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Atlanta 1996


Stu

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Look, I can’t be bothered ready three pages of this so I’ll just ad my two cents worth.  I worked as a media representative during the Atlanta Games, and as such saw a great deal of sport, the ceremonies and did a number of reports on the local area.

Basically it comes down to this – these were Games based on a fully privatised ideal.  The advertisers were paying for them, and in the end they got what they paid for.  Yes the Atlanta Games were extremely commercial, but then again, those of us who visited Darling Harbour during the 2000 Games can attest to seeing the Olympic Rings smacked onto every corporate logo there too.

The local population got behind the Games – they were very well attended – and the general vibe was friendly and fun.  Even after the bomb blast you still saw smiles and laughter – and every morning I was welcomed to the Media Centre by Phyllis from Athens, Georgia with a huge hug and a “Mornin’ Kangaroo Boy!’.  I sure as heck didn’t get that at any other Games! :)

The opening ceremony was exactly what they should have been – full of pomp for the Centennial – but still vibrant to symbolise how young the South is.  I liked the pick up trucks – in fact if anyone has an MP3 of that “Welcome To The World’ song, PM me.  The sirens calling from the end of the stadium was nerve tingling.

The transport was a bit chaotic for a whole day or two – then it was sorted.  I never had any issues getting around at all – and I made a point of using the MARTA and local buses.  The venues were all clean, relatively easy to get to, and always packed.

So I don’t get the Atlanta bashing at all.  It was a well run Games, and while it wasn’t as ‘pretty’ as Barcelona’s Games, Atlanta did well.

I notice it always seems to be those that didn’t actually attend the Games that moan about them.  Having worked in the media let me let you in on a secret – if one bus is late at an Olympics, we will report it as the whole system has gone down.  If one athlete is found guilty of doping, we will insinuate the whole national team of that athlete is guilty.  It’s how it is.  The only way to measure the success of the Games is to ask those who were there.  And I loved it.

My only complaint was it was bloody hot and that maybe Coke could’ve toned it down a touch – their Olympic City was marketing gone crazy!

Oh and may I add that the Atlanta Cultural Festival is yet to be matched. What a line up!

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Look, I can’t be bothered ready three pages of this so I’ll just ad my two cents worth.  I worked as a media representative during the Atlanta Games, and as such saw a great deal of sport, the ceremonies and did a number of reports on the local area.

Basically it comes down to this – these were Games based on a fully privatised ideal.  The advertisers were paying for them, and in the end they got what they paid for.  Yes the Atlanta Games were extremely commercial, but then again, those of us who visited Darling Harbour during the 2000 Games can attest to seeing the Olympic Rings smacked onto every corporate logo there too.

The local population got behind the Games – they were very well attended – and the general vibe was friendly and fun.  Even after the bomb blast you still saw smiles and laughter – ane every morning I was welcomed to the Media Centre by Phyllis from Athens, Georgia with a huge hug and a “Mornin’ Kangaroo Boy!’.  I sure as heck didn’t get that at any other Games! 

The opening ceremony was exactly what they should have been – full of pomp for the Centennial – but still vibrant to symbolise how young the South is.  I liked the pick up trucks – in fact if anyone has an MP3 of that “Welcome To The World’ song, PM me.  The sirens calling from the end of the stadium was nerve tingling.

The transport was a bit chaotic for a whole day or two – then it was sorted.  I never had any issues getting around at all – and I made a point of using the MARTA and local buses.  The venues were all clean, relatively easy to get to, and always packed.

So I don’t get the Atlanta bashing at all.  It was a well run Games, and while it wasn’t as ‘pretty’ as Barcelona’s Games, Atlanta did well.

I notice it always seems to be those that didn’t actually attend the Games that moan about them.  Having worked in the media let me let you in on a secret – if one bus is late at an Olympics, we will report it as the whole system has gone down.  If one athlete is found guilty of doping, we will insinuate the whole national team of that athlete is guilty.  It’s how it is.  The only way to measure the success of the Games is to ask those who were there.  And I loved it.

My only complaint was it was bloody hot and that maybe Coke could’ve toned it down a touch – their Olympic City was marketing gone crazy!

Oh and may I ad that the Atlanta Cultural Festival is yet to be matched. What a line up!

i agree with you! I really didnt have a problem with the games, and besides Danyon Loader won two gold medals for NZ in the 200m 400m freestyle swimming, brilliant

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Screw u, adriane!  Maybe i'd be a little more receptive to your points if u weren't quite so condescending. 

Gift-giving was part of the norm up to that time.  Duh. Where have u been, flaccid ol' gal?

oh sorry - have i upset you - poor you! as for patronising talk about "the pot calling the kettle black"!

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I saw the second gold he won live at teh Georgia Tech pool - he seemed rather bewildered that he won!  What is Danyon up to these days?  Any ideas?

i think all of new zealand were stunned, danyon is now apart of the new zealand swim team as a mentor. He moved away from swimming for a few years but he is now comming back to swimming which is brilliant for new zealand swimming. It must have been brilliant to be in the stadium when he won.

what exactly was your position in atlanta?

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The sirens calling from the end of the stadium was nerve tingling.

I keep forgetting about the sirens.  That was an awesome portion of the show :grinning:

Well I think the question, if you "liked" Olympic Games, is always subjective - there is no general taste...

In my point of view the Games of Barcelona were wonderful and I expected something "more" wonderful for the Games of Atlanta, but they didn't fulfil my expectations.

