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Basketball at the Summer Olympics
Basketball
Governing body FIBA
Events 2 (men: 1; women: 1)
Games
1896 1900 1904 1908 1912 1920
1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952
1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976
1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000
2004 2008
Note: demonstration sport years indicated in italics
Medalists

Men's Basketball has been played consistently at the Summer Olympic Games since 1936, with demonstration events in 1904 and 1924. The United States men's basketball team won all of the gold medals in the men's competition from 1936 to 1968. The Olympics included women starting in 1976. The USA women's national basketball team won the silver medal at the 1976 Olympics, a bronze medal in 1992, and a gold medal at all other competitions.

Winning the Olympics is considered to be the highest honor in international basketball, followed by the World Championships of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for men and women and the respective intercontinental championships.

Contents

History

Basketball was invented by the Canadian-American James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. Within a few decades, the new game became popular throughout the United States as an indoor sport. The popularity spread overseas and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) was organized in 1932 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thanks in part to the work of Phog Allen[1][2] (Kansas Jayhawks collegiate coach), the FIBA organized the first Olympic basketball tournament in the 1936 Summer Olympics at Berlin as an outdoor tournament. Dr. Naismith presented the medals to the top three teams. In keeping up with the Olympic tradition, all of the competitors were amateurs, and FIBA introduced the indoor game in the 1948 Summer Olympics. The Americans proved its dominance, winning all of the Olympic tournaments until the 1972 Summer Olympics when the Soviet Union national basketball team won in the gold-medal game in highly controversial circumstances. The Americans refused to receive their silver medals and the IOC still possesses them.

The Americans reclaimed the gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics but with the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott, the Yugoslavia national basketball team became the first team coming outside the USA or the USSR to win the title after beating the Soviets in the semifinals. The Yugoslavs would later lose their gold medal to the Americans in the 1984 Summer Olympics, with the Soviets boycotting. In 1988, with the Americans sending in a young team, the Soviets reclaimed the gold medal, beating the Yugoslavs in the gold medal game.

In 1989, FIBA through the leadership of Borislav Stanković, approved the rule in which professionals were allowed to compete in international tournaments, including the Olympics. In the next Olympics, the United States debuted their "Dream Team" and won the gold medal without calling a time out. Their new-found dominance ended in 2004 Summer Olympics in which they were beaten in the semifinals by Argentina enroute to their first gold medal. However, in 2008, the United States defeated Spain to reclaim Olympic gold, and their first in any major international tournament since the 2000 Olympics.

Venues

All venues were indoor stadiums except for the 1936 tournament which was held outdoors on tennis courts.

Qualifying

Teams qualify according to the FIBA Zone they are affiliated with. The distribution of the different FIBA Zones is as follows, for the 2008 tournament:

Zone Men Women
FIBA Africa 1 1
FIBA Americas 2 1
FIBA Asia 1 1
FIBA Europe 2 1
FIBA Oceania 1 1
Wildcards 3 5
Host 1 1
World Champion 1 1
Total 12 12

The wildcards qualify via another qualifying tournament a few weeks before the Olympics. The best teams which did not qualify automatically from each zone compete for the remaining berths.

Men's tournaments

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold medalist Score Silver medalist Bronze medalist Score Fourth place
1936
details
Berlin
USA
19-8
Canada

Mexico
26-12
Poland
1948
details
London
USA
65-21
France

Brazil
52-47
Mexico
1952
details
Helsinki
USA
36-25
Soviet Union

Uruguay
68-59
Argentina
1956
details
Melbourne
USA
89-55
Soviet Union

Uruguay
71-62
France
1960
details
Rome
USA
No playoffs
Soviet Union

Brazil
No playoffs
Italy
1964
details
Tokyo
USA
73-59
Soviet Union

Brazil
76-60
Puerto Rico
1968
details
Mexico City
USA
65-50
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
70-53
Brazil
1972
details
Munich
Soviet Union
51-50
USA

Cuba
66-65
Italy
1976
details
Montreal
USA
95-74
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
100-72
Canada
1980
details
Moscow
Yugoslavia
86-77 Olympic flag.svg
Italy

