.St.Louis,Missouri-1904 Basketball was played in the III Olympiad as a sport demonstration. The host country’s team received the gold medal.
.Berlin,Germany-1936 The First International Meet was won by America’s national squad, followed by Canada (silver), Mexico (bronze), Poland, Philipppines, Uruguay, Italy, Peru, Japan, Chile, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Estonia, Latvia, China, Egypt and Germany. In the finals, the U.S. team easily bested Canada 19-8 to win the first Olympic gold medal in basketball history.
.London, Great Britain-1948 America’s landslide Olympian
wins in the Olympic Basketball Championship in the United Kingdom.
. The spirit of participation was captured by Iraq’s basketball team, which competed at London despite being one of the world’s worst teams.
.Helsinki, Finland- 1952 The Soviet Union made its official appearance in the Olympics and finished second between the United States (gold) and Uruguay (bronze). A year ago, the Soviet side had won the European Championship in Paris (France), its major international debut.
.Melbourne, Australia – 1956 The Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament was held outside of Europe for the first time.
. Uruguay’s Olympic career in basketball peaked in this year by winning their second consecutive bronze.
. Rome, Italy – 1960 In the Olympiad, the U.S. Men’s basketball team became a top Olympic leader following their consecutive fifth medal in Olympic history.
.Tokyo, Japan – 1964 One of the biggest surprises occurred when the Peruvian squad, coached by America’s Jim McGregor, qualified for the VI Olympic Championship. But that wasn’t all, its international star Ricardo Duarte was the world’s top scorer, ahead of American and European basketball players. To improve their chances in Japan, Peru’s team made a trip to several states of America, playing matches against local squads, including teams of Alaska.
. Puerto Rico’s Olympic career received a big boost when its national side placed fourth.
.Mexico City, Mexico – 1968 Playing as one of the best teams in history, the United States won basketball gold for the seventh time in a row.
.Munich, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) – 1972 During a controversial game, the Soviet Union, with its new star Alexander Belov, defeated the defending champion America, led by Doug Collins, in the finals in the Munich Olympics. However, the American side refused to accept the silver medal. America’s roster also included top players such as Tom McMillen and Kevin Joyce.
. With the support of Soviet coaches, Cuba’s sportsmen went to what was then West Germany to attend the Summer Olympics for the second time in a row. Here, they got bronze.
.Montreal,Quebec,Canada – 1976 Yugoslavia -present-day Serbia- became a powerhouse in men’s basketball when it was runner-up to the United States in the Olympics. The Soviet side was third.
.As result of an African boycott (backed by Egypt’s ruler Anwar Sadat), the Egyptian team dropped out of the tournament.
.Moscow,USSR (now Russia) – 1980 An international boycott, sponsored by the U.S. President Jimmy Carter, affected the Men’s Olympic Tournament on Soviet soil. Because of these reasons, the teams of Argentina, Puerto Rico, and the States were not allowed by their governments to travel to the then Soviet Union.
. At the invitation of the International Olympic Committe (IOC), India competed in the USSR.
. Los Angeles, CA – 1984 In reprisal for the American boycott of Moscow 1980, the Soviet administration did not allow their basketball squad compete in Southern California. As a result of the boycott, the U.S. squad dominated the Olympic competition. Two years earlier, the USSR had defeated the United States to win the FIBA World Champinship in Colombia.
. Seoul, South Korea- 1988 Powerhouses such as Yugoslavia (bronze in the 1986 Global competition), the Soviet Union, (runners-up in the FIBA World Cup in 1986) and the States (Olympic gold medalist in 1988) competing in the global contest.
. To surprise of probably the whole world, the Central African Republic, a country known for its avid Francophile and tyrannical warlords, gained an Olympian berth to take part in the Summer Games. Here, the landlocked nation,one of the world’s six poorest countries, made a good performance when it finished 1oth, among 12 teams. The Central African Republic (CAR) entered competitive basketball when it participated in the 1974 World Championships on Puerto Rico.
. The USSR made a spectacular comeback in the Olympiad to finish first.
. In spite of the skepticism of sportswriters and others experts, the Yugoslav delegation was silver medalist.
.Barcelona, Spain- 1992 Because of the IOC’s decision to allow professional basketball players in the Olympics, the American team’s roster included world-class players who played in National Basketball Association (NBA). In the Spaniard city, the United States had captured the imagination of the multitude with superstars such as Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan.
. French-born American player Dominique Wilkins, one of the most prolific scorers in NBA, was the big absent in the Catalonia region of Spain.
. Making their major-international debut in the Summer Olympics, Croatia, one of Yugoslavia’s six former republics, reached the finals and won the silver.
. The former Soviet player Arvydas Sabonis and their fellow Lithuanian team-mates won the bronze.
. Atlanta, Georgia, America – 1996 Sucessfully, Shaquille O’Neal led the American side to back-to-back Olympic gold medals in men’s basketball. Yugoslavia finished second and Lithuania third.
. Sydney, Australia- 2000 The so-called Dream Team won the gold in the Centennial Games by defeating France 85-75. The Baltic country of Lithuania,an ex republic of the then Soviet Union during Cold War, placed third.
. Athens, Greece- 2004 Emmanuel Ginobili helped transformed Argentina’s national squad from the perennial losers to winners in the Greek Olympiad. Emmanuel David, who has been dubbed “Manu”, Ginobili was widely touted as the long-awaited successor to Oscar Furlong, one of the stars during the 1950 FIBA World Championship. The underdog Argentine team was runner-up to Yugoslavia in the Global championship. Despite being the favorite since 1992, the United States of America did not win the title.
.Beijing, China- 2008 The Chinese Olympic Committee honored Yao Ming’s achivements by nominating him to carry the national flag at the Opening Ceremonies. NBA’s basketball star Yao Ming, who played for Houston Rockets, is one of the greatest male players of the 21st Century.
.The American team got the gold medal.
. London, UK – 2012 Considered a frontrunner from the beginning, the U.S. basketball squad -made up of world-class players from NBA– was declared as the world’s best Olympian team by capturing the gold in London 2012. The States was followed by the Spaniard squad, and Russia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Australia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Tunisia, and the People’s Republic of China (12th, last). In basketball history, America has amassed a total of 14 Olympic golds in the 20th and 21st centuries: Berlin 1936, London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968, Montreal 1976, Los Angeles 1984, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and Beijing 2008.