, but rose and set a world record to win the first of his four career gold medals. Freestyle wrestler Ivan Yarygin of Russia pinned all seven of his opponents en route to his first Olympic championship in the heavyweight division. West German, Liselott Linsenhoff, competing in the dressage event, became the first female equestrian to win a gold medal in an individual event. The media star of the Munich Games was the tiny Soviet gymnast, Olga Korbut, whose dramatic cycle of success in the team competition, failure in the individual competition and renewed success in the apparatus finals captured the attention of fans worldwide.
121 NOCs (Nations)
7,134 athletes (1,059 women, 6,075 men)
Games of the XXI Olympiad
The 1976 Montreal Games were marred by an African boycott to protest the fact that the national rugby team of New Zealand had toured South Africa and New Zealand was scheduled to compete in the Olympics. Women's events were included for the first time in basketball, rowing and team handball. Fourteen-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania caused a sensation when, for her performance on the uneven bars, she was awarded the first-ever perfect score of 10.0. She eventually earned seven 10.0s. On the men's side, Japan's Shun Fujimoto broke his leg while completing his floor exercises routine. The Japanese team was engaged in a close contest with the Soviet Union, so Fujimoto kept his injury secret. But when he dismounted from the rings, he dislocated his knee and was forced to withdraw. The Japanese women's volleyball team won all their matches in straight sets, and in only one of fifteen games did an opponent score in double figures. Individual stars included Klaus Dibiasi of Italy, who won his third straight gold medal in platform diving; Viktor Saneyev of Soviet Georgia, who won his third triple jump gold; and Irena Szewinska of Poland, winner of the 400m run, who brought her career total to seven medals - in five different events. Alberto Juantorena of Cuba put together the first 40m-800m double victory. Miklos Nemeth of Hungary won the javelin throw to become the first son of an athletics gold medalist to win a gold of his own. His father, Imre, had won the hammer throw in 1948. Clarence Hill of Bermuda earned a bronze medal in boxing's super-heavyweight division to give Bermuda the honor of being the least populous nation (53,500) ever to win a medal in the Summer Olympics.
92 NOCs (Nations)
6,084 athletes (1,260 women, 4,824 men)
Games of the XXII Olympiad
A U.S.-led boycott reduced the number of participating nations to 80, the lowest number since 1956. Aleksandr Dityatin earned medals in every men's gymnastics event to become the only athlete ever to win eight medals in one Olympics. Super-heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson became the first boxer to win the same division three times. Gerd Wessig became the first male high jumper to break the world record at the Olympics and swimmer Vladimir Salnikov broke the 15-minute barrier for the 1,500m. In adramatic confrontation, runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe split the 800 and 1,500m.
80 NOCs (Nations)
5,179 athletes (1,115 women, 4,064 men)
5,615 media (2,685 written press, 2,930 broadcasters)
LOS ANGELES 1984
Games of the XXIII Olympiad
Although a revenge boycott led by the Soviet Union depleted the field in certain sports, a record 140 nations took part. Joan Benoit won the inaugural women's marathon and Connie Carpenter-Phinney the first women's cycling road race. Carl Lewis won both sprints and the long jump and earned a fourth gold in the 4x100m relay. Pertti Karppinen won single sculls rowing for the third time. Sebastian Coe became the first repeat winner of the men's 1,500m. Archer Neroli Fairhall was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event. She competed in a wheelchair.
140 NOCs (Nations)
6,829 athletes (1,566 women, 5,263 men)
9,190 media (4,327 written press, 4,863 broadcasters)
Games of the XXIV Olympiad
Although the drug disqualification of sprinter Ben Johnson was the biggest story of the 1988 Olympics, the Seoul Games were highlighted by numerous exceptional performances. Christa Luding-Rothenburger, who was also a speed skater, earned a silver medal in cycling to become the only person in history to win Winter and Summer medals in the same year. Steffi Graf concluded her Grand Slam tennis season by winning Olympic gold. Greg Louganis repeated victories in both diving events. Florence Griffith-Joyner dominated the sprints. For the first time, all the medalists in dressage were women.
159 NOCs (Nations)
8,391 athletes (2,194 women, 6,197 men)
Games of the XXV Olympiad
Men's basketball was open to all professionals, and the US sent a "Dream Team" that included Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Gymnast Vitaly Scherbo won six gold medals, including a record four in one day. Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia won the 10,000m run to become the first female black African Olympic champion. Her victory lap with silver medallist Elana Meyer, a white South African, symbolised hope for the future of the Olympic Movement.
169 NOCs (Nations)
9,356 athletes (2,704 women, 6,652 men)
13,082 media (5,131 written press, 7,951 broadcasters)
Games of the XXVI Olympiad
The 1996 Games were given a dramatic start when the cauldron was lit by Muhammad Ali. On 27 July during a concert held in the Centennial Olympic Park, a terrorist bomb killed one person and injured a further 110 people, but the Atlanta Games are best remembered for their sporting achievements. A record-setting 79 nations won medals and 53 won gold. Carl Lewis became only the third person to win the same individual event four times and the fourth person to earn a ninth gold medal. Naim Suleymanoglu became the first weightlifter to win a third gold medal. Michael Johnson smashed the 200m world record to complete a 200m and 400m double.
