The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. A record 197 nations, all current IOC member nations, took part in the Games, fielding a total of 10,318 athletes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Olympics and to place them in alternating even-numbered years, beginning with the Winter Olympics in 1994. Thus, the 1996 Summer Games were the first to be staged in a different year from the Winter Games. Atlanta became the fifth American city to host the Olympic Games and the third to host the Summer Olympics. It was also the fourth time the Summer Olympics were hosted in the United States.