Host City: Atlanta, United States
Date Started: July 19, 1996
Date Finished: August 2, 1996
Participants: 401 (401 men and 0 women) from 75 countries
Youngest Participant: Tahir Zahidov (17 years, 160 days)
Oldest Participant: Mick Pikos (42 years, 42 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 60 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): United States (8 medals)
The 1996 Olympic wrestling tournaments were held at the Georgia World Congress Center, which hosted multiple sports in Atlanta, including fencing, handball, judo, modern pentathlon fencing and shooting, table tennis, and weightlifting, in addition to wrestling. The Georgia World Congress Center is the fourth-largest convention center in the US, which was opened in 1976. It was also the venue for the International Broadcast Center (IBC) during the Atlanta Olympics.
There was no change in the wrestling program in 1996 with 10 classes in each style, and the same weight limits, including an upper weight limit of 130 kg (286 lbs) for the heaviest class in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. The format within each class was different in 1996, with the competition being decided by single-elimination matches, with classification matches for places 1-8, and a classification tournament to determine the lower places.
For the first time since 1948, a nation besides the USSR (or the Unified Team in 1992) led the Olympic medal lists in wrestling, save for 1984 when the Soviet Union did not compete. The United States won 8 medals, against the Russians 7. Russia won the most gold medals, however, with 4, followed by the USA and Poland, with 3. The US and Russia both won 3 freestyle golds, but the US led with 5 freestyle medals won. Poland led the Greco-Roman medal lists with 5 medals and 3 gold medals.