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The last time Martina Hingis played at the Olympics, the world looked like a very different place

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The Swiss Miss was No. 1 in the Singles and is currently the No. 1 Doubles player with Sania Mirza. She will represent Switzerland at Rio.

Martina Hingis then and now 2016
Then and now: Martina Hingis has maintained some absolutely stellar form over the years

Doubles World No. 1 Martina Hingis will be playing in her first Olympic games since her Olympic debut in 1996, where she finished in the second round of the singles.

She will be returning to the Olympics after a two-decade hiatus.

Here’s a look at 10 things that happened in 1996, which was the last time Martina Hingis played in the Olympics:

#1 Macarena was the top hit!

Now an iconic pop hit, Macarena ruled the charts in 1996, when it first came out. Still played at most occasions worldwide, Macarena was originally written and released a few years prior, but the version most of us know today was remade by the band in 1996.

Bet you didn’t know the song is about a woman...named Macarena.

#2 The Dunblane Massacre

A deranged gunman opened fire on a school in Scotland, killing and wounding several, including young children. Their headteacher and a number of young schoolgoers were killed.

One of the survivors of that massacre?

World No 2, Andy Murray.

#3 Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced

The Royal Couple, who had been married since 1980, parted ways in 1996 after an unhappy marriage; Diana would pass away in a car crash in Paris the following year, leaving behind Princes William and Harry.

#4 DVDs were launched for the first time

After VHS and laser discs, the world saw a massive shift in technology as Digital Video Discs or DVDs were launched for the first time in Japan. That meant viewers would no longer have to use bulky video cassettes.

Now, of course, DVDs have been obsolete for a number of years as users source film content online instead.

#5 The Spice Girls had their first Number 1 hit: Wannabe

The song is now considered an anthem for girl power, and back in 1996 was the first big hit for British pop phenomenon the Spice Girls, who have since branched their own ways, but are still considered a definitive force in pop music history.

#6 Independence Day had just released

Now considered iconic in the science fiction genre, the blockbuster had just come out in July 1996. About the invasion of an extraterrestrial race and how the USA worked to prevent it taking over humanity, the movie would end as 1996’s highest grosser.

It was also one of Will Smith’s earliest big Hollywood film roles.

Now, Smith is one of the most prominent actors in the industry – and also one of its highest paid.

#7 Charkhi Dadri

The world’s deadliest mid-air collision, the Charkhi Dadri incident occured over the location in Haryana, India in 1996. A Saudi Arabian Airlines 737-100B was en route from New Delhi to Saudi Arabia, while a Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin II-76 chartered by a Kazakh firm, was en route into the capital from Chimkent, Kazakhstan.

Tragically, safety systems were not in place to indicate to either flight that the Kazakh Air ascent – and the Saudi Arabian Airlines descent – put the planes on a direct collision course.

It is sitll considered the worst aviation accident in Indian history, and one of the most tragic worldwide.

Every passenger on either plane – 349 in total – perished in the incident.

#8 Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly made their Test debut

India took a tour of England in 1996, captained by Mohammed Azharuddin against Michael Atherton’s home side. That tour saw a number of ODI matches in addition to three Tests – and a number of names who made their test debuts during this series would go on to become icons of the game, and not just in India.

Two players – named Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly – made their Test debuts in the second Test at the prestigious Lord’s.

Both players would become integral to India’s batting attack – and both were future Test captains.

#9 1996 saw India’s first and only Olympic tennis medal

Indian tennis legend Leander Paes remains the only player to have ever won a tennis medal for India. The doubles icon, a former World No. 1, is regarded as one of the best doubles players of all time – but his Olympic medal was in the singles!

It would be Andre Agassi who won gold that year, but Paes made his mark on the singles just as he has in the doubles over the yeaer.

He, and Martina Hingis, with whom he has already won 4 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, will both be playing in the 2016 Olympics, although Hinigis will only play the women’s doubles after the withdrawal of mixed doubles partner Roger Federer, following whom Stan Wawrinka has also withdrawn, leaving no male player in the Swiss Olympic draw.

#10 Martina Hingis became the youngest ever player to win a title at Wimbledon

Although she would also become the youngest women’s singles winner at the Championships in 1997, Hingis had already won a Grand Slam in 1996. Participating in the doubles with Czech ace Helena Sukova, Hingis won the women’s doubles trophy in 1996, beating Latvia’s Larisa Neiland and partner Meredith McGrath.


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