1996 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXVI Olympiad
1996 Summer Olympics logo.svg
Host city Atlanta, United States
MottoThe Celebration of the Century
Nations197
Athletes10,320 (6,797 men, 3,523 women)
Events271 in 26 sports (37 disciplines)
Opening 19 July
Closing 4 August
Opened by
Cauldron
Stadium Centennial Olympic Stadium
Summer
Barcelona 1992 Sydney 2000
Winter
Lillehammer 1994 Nagano 1998

The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, commonly known as Atlanta 1996, and also referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, [2] [3] [4] were an international multi-sport event that was held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. These Games, which were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, marked the centenary of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens—the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. They were also the first since 1924 to be held in a different year from a Winter Olympics, under a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years.

A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly) nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of international significance is the modern Olympic Games.

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital of, and the most populous city in, the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 38th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages.

Contents

More than 10,000 athletes from 197 National Olympic Committees competed in 26 sports, including the Olympic debuts of beach volleyball, mountain biking, and softball, as well as the new disciplines of lightwight rowing and women's football (soccer). 24 countries made their Summer Olympic debut in Atlanta, including eleven former Soviet republics (who competed in 1992 under the Olympic flag as the Unified Team) participating for the first time as independent nations. The hosting United States led the medal count with a total of 101 medals, and the most gold (44) and silver (32) medals out of all countries. Notable performances during competition included those of Andre Agassi—who became the first men's singles tennis player to combine a career Grand Slam with an Olympic gold medal, Donovan Bailey—who set a new world record of 9.84 for the men's 100 meters, and Lilia Podkopayeva—who became the second gymnast to win an individual event gold after winning the all-round title in the same Olympics.

National Olympic Committee national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement

A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. They may nominate cities within their respective areas as candidates for future Olympic Games. NOCs also promote the development of athletes and training of coaches and officials at a national level within their geographies.

Beach volleyball team sport played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net

Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net. As in indoor volleyball, the objective of the game is to send the ball over the net and to ground it on the opponent's side of the court, and to prevent the same effort by the opponent. A team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball across the net, and individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively except after making a block touch. The ball is put in play with a serve—a hit by the server from behind the rear court boundary over the net to the opponents. The rally continues until the ball is grounded on the playing court, goes "out", or a fault is made in the attempt to return the ball. The team that wins the rally scores a point and serves to start the following rally. The four players serve in the same sequence throughout the match, changing server each time a rally is won by the receiving team.

Mountain biking bicycling sport

Mountain biking is a sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. Mountain biking can generally be broken down into multiple categories: cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, freeride and dirt jumping.

The festivities were marred by violence on July 27, when Eric Rudolph detonated pipe bombs at Centennial Olympic Park—a downtown park that was built to serve as a public focal point for the Games' festivities, injuring 111. In 2003, Rudolph confessed to the bombing and a series of related attacks on abortion centers and a gay bar, and was sentenced to life in prison. He claimed that the bombing was meant to protest the U.S. government's sanctioning of "abortion on demand".

Eric Robert Rudolph, also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist convicted for a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.

Centennial Olympic Park bombing explosion

The Centennial Olympic Park bombing was a domestic terrorist pipe bombing attack on the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 27 during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The blast directly killed 1 person and injured 111 others; another person later died of a heart attack. It was the first of four bombings committed by Eric Rudolph. Security guard Richard Jewell discovered the bomb before detonation and cleared most of the spectators out of the park. Rudolph, a carpenter and handyman, had detonated three pipe bombs inside a U.S. military ALICE Pack.

Gay bar drinking establishment primarily or exclusively for LGBT people

A gay bar is a drinking establishment that caters to an exclusively or predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) clientele; the term gay is used as a broadly inclusive concept for LGBT and queer communities.

The 1996 Summer Olympics were considered to be financially successful, due to record revenue from sponsorship deals and broadcast rights among other factors. The Games faced criticism for being overly commercialized, as well as other issues noted by European officials, such as the availability of food and transport. The event had a lasting impact on the city; Centennial Olympic Park led a revitalization of Atlanta's downtown area and has served as a symbol of the Games' legacy, the Olympic Village buildings have since been used as residence housing for area universities, and the Centennial Olympic Stadium has been re-developed twice since the Games—first as the baseball park Turner Field, and then as the college football venue Georgia State Stadium.

