Host City: Atlanta, United States
Date Started: July 20, 1996
Date Finished: August 4, 1996
Participants: 275 (141 men and 134 women) from 18 countries
Youngest Participant: Vita Mateshyk (17 years, 159 days)
Oldest Participant: Jeff Stork (36 years, 14 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 67 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 6 countries with 1 medal
In 1996 volleyball was contested in two versions at the Olympics for the first time. Beach volleyball, consisting of two-person teams playing on a sand court, had become quite popular, especially for television. It was added to the Olympic Program in 1996 with events for men and women.
Preliminary games in indoor volleyball were held in Athens, Georgia, but this was not the original choice. The preliminary rounds were first scheduled for Marietta in Cobb County, Georgia. But in August 1994 the Cobb County Commissioners passed a resolution that homosexuality was "incompatible with community standards." A furor arose over allowing Cobb County to hold events while espousing anti-gay legislation, and after protests by multiple groups, the preliminary volleyball matches were moved to Athens.