Games of the XXVI Olympiad
For the first time ever, the Canadian team of 307 athletes was comprised of more women than men – 154 women to 153 men. Canada’s 21 medals (3 gold, 10 silver, 8 bronze) in nine sports was a best-ever medal total in a non-boycotted Olympic Games.
Reigning world champion Donovan Bailey captured the title of world’s fastest man when he took the gold medal in world-record time over a formidable field in the 100m race. Bailey added a second gold when he teamed up with Carlton Chambers, Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert and Bruny Surin in the 4x100m relay, the Canadians recording the second fastest time ever in the event. Bailey became only the second Canadian ever in the history of athletics to win two Olympic gold medals, the other being Percy Williams in the 100m and 200m in 1928.
Canada won medals in five new events on the program: synchro team, women’s mountain bike, men’s beach volleyball, men’s lightweight coxless fours in rowing and the women’s cycling individual road time trial. Rowing continued its Olympic success with six medals (one gold, four silver, one bronze), and Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle became the first-ever triple gold medallists for Canada in a Summer Olympic Games (two each in 1992, one each in 1996). Four-time Olympians Silken Laumann (rowing) and Curt Harnett (cycling) won their third Olympic medal: Laumann took silver in single sculls to add to her 1984 and 1992 bronze medals, and Harnett won bronze in the sprint to add to his 1984 silver and 1992 bronze medals. Cycling’s five medal performances added to their sport’s all-time Olympic medal tally of four. Clara Hughes’ bronze in the women’s road race was the first-ever Olympic medal for Canada in women’s cycling. She captured another bronze in the inaugural women’s individual road time trial. Brian Walton was awarded the silver medal in the men’s individual points race. Marianne Limpert’s silver in the 200m individual medley was Canada’s first women’s individual medal since the Games in 1984. Curtis Myden was a double bronze medallist in the 200m and 400m individual medley. Boxing, diving and wrestling each captured a medal: David Defiagbon, silver in 91kg heavyweight; Annie Pelletier, bronze in 3m springboard; and Gia Sissaouri, silver in 57kg freestyle. Joanne Abbott was the first female sailor to compete in the Soling class at an Olympic Games.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Teresa Edwards (basketball)
Olympic Oath (officials): Hobie Billingsly (diving)
Olympic Oath (coaches): None
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Muhammad Ali
Official Opening: President Bill Clinton