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20 Unforgettable Moments from the ’96 Olympics That You Already Forgot

Let's remember Atlanta before we start forgetting Rio.

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Maybe some of the top music hits from that year can help jog our memories. Yes, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"!

1. Kerri Strug Vaults on a Busted Ankle for Gold

John Gaps III / AP

You’ve long forgotten that you did a celebratory Macarena after this tiny but tough gymnast secured the gold for the U.S. on a wrecked ankle. It’s not your fault though, we’re all trying to forget the “Macarena”.

2. Michael Johnson Runs Like Really Really Fast


The golden shoes that ran Olympic records into your heart ran right out of your mind just as fast. You needed to make some mental room for the lyrics to "No Diggity". Priorities for real.

3. Canadian Sprinter Donovan Bailey Runs Pretty Fast Too


Bailey set a world record in the 100 meter sprint. He was probably humming fellow Canadian Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" to himself while he did it. (Between Bailey and Celine's multiple big hits, 1996 had to be Canada's best year ever, right?)

4. Gail Devers and Her Nails Win Gold in the 100

Professional Sport/Popperfoto / Getty Images

Gail's golden nails were LEGIT. I dare you to "Give Me One Reason" they weren't as awesome as Michael Johnson's gold shoes.

6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee Jumps Far Too


Despite a strained hamstring, she wasn't going to finish her final Olympics just "Sittin' Up In My Room". The American track legend finished her Olympic career by gutting out a bronze in the long jump.

7. Amy Van Dyken Wins All the Swimming Medals

Simon Bruty / Getty Images

Nobody had to wait longer to “Exhale” than Amy getting those four gold medals in 1996. Not even Whitney Houston in that movie about waiting to exhale.

8. Muhammad Ali Lights the Olympic Cauldron

Michael Cooper / Via

You actually remember this one! Isn't it "Ironic" that the moment you do remember from the '96 Olympics isn't from the actual competitions? Don't you think?

9. The U.S. Is Really Really Good at Basketball

Though the original Dream Team will "Always Be My Baby", watching the U.S. dominate is always fun and "If It Makes You Happy" it can't be that bad. The Women's team was equally dominant, outscoring their opponents by just nine fewer total points than Dream Team II outscored theirs.

10. The U.S. Wins the First Ever Olympic Gold in Women's Soccer

Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel / Via

No, that wasn't the time Brandi Chastain took her jersey off after winning. That would come a few years later. With this gold the soccer world did start to say "I Love You Always Forever" to Mia Hamm though. (Near and far closer together...everywhere I will be with you...everything I will do for you...)

11. The U.S. Women Win the First Ever Olympic Gold in Softball

Gary Bogdon / ORLANDO SENTINEL / Via

And no, fellas, Jennie Finch wasn't on the team yet. Who was on the team then? The Tony Rich Project would tell you "Nobody Knows". (Dot Richardson hit a two-run homer in the gold medal game to clinch it for America. Take that, Tony Rich.)

12. Beach Volleyball Debuts as an Olympic Sport

America dominated the Men's side, winning gold and silver. Brazil dominated the Women's side, winning gold and silver. A lot of people acted like they had never seen bikinis before, getting more "Twisted" over them than Keith Sweat.

13. Shannon Miller Has Really Really Good Balance


Shannon Miller takes home an individual gold in the balance beam, a feat "Nobody" had accomplished for the U.S. in a non-boycotted Olympics before. (Side note: Was Keith Sweat killing it in '96 or what???)

14. The Bombing at the Olympic Park


Unfortunately, you probably remember this one. Seven years later the bomber who was trying to "Change the World" through his bombings was finally convicted. (Apologies for reminding you of both this tragic event and the movie Phenomenon.)

15. Amanda Beard Wins Three Medals at 14 Years-Old

Doug Mills/Associated Press / Via

The still-in-high-school swimmer was "Just A Girl" when she brought her teddy bear and some "California Love" from home with her to the Olympics, but she ended up taking home a gold and some silvers.

16. Dan O'Brien Recovers From '92 and Wins Decathlon Gold


After destroying those Dan & Dave Reebok commercials by not even making the Olympic team in 1992, Dan decided to "Un-Break My Heart" and redeem himself four years later.

18. Kurt Angle Wins Wrestling Gold


Years before he became a WWE Champion he was an actual World Champion. Of course, the WWE later turned him into a villain, and we all wondered "Who Will Save Your Soul" because professional wrestling is still real to me, damn it.

19. The U.S. Won Some Non-Gold Medals in Some Horse Events


Some people rode a "Pony" or two pretty well. Truly memorable events? Not really, but we couldn't not mention Ginuwine's "Pony". Should we also shoehorn in a Quad City DJ's "C'mon N' Ride It" reference here too? Absolutely!

See you in 20 years when we use Sia's hit "Cheap Thrills" to remember who won the golf gold medals in Rio! Enjoy!

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