On this day: Ukrainian and American Olympic Champions

The 29th of July 1996 was the date for many of the gymnastics finals at the Atlanta Olympics.

Lilia Podkopayeva floor exercise 1996 Atlanta Olympics Ukraine Ukrainian

Despite her country struggling to find funds in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian gymnast Lilia Podkopayeva qualified for both the balance beam and floor exercise finals.

Lilia Podkopayeva balance beam 1996 Atlanta Olympics Ukraine Ukrainian

Podkopayeva, aged seventeen, had won the prestigious individual all around gold four days earlier, won the silver medal on beam, and then finished her Olympics with a gold medal for her floor exercise.

millerpod Lilia Podkoayeva Ukraine Shannon Miller USA 1996 balance beam olympic games

Podkopayeva and Miller receive their beam medals.

Podkopayeva would win gold a few hours later.

US gymnast Shannon Miller, a nineteen-year-old national star who came home from the 1992 Olympics with five medals but no gold, won her first individual title on the balance beam.

0643_1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, GA. Shannon miller.

On this day: the opening of the Los Angeles Olympics

84_olympics_ceremonyLos Angeles Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics opened on the 28th of July. The event was heavily boycotted by Eastern Bloc countries including the Soviet Union, in response to the West’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games.

1984_Summer_Olympics_logo_svgGames of the XXIII Olympiad

Los Angeles and Tehran were the only two cities to express an interest in hosting the event, but because of Iran’s political situation, and then the fact it was another country that chose to boycott, Los Angeles became the hosts of the Games by default.

800px-US_Olympics_Team_1984The 1984 U.S. Olympic team march into the Los Angeles Coliseum during the opening ceremony for the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The Olympics were officially opened by US President Ronald Reagan.

On this day: women’s Olympic gymnastics

The gold medal in the 1992 women’s Olympic gymnastics team competition was decided on the 28th of July in Barcelona. The event was won by the Unified Team, made up of countries of the former USSR.

Despite the common misconception all gymnasts on this team were from Russia, only one of the six competitors was.

From left to right are: Rozalia Galiyeva (Uzbekistan), Tatiana Gutsu (Ukraine), Tatiana Lysenko (Ukraine), Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan), Elena Grudneva (Russia), and Svetlana Boginskaya (Belarus).

Rozalia Galiyeva (Uzbekistan) Tatiana Gutsu (Ukraine) Tatiana Lysenko (Ukraine) Oksana Chusovitina (Uzbekistan) Elena Grudneva (Russia) Svetlana Boginskaya (Belarus) Unified Team Women's Gymnastics 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

Tatiana Gutsu would go on to win individual gold, silver and bronze.

Tatiana Gutsu Ukraine 1992 Olmypic gymnastics champion

 Tatiana Lysenko would win an individual gold and bronze.

Tatiana Lysenko Ukraine 1992 Olympic gymnastics champion

Oksana Chusovitina would go on to have a record-breaking career, competing all the way through to the London 2012 Olympics, and winning a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.

oksana_chusovitina_vault_04-2011

The twentieth anniversary of the Atlanta Olympics bombing.

Flags fly at half-mast at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics after two were killed and 111 injured in a bombing for an anti-abortion and anti-gay agenda.

Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USA was bombed on the 27th of July, 1996. Two people were killed and 111 injured when Eric Robert Rudolph placed a US military pack containing three pipe bombs surrounded by nails in the so-called “town square” of the Olympic venue.

He later said he committed the attack because he didn’t agree with women having the right to abortion.

Atlanta_Olympic_Park_Bomb_AftermathFlags fly at half-mast at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics after two were killed and 111 injured in a bombing for an anti-abortion and anti-gay agenda.

Rudolph later confessed to the bombings of women’s health clinics and gay bars.