Exactly.  I am sure many Europeans feel the same about Atlanta as many of us do about Athens.  I expected something more spectacular than Sydney and was sorely disappointed on many levels. Same with Albertville.  Many think they were wonderful but I thought they were subpar at best when compared with the spectacular Calgary games four years earlier.

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In my point of view the Games of Barcelona were wonderful and I expected something "more" wonderful for the Games of Atlanta, but they didn't fulfil my expectations.

Exactly.  I am sure many Europeans feel the same about Atlanta as many of us do about Athens.  I expected something more spectacular than Sydney and was sorely disappointed on many levels.

Just for the records: I expected from Athens something more spectacular than Sydney, too.

And Athens didn't fullfil my expectations either - and I'm not an US-citizen...

It doesn't depend on from which continent you are coming from - it is just personal taste.

Therefore I suppose that there are e.g. US-citizens, who don't like Atlanta 1996 like there are Germans, who don't like Munich 1972...

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Just for the records: I expected from Athens something more spectacular than Sydney, too.

And Athens didn't fullfil my expectations either - and I'm not an US-citizen...

It doesn't depend on from which continent you are coming from - it is just personal taste.

Therefore I suppose that there are e.g. US-citizens, who don't like Atlanta 1996 like there are Germans, who don't like Munich 1972...

Exact the same for me. I always said that Atlanta disappointed me in some aspects just like Athens did. I really don't care about the city or the continent in terms of how good or bad the Olympics are. Sydney's Olympics knocked me off my feet although I knew almost nothing about Australia beforehand. And although I'm not fond of the Asian culture and especially not of the Chinese political system, I'm sure that Beijing will stage marvellous Games. At the same time, I didn't like the Albertville Games although they were staged in Europe and one of my favourite countries, France.

And I'm sure that the "continental bias" isn't such a common phenomenon as some people here want to present it. As I perceive it, most sports fans look very much forward to any Olympics and any World Cup etc. -- no matter where it is staged. Of course: Almost everyone is biassed when there is a bidding process going on. But as soon as the respective Olympics have finally come, most people have forgotten that their favourite city had lost seven years before. For me, for example, it was absolutely no problem when Sydney had its time in the spotlight -- although Berlin had lost against it in the 2000 host city election.

So, come on: Leave your damn*d bias allegations aside and don't always suspect evil intentions whenever someone gives a opinion that you don't share.

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I worked as an onsite sub editor as well as a general correspondent for a major media outlet here in Australia, as well as submitting pieces to a few Asian journals.

o wow that must have been a very cool job over the atlanta olympics :)

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The fact of the matter is that we all have bias, be it negative or positive, on any particular issue. So it is pretty childish to dismiss people's views purely on the basis that they have a different bias to those who they disagree with.

Anyway, back to Atlanta specifically. I tend to judge the success of an Olympics on several factors. Among them is the performance of the British team. In Atlanta that was, to be frank, awful.

On the other hand, great sporting moments, like Michael Johnson's world record in the 200 metres and Kerri Strug defying injury to help the USA to team gymnastics gold in front of goodness knows how many people at the Georgia Dome stay with me even now.

There were great moments, but there were also awful moments such as, and I'm sure some are going to whinge about me bringing this up, the bomb. It has to be mentioned. In Atlanta, the Olympics were targeted in a way only ever before seen in Munich. In the same way that Munich will always be overshadowed by those events, I believe Atlanta will be similarly tarnished in the eyes of history.

Then, there is the commercialism issue. Of course, sponsorship had been part of the Games before Atlanta, but I don't remember it being quite so obvious before Atlanta. I suppose thereafter, we became used to it, if you like.

And, as has already been mentioned, look who Atlanta followed as host, and who followed Atlanta.

I think we can say that, in some ways, Atlanta was a victim of circumstances, but that it also probably didn't help itself to endear to the widest possible audience.

Does that opinion count?

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:( Atlanta???  for me...forgettable, commercialisim at its American worst.  Still think Barcelona 92 the best in my lifetime, sorry Sydney, far too over the top.
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Does that opinion count?

Hmmm.  Partially.  You seemed fair, for a change, but you didn't add anything new either.   :wink:

I suppose that, because I didn't fully agree with you, that's about as good it gets.

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I think the 1996 Summer Olympic Games were one of the most ocmpact ever because it was held in a small city, Atlanta (which had a population of about 395,000 at the time).

But the Atlanta's metropolitan area is much larger. Besides, it is well known that, for a given population, most American cities cover a much wider area than their European counterparts.

Furthermore, events of the Atlanta Games were held in Athens, Georgia, Savannah, Stone Mountain, Lake Lanier...

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I hope they qualify for Euro 2008, but I don`t support them. If it was Germany V England in the final I would support Germany until the final second. I wanted Scotland to beat Italy on Saturday :( they played so well so was realy sad to see them go out.

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I don't really remember all the specifics of the games, barely remember much of the Opening and Closing ceremonies, but what I do remember is Donovan Baily winning 100m gold and the Canadian 4x100m relay team taking it to the Americans on home soil. I remember Silken Laumann, Marnie McBean and Derek Porter winning medals for Canada in rowing, Caroline Brunet, Clara Hughes, Curt Hartnet, and Curtis Myden, all winning medals for Canada and giving Canada is best result in a non-boycotted games. I am too young to remember Barcelona, but Atlanta was my first experience with the Olympics, understand what they were and Canada winning 22 medals makes it all the more important to me. Sydney has importance to me for other reasons, but Atlanta was Canada's greatest performance.

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