197 NOCs (Nations)
10,318 athletes (3,512 women, 6,806 men)
15,108 media (5,695 written press, 9,413 broadcasters)
Games of the XXVII Olympiad
The Sydney 2000 Games were the largest yet, with 10,651 athletes competing in 300 events. Despite their size, they were well organised, renewing faith in the Olympic Movement. Birgit Fischer earned two gold medals in Kayak to become the first woman in any sport to win medals 20 years apart. Judoka Ryoko Tamura lost in the final in both Barcelona and Atlanta, but came back to win the gold medal in Sydney. Steven Redgrave became the first rower to win gold medals at five consecutive Olympics. The US softball team won in stirring fashion, losing three games in a row and then coming back to defeat each of the teams they had lost to.
199 NOCs (Nations) and 4 individual athletes (IOA)
10,651 athletes (4,069 women, 6,582 men)
16,033 media (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters)
Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
In 2004 the Olympic Games returned to Greece, the home of both the ancient Olympics and the first modern Olympics. For the first time ever a record 201 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated in the Olympic Games. The overall tally for events on the programme was 301 (one more than in Sydney 2000). Popularity in the Games reached soared to new highs as 3.9 billion people had access to the television coverage compared to 3.6 billion for Sydney 2000. Women's wrestling was included in the program for the first time. Swimmer Michael Phelps won 6 gold medals and set a single-Games record with 8 total medals. Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel became the first female cyclist to earn 4 career gold medals and 6 total medals, while canoeist Birgit Fischer became the first athlete in any sport to win two medals in each of 5 Olympics. Runner Hicham El Guerrouj won both the 1,500m and the 5,000m, while on the women's side Kelly Holmes triumphed in both the 800m and the 1,500m. In team play, Argentina won the men's football tournament without giving up a goal, and the U.S.softball team won by outscoring their opponents 51-1.
Games of the XXIX Olympiad
August 8 – 24
Total 10 933 athletes from 204 countries took part in the Beijing Olympic Games. 302 sets of medals were played in 28 sports. 181 athletes represented Belarus in 26 sports. 26 Belarusian athletes won 17 medals including 4 gold, 4 silver and 9 bronze. Belarus finished seventeenth in the non official team event. By total amount of won medals Belarus took fifteenth place.
The title of Olympic Champion was earned by the number of Belorussian athletes. They are Andrei Aryamnov (Weightlifting), Oksana Menkova (Athletics - Hammer Throw), Alexander and Andrei Bogdanovich (Canoe/Kayak - canoe double), Roman Petrushenko, Alexei Abalmasov, Artur Litvinchuk, Vadim Makhnev (Canoe/Kayak - kayak four).
Silver medals in Beijing were won by Andrey Rybakov (Weightlifting), Natalia Mikhnevich (Athletics - Shot Put), Andrei Kravchenko (Athletics - Decathlon) and Inna Zhukova (Rhythmic Gymnastics).Bronze Olympic medalists from Belarus are Nadezhda Ostapchuk (Athletics - Shot Put), Andrei Mikhnevich (Athletics - Shot Put), Anastasia Novikova (Weightlifting), Ekaterina Karsten, Yuliya Bichik and Nataliya Gelakh (Rowing), Roman Petrushenko and Vadim Makhnev (Canoe/Kayak – kayak double), Murad Gaidarov (Wrestling freestyle), Mikhail Semenov (Wrestling Greco-Roman), Ksenia Sankovich, Alina Tumilovich, Anastasiya Ivankova, Zinaida Lunina, Alesya Babushkina and Glafira Martinovich (Rhythmic Gymnastics).Women Basketball Team gained high results in Beijing also. It took sixth place. At the XXIX Olympic Games in Beijing Belarusian athletes set up 2 World, 3 Olympic and 10 national records.
THE XXX Olympic Games
London, Great Britain
July, 27 – August, 12 2012
10,5 thousand sportsmen from 205 countries took part in the Games.
36 sports were included in the competition. 303 set of medals were awarded to the athletes during the competition.
The US team won the 1st place in unofficial medal ranking – 46 gold medals, 29 silver medals, 29 bronze medals (total 104 medals), China took the 2 nd place – 38 gold medals, 27 silver medals, 22 bronze medals (total 87 medals ). Athletes from Great Britain took the 3-rd place – 29 gold medals, 17 silver medals, 19 bronze medals (total 65 medals). The Republic of Belarus took 26-th place having won 12 medals (2 gold medals, 5 silver medals, 5 bronze medals). In total 85 countries won medals.
173 Belarusian athletes in 25 sports participated at the Games.
Gold – Sergei Martynov (shooting, small-bore rifle, 50m), Victoria Azarenka and Maksim Mirny (tennis, mixed doubles).
Silver – Aleksandra Gerasimenya (swimming, free style 50 and 100 m), Andrei and Aleksandr Bogdanovich (canoe 1,000m), Roman Petrushenko and Vadim Makhnev (kayak 200m); rhythmic gymnastics national team, which took the second place, group all-around (55.500m).
Bronze – Marina Shkermankova (weightlifting, up to 69 kg), Irina Kulesha (weightlifting, up to 75 kg), Lubov Cherkashina (rhythmic gymnastics, individual all-round), Victoria Azarenka (tennis, singles), Irina Pomelova, Nadezhda Popok, Olga Khudenko and Marina Poltoran (kayak fours, 500m).