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Basketball at the Summer Olympics

 

Basketball at the Summer Olympics

Basketball at the Summer Olympics
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 2012 2016
Note: demonstration sport years indicated in italics
Medalists

Basketball at the Summer Olympics has been a sport for men consistently since 1936. Prior to its inclusion as a medal sport, basketball was held as demonstration event in 1904. Women's basketball has been played in the Summer Olympics since its first appearance in 1976.

The United States is by far the most successful country in Olympic basketball. United States men's teams won 14 of 17 tournaments they participated in, including seven successive titles from 1936 to 1968. United States women's teams won 7 titles out of 9 participations, including five in a row from 1996 to 2012.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Early American dominance 1.1
    • Munich and after 1.2
    • Professional era 1.3
    • Women 1.4
  • Venues 2
  • Qualifying 3
  • Men's tournaments 4
  • Performance by confederation 5
    • Participating nations 5.1
      • Notes 5.1.1
  • Women's tournaments 6
    • Performance by confederation 6.1
      • Participating nations 6.1.1
  • Medal table 7
    • Total 7.1
    • Medal table, men 7.2
    • Medal table, women 7.3
      • Notes 7.3.1
  • Win-loss records 8
    • Men's tournament 8.1
    • Women's tournament 8.2
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11

History

Geneva, Switzerland.

Early American dominance

Thanks in part to the effort of 1936 Summer Olympics at Berlin on outdoor tennis courts. Dr. Naismith presented the medals to the top three teams. According to the Olympic rules of that time, all of the competitors were amateurs. The tournament was held indoors for the first time in 1948. The American team proved its dominance, winning the first seven Olympic tournaments until 1968 without losing a single game. While the Americans were barred from sending a team that contained players from the professional National Basketball Association, they instead sent in college players; teams from other countries sent in their best players as their players were classified as "amateur" by FIBA by earning allowances instead of wages.

Munich and after

The United States winning streak ended in 1972, when the Soviet Union beat them in the gold-medal game in highly controversial circumstances. The Americans refused to receive their silver medals and they have been kept in IOC possession ever since.

The Americans reclaimed the gold medal in 1976, with Yugoslavia, which had beaten the Soviet Union in the semifinal, runner-up for the second time. In 1980, with the Americans' absence due to the boycott, Yugoslavia became the third team to win the title after beating the Soviets anew in the semifinals and Italy in the final. The United States regained the title in 1984, beating Spain in the final, with the Soviets boycotting this time. The Soviets won the gold medal for the second time in 1988, after beating the Americans for the second time in the semifinal, and the Yugoslavs in the gold medal game.

Professional era

In 1989, through the leadership of President Borislav Stanković, FIBA approved the rule that allowed NBA players to compete in international tournaments, including the Olympics. In the next Olympics in 1992, the "Dream Team" won the gold medal with an average winning margin of 44 points, and without calling a time out. By this time, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia no longer existed, but their successors continued to be among the leading forces. Two newly independent countries, Croatia and Lithuania, won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The United States repeated its victory in 1996 and 2000, but its performance was not as successful as in 1992. Since active NBA players have been allowed to compete in the Summer Olympics, the 1996 Games in Atlanta is the only instance where the Olympic host city also had a home NBA team—the Hawks. Yugoslavia was the runner-up in Atlanta, and France in Sydney, with Lithuania winning bronze again on both occasions.

The renewed dominance of the United States was interrupted in 2004 when the Americans barely made it to the semifinal after losing to Puerto Rico and Lithuania in the preliminaries; Argentina defeated them in the semifinals, on their way to a gold medal finish, where they beat Italy in the final and became the fourth team to win the Olympic title.

The Americans regrouped in 2008, beating world champions Spain in an intense gold medal game, with the Argentinians beating the Lithuanians in the bronze medal game. The Americans and the Spaniards met again in the 2012 gold medal game, with the Americans again winning, although with the closest winning margin for the Americans.

Women

The first women's tournament was in 1976. The Soviet Union won against five other teams. The next two tournaments followed the six-team round-robin format, with the Soviet defending their title in 1980, and the United States winning in 1984 against the South Koreans amidst the Soviet-led boycott. In 1988, the tournament expanded into eight teams, with the Americans beating Yugoslavia in the gold medal game. In 1992, after the demise of the USSR, the Unified Team won against China in the gold medal game. At 1996, the tournament settled into its current 12-team format; the United States won all of the tournaments since then, winning 40 consecutive games.

