Cycling Mountain Bike at the 1996 Summer Olympics

Dates 30 – 30 July 1996
Medal Events 2

There were many changes to the cycling program in 1996 with another discipline of cycling added to the program as mountain biking made its Olympic début, with individual cross-country events for both men and women. Mountain biking had become popular in the 1980s with new bikes with thicker, heavier tires, and special shocks.

World Championships were first conducted in 1990 for both men and women. At the World Championships, several different events are contested, notably cross-country and downhill, but only cross-country was added to the Olympic Program.

The 1996 Olympic mountain biking events were held at the Georgia International Horse Park, where the equestrian events were also contested, with the men racing over 48.7 km. and the women over 31.9 km. The initial gold medals in this discipline were won by Italian Paola Pezzo, who would defend her title at Sydney in 2000, and the Netherlands’ Bart Brentjens.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Cross-Country, Men Olympic 30 July 1996 43 26
Cross-Country, Women Olympic 30 July 1996 29 19
72 (43/29) 30 (26/19)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Cross-Country, Men Bart BrentjensNED Thomas FrischknechtSUI Miguel MartinezFRA
Cross-Country, Women Paola PezzoITA Alison SydorCAN Susan DeMatteiUSA

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Italy ITA 1 0 0 1
Netherlands NED 1 0 0 1
Canada CAN 0 1 0 1
Switzerland SUI 0 1 0 1
France FRA 0 0 1 1
United States USA 0 0 1 1