Downtown Atlanta District

Downtown Atlanta is the central business district of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The largest of the city's three commercial districts, it is the location of many corporate or regional headquarters; city, county, state and federal government facilities; Georgia State University; sporting venues; and most of Atlanta's tourist attractions. It measures approximately four square miles, and had 26,700 residents as of 2010. Similar to other central business districts in the United States, it has recently undergone a transformation that included the construction of new condos and lofts, renovation of historic buildings, and arrival of new residents and businesses.

An Olympic Village is an accommodation center built for the Olympic Games, usually within an Olympic Park or elsewhere in a host city. Olympic Villages are built to house all participating athletes, as well as officials and athletic trainers. After the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, the Villages have been made extremely secure. Only athletes, trainers and officials are allowed to room at the Village, though family members and former Olympic athletes are allowed inside with proper checks. Press and media are also barred.

Centennial Olympic Stadium former stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Centennial Olympic Stadium was the 85,000-seat main stadium of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 1996 Summer Paralympic Games in Atlanta. Construction of the stadium began in 1993, and it was complete and ready for the Opening Ceremony in July 1996, where it hosted track and field events and the closing ceremony. After the Olympics and Paralympics, it was reconstructed into the baseball-specific Turner Field, used by the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball for 20 seasons (1997–2016). After the Braves departed for SunTrust Park, the facility was purchased by Georgia State University, which rebuilt the stadium a second time as Georgia State Stadium, designed for American football.

Bidding process

Atlanta was selected on September 18, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan, over Athens, Belgrade, Manchester, Melbourne, and Toronto at the 96th IOC Session. Atlanta's bid to host the Summer Games that began in 1987 was considered a long-shot, since the U.S. had hosted the Summer Olympics 12 years earlier in Los Angeles. Atlanta's main rivals were Toronto, whose front-running bid that began in 1986 seemed almost sure to succeed after Canada had held a successful 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and Melbourne, Australia, who hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics and after Brisbane, Australia's failed bid for the 1992 games (which were awarded to Barcelona) and prior to Sydney, Australia's successful 2000 Summer Olympics bid, they felt that the Olympic Games should return to Australia. If Melbourne was awarded the games, 1996 would mark the 40th anniversary of the 1956 Summer Olympics, which were held in the same city. This would be Toronto's fourth failed attempt since 1960 (tried in 1960, 1964, and 1976, but defeated by Rome, Tokyo and Montreal). [5] The Athens bid stemmed from the fact that 1996 marked 100 years since the first Summer Games in Athens in 1896, though Athens would eventually host the 2004 Summer Olympics. The initial push for 1996 coming to Atlanta originated from Billy Payne and then Atlanta mayor Andrew Young; their main push for the Olympics to come to Atlanta was a motivation to showcase a changed and resurgent American South which was overcoming racial tensions from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and featured a robust and growing Southern economy to help offset international stereotypes that the region was still plagued with poverty. [6]

1984 Summer Olympics Games of the XXIII Olympiad, held in Los Angeles in 1984

The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, in Los Angeles, California, United States. This was the second time that Los Angeles had hosted the Games, the first being in 1932.

1988 Winter Olympics 15th edition of Winter Olympics, held in Calgary (Canada) in 1988

The 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games, was a Winter Olympics multi-sport event celebrated in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada, between February 13 and 28, 1988 and were the first Winter Olympics to be held over a whole two week period. The host city was selected in 1981 over Falun, Sweden, and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Most events took place in Calgary while several skiing events were held in the mountain resorts of Nakiska and Canmore, west of the city.

1956 Summer Olympics Games of the XVI Olympiad, celebrated in Melbourne in 1956

The 1956 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, from 22 November to 8 December 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which were held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1956.