Venues

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

NOTE: The O2 Arena was known as the North Greenwich Arena during the games due to Olympics regulations regarding corporate sponsorship of event sites.

Qualifying

As of 2012, the qualifying process consists of three stages:

  1. 1 team (for each gender) qualifies as the reigning world champion.
  2. 7 teams for men and 5 for women qualify through their respective regional championships.
  3. 3 teams for men and 5 for women qualify through a world qualifying tournament, in which the best teams which did not qualify directly from each zone compete for the remaining berths.

Additionally, the teams of the host nation qualify automatically.

Zone Men Women
World Championship 1 1
African championship 1 1
Americas championship 2 1
Asia championship 1 1
Europe championship 2 1
Oceania championship 1 1
World qualifying tournament 3 5
Host Nation 1 1
Total 12 12

Men's tournaments

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold Medalists Score Silver Medalists Bronze Medalists Score 4th place
1936
Details

Berlin

United States
19–8
Canada

Mexico
26–12
Poland
1948
Details

London

United States
65–21
France

Brazil
52–47
Mexico
1952
Details

Helsinki

United States
36–25
Soviet Union

Uruguay
68–59
Argentina
1956
Details

Melbourne

United States
89–55
Soviet Union

Uruguay
71–62
France
1960
Details

Rome

United States
No playoffs
Soviet Union

Brazil
No playoffs
Italy
1964
Details

Tokyo

United States
73–59
Soviet Union

Brazil
76–60
Puerto Rico
1968
Details

Mexico City

United States
65–50
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
70–53
Brazil
1972
Details

Munich

Soviet Union
51–50
United States

Cuba
66–65
Italy
1976
Details

Montreal

United States
95–74
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
100–72
Canada
1980
Details

Moscow

Yugoslavia
86–77
Italy

Soviet Union
117–94
Spain
1984
Details

Los Angeles

United States
96–65
Spain

Yugoslavia
88–82
Canada
1988
Details

Seoul

Soviet Union
76–63
Yugoslavia

United States
78–49
Australia
1992
Details

Barcelona

United States
117–85
Croatia

Lithuania
82–78
Unified Team
1996
Details

Atlanta

United States
95–69
Yugoslavia

Lithuania
80–74
Australia
2000
Details

Sydney

United States
85–75
France

Lithuania
89–71
Australia
2004
Details

Athens

Argentina
84–69
Italy

United States
104–96
Lithuania
2008
Details

Beijing

United States
118–107
Spain

Argentina
87–75
Lithuania
2012
Details

London

United States
107–100
Spain

Russia
81–77
Argentina
2016
Details

Rio de Janeiro

Performance by confederation

This is a summary of the best performances of each confederation in each tournament.

Confederation 1936
1948
1952
1956
1960
1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
2016
FIBA Africa 15th–18th 19th 9th–16th -- -- -- 15th 15th 12th 11th 12th 10th 10th 11th 12th 12th 12th 10th
FIBA Americas 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 5th 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
FIBA Asia 5th 8th 9th–16th 7th 11th 10th 13th 13th 11th 12th 10th 9th 12th 8th 10th 8th 8th 12th
FIBA Europe 4th 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
FIBA Oceania -- -- -- 12th -- 9th -- 9th 8th 8th 7th 4th 6th 4th 4th 9th 7th 7th

Participating nations

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

Notes

^A NOC was not member of IOC
^B as China from 1936–56
^C part of Yugoslavia from 1936–1988
^D competed as part of Soviet Union from 1952–88
^E as West Germany from 1968–88
^F part of Unified Team in 1992
^G now Serbia, as  Yugoslavia from 1936–1991,  Yugoslavia from 1992–2002 and  Serbia and Montenegro from 2003–2006
^H part of Yugoslavia from 1936–1988
^I part of Malaysia in 1964

Women's tournaments

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold Medalists Score Silver Medalists Bronze Medalists Score 4th place
1976
Details

Montreal

Soviet Union
No playoffs
United States

Bulgaria
No playoffs
Czechoslovakia
1980
Details

Moscow

Soviet Union
104–73
Bulgaria

Yugoslavia
68–65
Hungary
1984
Details

Los Angeles

United States
85–55
South Korea

China
63–57
Canada
1988
Details

Seoul

United States
77–70
Yugoslavia

Soviet Union
68–53
Australia
1992
Details

Barcelona

Unified Team
76–66
China

United States
88–74
Cuba
1996
Details

Atlanta

United States
111–87
Brazil

Australia
66–56
Ukraine
2000
Details

Sydney

United States
76–54
Australia

Brazil
84–73
South Korea
2004
Details

Athens

United States
74–63
Australia

Russia
71–62
Brazil
2008
Details

Beijing

United States
92–65
Australia

Russia
94–81
China
2012
Details

London

United States
86–50
France

Australia
83–74
Russia
2016
Details

Rio de Janeiro

Performance by confederation

This is a summary of the best performances of each confederation in each tournament.

