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1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

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1996 Atlanta Olympic Games
142px-1996 Summer Olympics
Official logo

City

Atlanta, USA

Venue

Georgia Dome

Team Gold Medalist

USA

All-Around Gold Medalist

Lilia Podkopayeva (UKR)

Vault Gold Medalist

Simona Amânar (ROU)

Uneven Bars Gold Medalist

Svetlana Khorkina (RUS)

Balance Beam Gold Medalist

Shannon Miller (USA)

Floor Exercise Gold Medalist

Lilia Podkopayeva (UKR)

Preceded by

1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

Succeeded by

2000 Sydney Olympic Games

The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, took place in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The artistic gymnastics events were held at the Georgia Dome from July 20–25 and July 28–29.

Format of Competition

The gymnastics competition at the 1996 Summer Olympics was carried out in three stages:

  • Competition I - The team competition/qualification round in which gymnasts, including those who were not part of a team, performed both compulsory and optional exercises. Six of the seven team members performed on each apparatus, while only the five highest scores during each rotation were used to determined the overall team total. The thirty-six highest scoring gymnasts in the all-around qualified to the individual all-around competition. The eight highest-scoring gymnasts on each apparatus qualified to the final for that apparatus.
  • Competition II - The individual all-around competition, in which those who qualified from Competition I performed exercises on each apparatus. The final score of each gymnast was determined by adding the scores earned by her on each of the four apparatuses in the women's competition.
  • Competition III - The apparatus finals, in which those who qualified during Competition I performed an exercise on the individual apparatus on which she had qualified. The final score of each gymnast determined solely by the score earned by her on the apparatus during this competition.

Each country was limited to three gymnasts in the all-around final and two gymnasts in each apparatus final.

This was the first and, to date, only Olympics where each team was allowed seven members instead of the usual six.

Competition Schedule

July 21 Compulsory Round
July 23 Optional Round
July 25 All-Around
July 28 Vault Event Final
Uneven Bars Event Final
July 29 Balance Beam Event Final
Floor Exercise Event Final

Results

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Team Flag of the United States of America USA

Amanda Borden
Amy Chow
Dominique Dawes
Shannon Miller
Dominique Moceanu
Jaycie Phelps
Kerri Strug

Flag of Russia Russia

Elena Dolgopolova
Roza Galiyeva
Elena Grosheva
Svetlana Khorkina
Dina Kochetkova
Yevgeniya Kuznetsova
Oksana Lyapina

Flag of Romania Romania

Simona Amânar
Gina Gogean
Ionela Loaieş
Alexandra Marinescu
Lavinia Miloşovici
Mirela Ţugurlan

All-Around Flag of Ukraine Lilia Podkopayeva
Ukraine (UKR)
Flag of Romania Gina Gogean
Romania (ROU)
Flag of Romania Lavinia Miloşovici
Romania (ROU)

Flag of Romania Simona Amânar
Romania (ROU)

Vault Flag of Romania Simona Amânar
Romania (ROU)
Flag of China Mo Huilan
China (CHN)
Flag of Romania Gina Gogean
Romania (ROU)
Uneven Bars Flag of Russia Svetlana Khorkina
Russia (RUS)
Flag of the United States of America Amy Chow
United States of America (USA)

Flag of China Bi Wenjing
China (CHN)

N/A
Balance Beam Flag of the United States of America Shannon Miller
United States of America (USA)
Flag of Ukraine Lilia Podkopayeva
Ukraine (UKR)
Flag of Romania Gina Gogean
Romania (ROU)
Floor Exercise Flag of Ukraine Lilia Podkopayeva
Ukraine (UKR)
Flag of Romania Simona Amânar
Romania (ROU)
Flag of the United States of America Dominique Dawes
United States of America (USA)

Notable Moments

  • The US women won the team gold medal for the first time in Olympic history. Most notably, Kerri Strug vaulted on an injured leg and "stuck it" on one foot to win them the gold. This team was nicknamed the "Magnificent 7".
  • Ukraine's Lilia Podkopayeva became the fourth gymnast, and the first since Ludmilla Tourischeva in 1972, to follow a World All-Around title with an Olympic All-Around title. Podkopayeva also won Ukraine its first Olympic gold medals as an independent nation, and became the fourth gymnast to win both the all-around and an individual event gold medal at a single Olympics, along with Larisa Latynina, Věra Čáslavská, and Nadia Comăneci. Podkopayeva is also the first and, to date, the only gymnast to win the Olympic All-Around Title from a team that didn't even medal.
  • Svetlana Khorkina won Russia its first Olympic gold medal as an independent nation.
  • USA's Shannon Miller was the first American gymnast to win an individual gold medal at a fully-attended Olympics. Miller was also the first American gymnast to win two gold medals at a single Olympics.
  • The highest recorded score was 9.887, by Lilia Podkopayeva during the all-around and floor exercise event final.

Controversies

  • Romania's Alexandra Marinescu had originally qualified for the all-around, but she was pulled out and replaced with Simona Amanar by the head Romanian coach, Octavian Bellu. Bellu said he made the switch because Marinescu "wasn't working hard enough".
  • The foreign delegations complained about the pro-US crowds and how loudly they cheered for the Americans. Russia's Roza Galiyeva dealt with the unnaturally loud crowds twice when she was on floor exercise. The first time was during the team final, after Kerri Strug's "vault heard around the world", the second time was during the all-around, right when Shannon Miller dismounted on balance beam. Both times, the cheers for the Americans got so loud, Galiyeva couldn't hear her floor music, and she ended up in tears after her routines.

Medal Count

Rank Country Gold-medal Silver-medal Bronze-medal Total
1 Flag of Romania Romania 1 2 5 8
2 Flag of the United States of America USA 2 1 1 4
3 Flag of Ukraine Ukraine 2 1 0 3
4 Flag of Russia Russia 1 1 0 2
5 Flag of China China 0 2 0 2

Gallery

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