1996 Summer Olympics bidding results [7]
CityNOC NameRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5
Atlanta Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1920263451
Athens Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 2323263035
Toronto Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 14171822
Melbourne Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 122116
Manchester Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 115
Belgrade Flag of Yugoslavia (1992-2003).svg  FR Yugoslavia 7

Development and preparation

Budget

The Oxford Olympics Study 2016 estimates the outturn cost of the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics at US$4.1 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 151% in real terms. [8] This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost for Atlanta 1996 compares with costs of USD 4.6 billion for Rio 2016, US$40–44 billion for Beijing 2008 and US$51 billion for Sochi 2014, the most expensive Olympics in history. Average cost for the Summer Games since 1960 is USD 5.2 billion, average cost overrun is 176%.

The 1996 Olympics was predicated on the financial model established by the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The cost to stage the Games was US$1.8 billion. U.S. Government funds were used for security, and around $500 million of taxpayer money was used on the physical infrastructure including streetscaping, road improvements, Centennial Olympic Park, expansion of airport, improvements in public transportation, and redevelopment of public housing projects [9] but neither paid for the actual Games nor the new Venues themselves. [10] To pay for the games, Atlanta relied on commercial sponsorship and ticket sales, resulting in a profit of $19 million. [11] [ better source needed ]

Venues and infrastructure

The Centennial Olympic Stadium Athletics venue during the 1996 Paralympic Games.jpg
The Centennial Olympic Stadium
The Georgia Dome NewGeorgiaDome.JPG
The Georgia Dome
The Alexander Memorial Coliseum Alexander Memorial Coliseum SE view.jpg
The Alexander Memorial Coliseum

Events of the 1996 Games were held in a variety of areas. A number were held within the Olympic Ring, a 3 mi (4.8 km) circle from the center of Atlanta. Others were held at Stone Mountain, about 20 miles (32 km) outside of the city. To broaden ticket sales, other events, such as Association football (soccer), were staged in various cities in the Southeast. [12] [13]

Marketing

The Olympiad's official theme, "Summon the Heroes", was written by John Williams, making it the third Olympiad at that point for which he had composed (official composer 1984; NBC's coverage composer 1988). The opening ceremony featured Céline Dion singing "The Power of the Dream", the official theme song of the 1996 Olympics. The mascot for the Olympiad was an abstract, animated character named Izzy. In contrast to the standing tradition of mascots of national or regional significance in the city hosting the Olympiad, Izzy was an amorphous, fantasy figure. The 1996 Olympics were the first to have two separate opening ceremony events. Savannah, because of its geographical separation from Atlanta, had its own opening ceremonies on July 18, 1996. The event featured "Worldwide Connection", a song composed by Savannah native Jeffrey Reed and a concert by Trisha Yearwood, a Georgia native.

Atlanta's Olympic slogan "Come Celebrate Our Dream" was written by Jack Arogeti, a Managing Director at McCann-Erickson in Atlanta at the time. The slogan was selected from more than 5,000 [14] submitted by the public to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Billy Payne noted that Jack "captured the spirit and our true motivation for the Olympic games." [15]

Calendar

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4); the other, Birmingham, Alabama uses Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)
  Opening ceremony  Event competitions  Event finals  Closing ceremony
DateJulyAugust
19th
Fri
20th
Sat
21st
Sun
22nd
Mon
23rd
Tue
24th
Wed
25th
Thu
26th
Fri
27th
Sat
28th
Sun
29th
Mon
30th
Tue
31st
Wed
1st
Thu
2nd
Fri
3rd
Sat
4th
Sun
Archery
Athletics








Badminton
Baseball
Basketball
Boxing

Canoeing

Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Field hockey
Football
Gymnastics

Handball
Judo
Modern pentathlon
Rowing

Sailing
Shooting

Softball
Swimming






Synchronized swimming
Table tennis
Tennis
Volleyball
Water polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling



Total gold medals16131710151015202422101617192918
Ceremonies
Date19th
Fri
20th
Sat
21st
Sun
22nd
Mon
23rd
Tue
24th
Wed
25th
Thu
26th
Fri
27th
Sat
28th
Sun
29th
Mon
30th
Tue
31st
Wed
1st
Thu
2nd
Fri
3rd
Sat
4th
Sun
JulyAugust