Confederation 1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
2016
FIBA Africa  –  –  –  –  – 12th 12th 11th 12th 12th
FIBA Americas 2nd 5th 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
FIBA Asia 5th  – 2nd 6th 2nd 7th 4th 9th 4th 5th
FIBA Europe 1st 1st 6th 2nd 1st 4th 5th 3rd 3rd 2nd
FIBA Oceania  –  – 5th 4th  – 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd

Participating nations

Nation 76
80
84
88
92
96
00
04
08
12
Years
 Angola 12th 1
 Australia 5th 4th 6th 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 8
 Brazil 7th 2nd 3rd 4th 11th 9th 5
 Belarus 6th 1
 Bulgaria 3rd 2nd 5th 3
 Canada 6th 4th 11th 10th 8th 4
 China 3rd 6th 2nd 9th 9th 4th 6th 7
 Croatia 10th 1
 Cuba 5th 4th 6th 9th 4
 Czechoslovakia 4th 1
 Czech Republic 5th 7th 7th 2
 France 5th 2nd 2
 Great Britain 11th 1
 Greece 7th 1
Nation 76
80
84
88
92
96
00
04
08
12
Years
 Hungary 4th 1
 Italy 6th 8th 8th 3
 Japan 5th 7th 10th 3
 Korea 2nd 7th 10th 4th 12th 8th 6
 Latvia 9th 1
 Mali 12th 1
 New Zealand 11th 8th 10th 3
 Nigeria 11th 1
 Poland 8th 1
 Russia 5th 6th 3rd 3rd 4th 5
 Senegal 12th 1
 Slovakia 7th 4
 Soviet Union 1st 1st 3rd 3
Nation 76
80
84
88
92
96
00
04
08
12
Years
 Spain 5th 6th 5th 3
 Turkey 5th 1
 Ukraine 4th 4
Unified Team 1st 1
 United States 2nd 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 9
 Yugoslavia 3rd 6th 2nd 3
 DR Congo 12th 1
Nations 6 6 6 8 8 12 12 12 12 12

Medal table

Total

Countries ranked by total medals won (men's and women's).

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 21 2 3 26
2  Soviet Union 4 4 4 12
3  Yugoslavia /  Yugoslavia 1 5 2 8
4  Argentina 1 0 1 2
5  Unified Team (EUN) 1 0 0 1
6  Australia 0 3 2 5
7  Spain 0 3 0 3
 France 0 3 0 3
9  Italy 0 2 0 2
10  Brazil 0 1 4 5
11  Bulgaria 0 1 1 2
 China 0 1 1 2
13  Croatia 0 1 0 1
 South Korea 0 1 0 1
 Canada 0 1 0 1
16  Lithuania 0 0 3 3
 Russia 0 0 3 3
18  Uruguay 0 0 2 2
19  Cuba 0 0 1 1
 Mexico 0 0 1 1
Total 28 28 28 84
  • Soviet Union (as of 1992) and Yugoslavia (as of 2006) are defunct. No team carried over the records of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Medal table, men

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 14 1 2 17
2  Soviet Union 2 4 3 9
3  Yugoslavia/ Yugoslavia 1 4 1 6
4  Argentina 1 0 1 2
5  Spain 0 3 0 3
6  France 0 2 0 2
 Italy 0 2 0 2
8  Croatia 0 1 0 1
 Canada 0 1 0 1
10  Brazil 0 0 3 3
 Lithuania 0 0 3 3
12  Uruguay 0 0 2 2
13  Cuba 0 0 1 1
 Mexico 0 0 1 1
 Russia 0 0 1 1
Total 18 18 18 54
  • Soviet Union (as of 1992) and Yugoslavia (as of 2006) are defunct. No team carried over the records of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Medal table, women

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 7 1 1 9
2  Soviet Union 2 0 1 3
3  Unified Team (EUN) 1 0 0 1
4  Australia 0 3 2 5
5  Brazil 0 1 1 2
 Bulgaria 0 1 1 2
 China 0 1 1 2
 Yugoslavia 0 1 1 2
9  France 0 1 0 1
 South Korea 0 1 0 1
11  Russia 0 0 2 2
Total 10 10 10 30