Soviet Union
117-94 Olympic flag.svg
Spain
1984
details
Los Angeles
USA
96-65
Spain

Yugoslavia
88-82
Canada
1988
details
Seoul
Soviet Union
76-63
Yugoslavia

USA
78-49
Australia
1992
details
Barcelona
USA
117-85
Croatia

Lithuania
82-78 Olympic flag.svg
Unified Team
1996
details
Atlanta
USA
95-69
Yugoslavia

Lithuania
80-74
Australia
2000
details
Sydney
USA
85-75
France

Lithuania
89-71
Australia
2004
details
Athens
Argentina
84-69
Italy

USA
104-96
Lithuania
2008
details
Beijing
USA
118-107
Spain

Argentina
87-75
Lithuania
2012
details
London

Medal table, men

Top finishes of countries that played in the men's tournament of Olympic basketball.
 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  USA 13 1 2 16
2  Soviet Union 2 4 3 9
3  Yugoslavia 1 3 1 5
4  Argentina 1 0 1 2
5  France 0 2 0 2
 Italy 0 2 0 2
 Spain 0 2 0 2
8  Canada 0 1 0 1
 Croatia 0 1 0 1
 FR Yugoslavia 0 1 0 1
11  Brazil 0 0 3 3
 Lithuania 0 0 3 3
13  Uruguay 0 0 2 2
14  Cuba 0 0 1 1
 Mexico 0 0 1 1

Performance per federation

Participating nations

Nation 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Angola A 10th 11th 12th 12th 12th 5
 Argentina 15th 4th 9th 1st 3rd 5
 Australia 12th 9th 9th 8th 8th 7th 4th 6th 4th 4th 9th 7th 12
 Belgium 19th 11th 17th 3
 Brazil 9th 3rd 6th 6th 3rd 3rd 4th 7th 5th 9th 5th 5th 6th 13
 Bulgaria 7th 5th 16th 10th 4
 Canada 2nd 9th 9th 9th 14th 4th 4th 6th 7th 9
 Central African Republic A 10th 1
 Chile 9th 6th 5th 8th 4
 China A A 10th 11th 12th 8th 10th 8th 8th 7
 Chinese TaipeiB 15th 18th 11th 3
 Croatia C 2nd 7th 6th 3
Nation 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Cuba 13th 9th 11th 3rd 7th 6th 6
 Czechoslovakia 9th 7th 9th 5th 8th 6th 9th A 7
 Egypt 15th 19th 9th 16th 12th 12th 12th 7
 Estonia 9th D 1
 Finland 9th 11th 2
 France 19th 2nd 8th 4th 10th 11th 2nd 7
 GermanyE 15th 12th 8th 7th 10th 5
 Great Britain 20th 1
 Greece 17th 5th 5th 5th 4
 Hungary 16th 9th 9th 13th 4
 India 12th 1
 Iran 14th 11th 2
Nation 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Iraq 22nd 1
 Ireland 23rd 1
 Israel A 17th 1
 Italy 7th 17th 17th 4th 5th 8th 4th 5th 2nd 5th 5th 2nd 12
 Japan 9th 10th 15th 10th 14th 11th 6
 Korea A 8th 14th 16th 14th 9th 12th 6
 Latvia 15th D 1
 Lithuania D 3rd 3rd 3rd 4th 4th 5
 Mexico 3rd 4th 9th 12th 12th 5th 10th 7
 Morocco A 16th 1
 New Zealand 11th 10th 2
 Panama 12th 1
Nation 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Peru 8th 10th 15th 3
 Philippines 5th 12th 9th 7th 11th 13th 13th 7
 Poland 4th 7th 6th 6th 10th 7th 6
 Puerto Rico A 13th 4th 9th 6th 9th 7th 8th 10th 6th 9
 Romania 17th 1
 Russia A D F 8th 9th 2
 Senegal A 15th 15th 11th 3
 Serbia and MontenegroH G 2nd 6th 11th 3
 Singapore A 13th I 1
 Soviet Union A 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 1st 3rd 3rd 1st F A 9
 Spain 14th 7th 11th 4th 2nd 8th 9th 9th 7th 2nd 10
 Sweden 10th 1
Nation 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Switzerland 9th 21st 17th 3
 Thailand A 15th 1
 Turkey 19th 17th 2
Unified Team A 4th A 1
 USA 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd* 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 3rd 1st 16
 Uruguay 6th 5th 3rd 3rd 8th 8th 6th 7
 Venezuela 11th 1
 Yugoslavia 6th 7th 2nd 5th 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd A 8
Nations 21 23 23 15 16 16 16 16 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