Games

Opening ceremony

The ceremony began with a 60-second countdown, which included footage from all of the previous Olympic Games. There was then a flashback to the closing ceremony of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, showing the then president of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, inviting the athletes to compete in Atlanta in 1996. Then, spirits ascended in the northwest corner of the stadium, each representing one of the colors in the Olympic rings. The spirits called the tribes of the world which, after mixed percussion, formed the Olympic rings while the youth of Atlanta formed the number 100. Famed film score composer John Williams wrote the official overture for the 1996 Olympics, called "Summon the Heroes"; this was his second overture for an Olympic games, the first being "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" written for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Céline Dion performed David Foster's official 1996 Olympics song "The Power of the Dream", accompanied by Foster on the piano, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Centennial Choir (comprising Morehouse College Glee Club, Spelman College Glee Club and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus). Gladys Knight sang Georgia's official state song "Georgia on My Mind".

There was a showcase entitled "Welcome To The World", featuring cheerleaders, Chevrolet pick-up trucks, marching bands, and steppers, which highlighted the American youth and a typical Saturday college football game in the South, including the wave commonly produced by spectators in sporting events around the world. There was another showcase entitled "Summertime" which focused on Atlanta and the Old South, emphasizing its beauty, spirit, music, history, culture, and rebirth after the American Civil War. The ceremony also featured a memorable dance tribute to the athletes and to the goddesses of victory of the ancient Greek Olympics, using silhouette imagery. The accompanying music, "The Tradition of the Games", was composed by Basil Poledouris. [16]

Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic cauldron and later received a replacement gold medal for his boxing victory in the 1960 Summer Olympics. For the torch ceremony, more than 10,000 Olympic torches were manufactured by the American Meter Company and electroplated by Erie Plating Company. Each torch weighed about 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) and was made primarily of aluminum, with a Georgia pecan wood handle and gold ornamentation. [17] [18]

Closing ceremony

Sports

The 1996 Summer Olympic programme featured 271 events in 26 sports. Softball, beach volleyball and mountain biking debuted on the Olympic program, together with women's football and lightweight rowing.

Gold medal from the 1996 Summer Games Atlanta 96 Gold - Copy.jpg
Gold medal from the 1996 Summer Games

In women's gymnastics, Lilia Podkopayeva became the all-around Olympic champion. Podkopayeva also won a second gold medal in the floor exercise final and a silver on the beam – becoming the only female gymnast since Nadia Comăneci to win an individual event gold after winning the all-round title in the same Olympics. Kerri Strug of the United States women's gymnastics team vaulted with an injured ankle and landed on one foot. The US women's gymnastics team won its first gold medal. Shannon Miller of the United States won the gold medal on the balance beam event, the first time an American gymnast had won an individual gold medal in a non-boycotted Olympic games. The Spanish team won the first gold medal in the new competition of women's rhythmic group all-around. The team was formed by Estela Giménez, Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Lorena Guréndez, Estíbaliz Martínez and Tania Lamarca.

Amy Van Dyken won four gold medals in the Olympic swimming pool, the first American woman to win four titles in a single Olympiad. Penny Heyns, swimmer of South Africa, won the gold medals in both the 100 metres and 200 metres breaststroke events. Michelle Smith of Ireland won three gold medals and a bronze in swimming. She remains her nation's most decorated Olympian. However, her victories were overshadowed by doping allegations even though she did not test positive in 1996. She received a four-year suspension in 1998 for tampering with a urine sample, though her medals and records were allowed to stand.

Women's 100 m hurdles at the Olympic stadium JO Atlanta 1996 - Stade.jpg
Women's 100 m hurdles at the Olympic stadium

In track and field, Donovan Bailey of Canada won the men's 100 m, setting a new world record of 9.84 seconds at that time. He also anchored his team's gold in the 4 × 100 m relay. Michael Johnson won gold in both the 200 m and 400 m, setting a new world record of 19.32 seconds in the 200 m. Johnson afterward began disputing Bailey's unofficial title as the "world's fastest man", which later culminated in a 150-metre race between the two to settle the issue. Marie-José Pérec equaled Johnson's performance, although without a world record, by winning the rare 200 m/400 m double. Carl Lewis won his 4th long jump gold medal at the age of 35.