Notes

^A NOC was not member of IOC
^B competed as part of Soviet Union from 1952–88
^C part of Unified Team in 1992
^D part of Czechoslovakia from 1920–92
^E as Zaire from 1984–96
^F part of Yugoslavia from 1976–1988
  • Soviet Union (as of 1992) and Yugoslavia (as of 2006) are defunct. No team carried over the records of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Win-loss records

Men's tournament

Team Games played Wins Losses Winning percentage
 Angola 31 3 28 .097
 Argentina 47 29 18 .617
 Australia 97 47 50 .485
 Belgium 13 6 7 .462
 Brazil 107 62 45 .579
 Bulgaria 33 16 17 .485
 Canada 66 36 30 .545
 Central African Republic 7 2 5 .286
 Chile 26 12 14 .462
 China 45 7 38 .155
 Chinese Taipei 28 16 12 .571
 Croatia 22 13 9 .591
 Cuba 45 22 23 .489
 Czechoslovakia 46 23 23 .500
 Egypt 44 6 38 .136
 Estonia 3 1 2 .333
 Finland 12 4 8 .333
 France 54 28 26 .519
 Germany 34 10 24 .294
 Great Britain 13 2 11 .154
 Greece 24 13 11 .542
 Hungary 33 14 19 .424
 India 7 0 7 .000
 Iran 12 2 10 .167
 Iraq 7 0 7 .000
 Ireland 6 0 6 .000
 Israel 2 0 2 .000
 Italy 91 54 37 .593
 Japan 41 11 30 .268
 South Korea 47 8 39 .170
 Latvia 3 1 2 .333
 Lithuania 46 29 17 .630
 Mexico 49 26 23 .531
 Morocco 9 0 9 .000
 New Zealand 12 2 10 .167
 Nigeria 5 1 4 .200
 Panama 9 2 7 .222
 Peru 22 9 13 .409
 Philippines 52 25 27 .481
 Poland 49 23 26 .469
 Puerto Rico 72 34 38 .472
 Romania 2 0 2 .000
 Russia 20 10 10 .500
 Senegal 24 2 22 .083
 Serbia 27 15 12 .556
 Singapore 7 2 5 .286
 Soviet Union 74 61 13 .824
 Spain 87 47 40 .540
 Sweden 7 3 4 .429
  Switzerland 13 4 9 .308
 Thailand 7 0 7 .000
 Tunisia 5 0 5 .000
 Turkey 4 0 4 .000
Unified Team 8 5 3 .625
 United States 135 130 5 .963
 Uruguay 56 29 27 .518
 Venezuela 7 2 5 .286
 Yugoslavia 60 48 12 .758

Women's tournament

Team Pld Wins Losses Winning percentage
 Angola 5 0 5 0.000
 Australia 50 35 15 0.700
 Brazil 39 19 20 0.487
 Belarus 6 2 4 0.333
 Bulgaria 16 10 6 0.625
 Canada 30 7 23 0.233
 China 43 21 22 0.488
 Croatia 5 1 4 0.200
 Cuba 24 9 15 0.375
 Czechoslovakia 15 3 12 0.200
 Czech Republic 19 8 11 0.421
 France 15 12 3 0.800
 Great Britain 5 0 5 0.000
 Greece 7 3 4 0.429
 Hungary 6 2 4 0.333
 Italy 18 3 15 0.167
 Japan 19 6 13 0.316
 South Korea 38 15 23 0.395
 Latvia 5 1 4 0.200
 Mali 5 0 5 0.000
 New Zealand 18 4 14 0.222
 Nigeria 6 1 5 0.167
 Poland 7 3 4 0.429
 Russia 39 25 14 0.641
 Senegal 6 0 6 0.000
 Slovakia 7 3 4 0.429
 Soviet Union 16 14 2 0.875
 Spain 18 10 8 0.556
 Turkey 6 4 2 0.667
 Ukraine 8 4 4 0.500
Unified Team 5 4 1 0.800
 United States 61 58 3 0.951
 Yugoslavia 16 8 8 0.500
 DR Congo 7 0 7 0.000

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Before They Were Giants
  2. ^ Basketball Hall of Fame – Phog Allen

References

  • 2012 London Olympic Basketball Tournament Coverage by fiba.com
  • Olympic Basketball Medal count by fiba.com
  • All-time men's results
  • All-time women's results
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