Notes

A NOC was not member of IOC
B as Republic of China China from 1936-56
C part of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia from 1936-1988
D competed as part of Soviet Union Soviet Union from 1952-88
E as West Germany West Germany from 1968-88
F part of Unified Team in 1992
G now Serbia Serbia, as Yugoslavia Yugoslavia from 1992-2002
H part of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia from 1936-1988
I part of Malaysia Malaysia in 1964

Unofficial or demonstration tournament winners

Women's tournaments

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold medalist Score Silver medalist Bronze medalist Score Fourth place
1976
details
Montreal
Soviet Union
No playoffs
USA

Bulgaria
No playoffs
Poland
1980
details
Moscow
Soviet Union
104-73
Bulgaria

Yugoslavia
68-65
Hungary
1984
details
Los Angeles
USA
85-55
Korea

China
63-57
Canada
1988
details
Seoul
USA
77-70
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
68-53
Australia
1992
details
Barcelona Olympic flag.svg
Unified Team
76-66
China

USA
88-74
Cuba
1996
details
Atlanta
USA
111-87
Brazil

Australia
66-56
Ukraine
2000
details
Sydney
USA
76-54
Australia

Brazil
84-73
Korea
2004
details
Athens
USA
74-63
Australia

Russia
71-62
Brazil
2008
details
Beijing
USA
92-65
Australia

Russia
94-81
China

Medal table, women

Top finishes of countries that played in women's Olympic basketball

.

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 6 1 1 8
2  Soviet Union (URS) 2 0 1 3
3  Unified Team (EUN) 1 0 0 1
4  Australia (AUS) 0 3 1 4
5  Brazil (BRA) 0 1 1 2
 Bulgaria (BUL) 0 1 1 2
 China (CHN) 0 1 1 2
 Yugoslavia (YUG) 0 1 1 2
9  South Korea (KOR) 0 1 0 1
10  Russia (RUS) 0 0 2 2

Performance per federation

Participating nations

Nation 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Australia 5th 4th 6th 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 7
 Brazil 7th 2nd 3rd 4th 11th 5
 Belarus B C 6th 1
 Bulgaria 3rd 2nd 5th 3
 Canada 6th 4th 11th 10th 4
 China A 4th 3rd 6th 2nd 9th 9th 4th 7
 Cuba 5th 4th 6th 9th 4
 Czech Republic D 5th 7th 2
 France 5th 1
 Greece 7th 1
 Hungary 4th 1
 Italy 6th 8th 8th 3
 Japan 5th 7th 10th 3
Nation 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
 Korea 2nd 7th 10th 4th 12th 8th 6
 Latvia B 9th 1
 Mali 12th 1
 New Zealand 11th 8th 10th 3
 Nigeria 11th 1
 Poland 4th 8th 1
 Russia B C 5th 6th 3rd 3rd 4
 Senegal 12th 1
 Slovak Republic D 7th 4
 Soviet Union 1st 1st 3rd C A 3
 Spain 5th 6th 5th 3
 Ukraine B C 4th 4
Nation 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 Years
Unified Team A 1st A 1
 USA 2nd 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 8
 Yugoslavia 3rd 6th 2nd A 3
 DR CongoE 12th 1
Nations 6 6 6 8 8 12 12 12 12

Notes

A NOC was not member of IOC
B competed as part of Soviet Union Soviet Union from 1952-88
C part of Unified Team in 1992
D part of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia from 1920-92
E as Zaire Zaire from 1984-96

Notes

References


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