In tennis, Andre Agassi won the gold medal, which would eventually make him the first man and second singles player overall (after his eventual wife, Steffi Graf) to win the career Golden Slam, which consists of an Olympic gold medal and victories in the singles tournaments held at professional tennis' four major events (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open).

The Olympic flag waves at the 1996 games JO Atlanta 1996 - Drapeau.jpg
The Olympic flag waves at the 1996 games

There were a series of national firsts realized during the Games. Deon Hemmings became the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal for Jamaica and the English-speaking West Indies. Lee Lai Shan won a gold medal in sailing, the only Olympic medal that Hong Kong ever won as a British colony (1842–1997). This meant that for the only time, the colonial flag of Hong Kong was raised to the accompaniment of the British national anthem "God Save the Queen", as Hong Kong's sovereignty was later transferred to China in 1997. The US women's football team won the gold medal in the first ever women's football event. For the first time, Olympic medals were won by athletes from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burundi, Ecuador, Georgia, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mozambique, Slovakia, Tonga, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Another first in Atlanta was that this was the first Summer Olympics ever that not a single nation swept all three medals in a single event.

Records

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1996 Games.

  *   Host nation (United States)

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of the United States.svg  United States*443225101
2Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 26211663
3Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 20182765
4Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 16221250
5Flag of France.svg  France 1571537
6Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 13101235
7Flag of Australia.svg  Australia 992341
8Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 98825
9Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 921223
10Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg  South Korea 715527
Totals (10 nations)168144155467

Participating National Olympic Committees

Participants at Summer olympics 1996
Blue = Participating for the first time. Green = Have previously participated. Yellow square is host city (Atlanta) 1996 Summer Olympic games countries.png
Participants at Summer olympics 1996
Blue = Participating for the first time. Green = Have previously participated. Yellow square is host city (Atlanta)
Number of athletes 1996 Summer olympics team numbers.gif
Number of athletes

A total of 197 nations were represented at the 1996 Games, and the combined total of athletes was about 10,318. [19] Twenty-four countries made their Olympic debut this year, including eleven of the ex-Soviet countries that competed as part of the Unified Team in 1992. Russia competed independently for the first time since 1912, when it was the Russian Empire. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia competed as Yugoslavia.

The 14 countries making their Olympic debut were: Azerbaijan, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Dominica, Guinea-Bissau, Macedonia, Nauru, Palestinian Authority, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The ten countries making their Summer Olympic debut (after competing at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer) were: Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Slovakia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Czech Republic and Slovakia attended the games as independent nations for the first time since the breakup of Czechoslovakia, while the rest of the nations that made their Summer Olympic debut were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Centennial Olympic Park bombing

The marker at the entrance to Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta The marker at the entrance to Olympic Park in Atlanta.jpg
The marker at the entrance to Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta

The 1996 Olympics were marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing on July 27. Security guard Richard Jewell discovered the pipe bomb and immediately notified law enforcement and helped evacuate as many people as possible from the area before it exploded. Although Jewell's quick actions are credited for saving many lives, the bombing killed spectator Alice Hawthorne, wounded 111 others, and caused the death of Melih Uzunyol by heart attack. Jewell was later considered a suspect in the bombing but was never charged, and he was exonerated in October 1996. In 2003, Eric Robert Rudolph was charged with and confessed to this bombing as well as the bombings of two abortion clinics and a gay bar. He stated "the purpose of the attack on July 27th was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand." [20] He was sentenced to a life sentence at ADX Florence prison in Florence, Colorado.

Legacy

The 1996 Olympic cauldron in 2011 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics cauldron 0460.jpg
The 1996 Olympic cauldron in 2011
The Flair Monument, erected in remembrance of the games Flair monument.jpg
The Flair Monument, erected in remembrance of the games

Preparations for the Olympics lasted more than six years and had an economic impact of at least $5.14 billion. Over two million visitors came to Atlanta, and approximately 3.5 billion people around the world watched at least part of the games on television. Although marred by the tragedy of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, they were a financial success, due in part to TV rights contracts and sponsorships at record levels. [21] William Porter Payne and Steve Spinner led the U.S. marketing program which became a model for future Games.

