Azerbaijan made its first Olympic appearance at the 1996 Atlanta Games, having previously competed for the Soviet Union and the Unified Team.
Namik ABDULLAEYEV won Azerbaijan's first Olympic medal, a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Games. Four years later, he won gold to become the first Azerbaijani man to win an Olympic title. The honour of winning the country's first Olympic gold medal went to shooter, Zemfira MEFTAKHETDINOVA, when she finished first in the women's skeet event in Sydney.
Wrestling again proved a source of success for Azerbaijan in 2004, with Farid MANSUROV winning gold in the men's Greco-Roman lightweight division, while in 2008 the nation won seven medals – a gold, two silver and four bronze. Once more, wrestling was Azerbaijan’s stand out sport, bringing two silver and two bronze medals.