Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Alonzo Herndon Stadium, Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Georgia; Panther Stadium, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 20, 1996
Date Finished: August 1, 1996
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to classification round matches.
By the mid-1990s, Australia's Hockeyroos had become the world's premier women's hockey team. At the time of the Atlanta Games, they were defending World Champions and had earned three consecutive Champions Trophies. Coached by Ric Charlesworth, himself a quadruple Olympian and silver medallist, the Australian women were the class of the field. In round-robin play, which involved all eight teams, they remained unbeaten. Only South Korea managed to draw 3-3. These two teams met again in the decider, but this time Australia remained in control. Key player Alyson Annan scored twice, securing a 3-1 win. After their 1988 title, Australia became the first repeat winner in women's hockey. In 2005, Annan married Carole Thate, who played on the third placed Dutch team. The Australian line-up also featured Nova Peris-Kneebone, the first aboriginal Olympic medallist. She later switched to track and field, and competed in the 2000 Olympics as a 400 metre runner.
The Netherlands only won their match against Great Britain after a penalty shootout. Following the winning shot, the celebrating women were joined by Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, which caused a minor controversy back home. Since 1998, the Prince has been a member of the International Olympic Committee.