Beyond international recognition, the Games resulted in many modern infrastructure improvements. The mid-rise dormitories built for the Olympic Village, which became the first residential housing for Georgia State University (Georgia State Village), are now used by the Georgia Institute of Technology (North Avenue Apartments). As designed, Centennial Olympic Stadium was converted into Turner Field, which became the home of the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team from 1997 to 2016. The Braves' former home, Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, was demolished in 1997 and the site became a parking lot for Turner Field; the Omni Coliseum was demolished the same year to make way for Philips Arena (since renamed State Farm Arena). The city's permanent memorial to the 1996 Olympics is Centennial Olympic Park, which was built as a focal point for the Games. The park initiated a revitalization of the surrounding area, and now serves as the hub for Atlanta's tourism district. [21]

In November 2016, a commemorative plaque was unveiled for Centennial Olympic Park to honor the 20th anniversary of the Games. [22] [23]

After the Braves' departure from Turner Field, Georgia State University acquired the former Olympic Stadium and surrounding parking lots and reconfigured the stadium for a second time into Georgia State Stadium for its college football team.

The 1996 Olympics are the most recent edition of the Summer Olympics to be held in the United States. Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics, 32 years after the games were held in Atlanta. [24]

Broadcast rights

The 1996 Games were covered by the following broadcasters: [13]

Sponsors

The 1996 Summer Olympics relied heavily on commercial sponsorship. The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company was the exclusive provider of soft drinks at Olympics venues, and built an attraction known as Coca-Cola Olympic City for the Games. [26]

The Games were affected by several instances of ambush marketing—in which companies attempt to use the Games as a means to promote their brand, in competition with the exclusive, category-based sponsorship rights issued by the Atlanta organizing committee and the IOC (which grants the rights to use Olympics-related terms and emblems in marketing). The Atlanta organizing committee threatened legal actions against advertisers whose marketing implied an official association with the Games. Several non-sponsors set up marketing activities in areas near venues, such as Samsung (competing with Motorola), which ambushed the Games with its "'96 Expo". [27] [28] The city of Atlanta had also licensed street vendors to sell products from competitors to Olympic sponsors. [29] [30]

The most controversial ambush campaign was undertaken by Nike, Inc., which had begun an advertising campaign with aggressive slogans that mocked the Games' values, such as "Faster, Higher, Stronger, Badder", "If you're not here to win, you're a tourist", and "You don't win silver, you lose gold." The slogans were featured on magazine ads and billboards it purchased in Atlanta. [27] Nike also opened a pop-up store known as the Nike Center near the Athletes' Village, which distributed Nike-branded flags to visitors (presumably to be used at events). [31] IOC marketing director Michael Pane expressed concern for the campaign, believing that athletes could perceive them as being an insult to their accomplishments. [31] Payne and United States Olympic Committee's marketing director John Krimsky met with Howard Slusher, a subordinate of Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The meeting quickly turned aggressive, with Payne threatening that the IOC could pull accreditation for Nike employees, ban the display of its logos on equipment, and organize a press conference where silver medallists from the Games, as well as prominent Nike-sponsored athlete Michael Johnson (who attracted attention during the Games for wearing custom, gold-colored Nike shoes), would denounce the company. Faced with these threats, Nike agreed to retract most of its negative advertising and PR stunts. [31]

Reception

A report prepared by European Olympic officials after the Games was critical of Atlanta's performance in several key issues, including the level of crowding in the Olympic Village, the quality of available food, the accessibility and convenience of transportation, and the Games' general atmosphere of commercialism. [32] IOC vice-president Dick Pound defended criticism of the commercialization of these Games, stating that they still adhered to a historic policy barring the display of advertising within venues, and that "you have to look to the private sector for at least a portion of the funding, and unless you're looking for handouts, you're dealing with people who are investing business assets, and they have to get a return." [29]

