Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Lake Sidney Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia
Date Started: July 21, 1996
Date Finished: July 27, 1996
Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent were the defending Olympic champions in the men’s coxless pairs, gold medalists at the last four World Championships, and winners of four of the last six Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cups at the Henley Royal Regatta. They were the overwhelming favorites for the event at the 1996 Summer Olympics, although they were not absolutely dominant at the Games. The duo won their heats in both the opening round and the semi-finals, but with times slower than the other heat winners, which was a likely a tactic to conserve their strength. In the final, they met legitimate challenges from Australians David Weightman and Robert Scott, World bronze and silver medalists in 1995 and 1994 respectively, and France’s Michel Andrieux and Jean-Christophe Rolland, the 1995 third-place finishers, but in the end were the superior rowers and successfully defended their crown. Australia and France finished second and third respectively, far ahead of the rest of the field.