At the closing ceremony, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said in his closing speech, "Well done, Atlanta" and simply called the Games "most exceptional." This broke precedent for Samaranch, who had traditionally labeled each Games "the best Olympics ever" at each closing ceremony, a practice he resumed at the subsequent Games in Sydney in 2000. [33]

The financial struggles faced by many later Games, such as the 2016 Summer Olympics, however, have led to more positive re-appraisals of the management of the Atlanta Games. These note that, in contrast to many later Games, the 1996 Atlanta Games were both financially viable and had a positive economic impact on the city. [34]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 "Factsheet - Opening Ceremony of the Games of the Olympiad" (PDF) (Press release). International Olympic Committee. 9 October 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. Glanton, Dahleen. "Atlanta debates how golden it was". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  3. "Live From PyeongChang". TvTechnology. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  4. "Atlanta: 20 years later". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  5. Edwards, Peter (July 24, 2015). "Toronto has made 5 attempts to host the Olympics. Could the sixth be the winner?" via Toronto Star.
  6. "1996 Olympic Games". Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  7. "IOC Vote History". www.aldaver.com.
  8. Flyvbjerg, Bent; Stewart, Allison; Budzier, Alexander (2016). The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games. Oxford: Saïd Business School Working Papers (Oxford: University of Oxford). pp. 18–20. SSRN   2804554 .
  9. "The Olympic Legacy in Atlanta – [1999] UNSWLJ 38; (1999) 22(3) University of New South Wales Law Journal 902". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
  10. Applebome, Peter (August 4, 1996). "So, You Want to Hold an Olympics". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  11. "Beijing Olympiad: Profit or Loss?". China Internet Information Center. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  12. Burbank, Matthew; et al. (2001). Olympic Dreams: The Impact of Mega Events on Local Politics. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 97.
  13. 1 2 "Centennial Olympic Games" (PDF). la84foundation.org. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  14. "Atlanta Redefines Image With 'Come Celebrate Our Dream' Slogan". Seattle Times. February 19, 1995.
  15. "Congratulations Note from Billy Payne".
  16. "Basil Poledouris Biography". Basil Poledouris website. Archived from the original on February 20, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  17. Erie Times-News, "Erie Company's Olympic Work Shines", June 10, 1996, by Greg Lavine
  18. Plating and Surface Finishing Magazine, August 1996 Issue
  19. "Olympics OFFICIAL Recap". Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved 2007-05-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  20. "On This Day: Bomb Explodes in Atlanta's Olympic Park". www.findingdulcinea.com. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  21. 1 2 Glanton, Dahleen (September 21, 2009). "Olympics' impact on Atlanta still subject to debate". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  22. "New historic marker for 1996 Games unveiled in Centennial Olympic Park". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  23. "Historical Marker planted for 1996 Centennial Olympic Games". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  24. "L.A. officially awarded 2028 Olympic Games". Los Angeles Times. September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  25. "YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  26. Collins, Glenn. "Coke's Hometown Olympics;The Company Tries the Big Blitz on Its Own Turf". New York Times. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  27. 1 2 "An Olympic-Size Ambush". Washington Post. July 17, 1996. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  28. "Samsung's Expo Gives It Olympic Exposure / And BellSouth is putting out COWS". SFGate. 1996-07-02. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  29. 1 2 "McGill's master of the rings". McGill Reporter. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  30. "Olympic bid smacks into $10M hurdle". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  31. 1 2 3 "Rise of the pseudo-sponsors: A history of ambush marketing". SportPro. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  32. "Olympic Games: Maligned Atlanta meets targets". The Independent. United Kingdom. November 15, 1996. Archived from the original on May 26, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  33. ESPN.com (October 1, 2000). "Samaranch calls these Olympics 'best ever'" . Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  34. http://fortune.com/2016/08/08/rio-olympics-opening-ceremony/
Preceded by
Barcelona
Summer Olympic Games
Atlanta

XXVI Olympiad (1996)
Succeeded by
Sydney

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2000 Summer Olympics Games of the XXVII Olympiad, held in Sydney in 2000

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1976 Summer Olympics Games of the XXI Olympiad, held in Montréal in 1976

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1932 Summer Olympics games of the X Olympiad, celebrated in Los Angeles in 1932

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