Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

PYRROS2004

Atlanta Legacy?

Recommended Posts

Okay...as reported in other threads today is 9 years since the Atlanta Games...anyone care to point out what was in their opinion was the impact both positive and negative of the Centennial Olympics? For the IOC, for Olympism, sport, war on drugs, politics, security...whatever.

(Ducks as Baron and the rest of the yanks go to town against Lexus et al  :D )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I remember from Atlanta:

- The tribute to Ancient Olympics during the Opening Ceremony, and that I had to wake up 3 in the morning to watch it, and also that I watched it another 2 times - one was a special coverage in 16:9 format, produced by a team of European TV stations with different cameras than the one the AOB used.

- The 2 bombs at the Olympic Park

- The first 2 days that they had problems, and they didn't have the names of the athletes, the results etc on TV

- The 4 gold and the 4 silver medals of the Greek team, esp Niki Bakoyanni winning the high jump silver medal.

- The torch relay - and the fact that for the first time since 1936 the Olympic Flame visited Thessaloniki -again-.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually i do not remember that much. what comes to my mind spontanously is

1. that i was disappointed of the opening ceremony. i had expected something outstanding after LA84. i remember that i even thought: poor sydneysiders, they´ll have to top it. and than not much happened. plus i found the olympic stadium pretty ugly.

they repeated the OC in German tv a couple of weeks ago. and i still think it was pretty weak. especially the ali/cauldron-thing was so anticlimactic. i liked the huge gospel choir though - nice pictures.

2. troubles with transportation / long delays.

3. that i had one of the most memorable and greatest s** of my life in the night of the bombings :sniffle:  :oops:  :o

4. that Michael Johnson was the best - even though his star attitudes pissed me off.

5. that the games weren´t as bad as they are commemorated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(1) The Opening Ceremony - such a mixed bag!  Atlanta had an impossible task in trying to top L.A and Barcelona.  In the end there were many wonderful moments that are still today memorable - the spirits at the top of the stadium, the ancient Greek shadows, the gospel choir, the flame emerging out of the middle of the stadium, the athletes entering out of the fog at the top of the stadium.

And then there were the cheerleaders in the pickup trucks and that nasty cauldron.  :blush:

(2)  The bombing.  What can I say - sat in my living room all the next morning watching news coverage and crying.  Atlanta was a wake up for future hosts that security at Olympic venues was not enough - now the host city essentially has to have massive amounts of it all over the city and in public gathering places.

(3)  The organizing committee did a superb job of not creating white elephants.  Nearly all of the major Atlanta venues are in constant use and have been since the Games ended.  Atlanta came out with a large profit and no taxpayer burden on empty facilities and totally paid off their city debt, something that has not happened since for a SOG host.

There were other problems - and other triumphs.  All in all, Atlanta was not as bad as some would like to believe, especially those who weren't around to experience them. Personally I have watched or attended 14 Olympics and putting my American bias to the side, can say that they were not the worst that I have witnessed. Much as Melbourne and Montreal have enjoyed a reassessment of the overall result of their games, I think as we get further away from 1996 history will be good to Atlanta's efforts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atlanta's legacy will be both good and bad - I think it ruined the chances for lesser-known US cities to host - Dallas and Houston and Philadelphia will be seen as "Atlanta-esque" because of their size and lower international profile.  

I also think the IOC got tough in requiring the host OC to have more control over the Games and all aspects of the Games operations.   The City of Atlanta botched their management of street vendors during the 96 Games, not the OC - the OC trusted the City government and that was their mistake.   The mayor of Atlanta in 1996, Bill Campbell, is under numerous inquires by the Justice Dept and FBI and will most likely be indicted.   Since 96, the IOC is very keen on getting the OC to manage these kinds of issues.

Atlanta's legacy is really in that it raised the international profile of the city by giving it a name worldwide.   It also proved to many foreigners that the American South is not Miss Scarlett and Miss Melanie waiting on Prissy to fetch her iced tea while fanning themselves on the veranda at Tara.  The South has always been portrayed so out of proportion by the media and many foreigners knew/know nothing of the South and hopefully the Games changed a small bit of that.

The real legacy of the Games for Atlanta is in this area - since the Games, the downtown and Midtown areas of the city have changed beyond recognition - new lofts, townhomes, housing subdivisions, shopping all fill the areas around Centennial Olympic Park and throughout the City.  None of this would have been possible without the Olympics because the Games proved to the locals here all the potential there was downtown and people came to the city and had a great time.   After the party ended, everyone started to redevelop the city again.  I wish it could host now as opposed to back then - much nicer city to be in now.

Oh well, I'll wrap this up but I think Atlanta's greatest gift was to itself and not to the Olympic movement - rightly or wrongly, that's an argument for another topic!   We were not stuck with a bill that we're paying now and the venues are still in use today and new ones have been built and the swimming venue was fully enclosed, etc... so I don't see any "white elephants" here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A glorious moment in the Golden Games of 1996

Atlanta_Shadows.gif

Atlanta's legacy to the world: how a smallish, upstart city can put on memorable Games despite all the sourgrapes, doomsayers and pessimists out there.  

Without Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 could NOT have come off as well (i.e., Atlanta made them look good, thanks to Atlanta's unselfish leadership) !

Hail Atlanta!  All the Games that followed are mere copies of 1996!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my first ever trip to the states, I touched down in Atlanta.

And looking at the skyline while landing, the FIRST thing that came to my mind, was that I am landing at a city that once hosted the Olympics.

That alone is a legacy. The association of a city with what we are all here for.

I dont care about the problems, the bomb or Samaranch trying to create impressions and "punish" them in his speech at the closing ceremony.

I still have very fond memories of those Olympics - as of ALL olympics in my lifetime.

For some reason MY definitive image of those games, was the spectacular entrance of the teams in the stadium at the opening ceremony. Unsurpassed.

The rest is history. And I do think that we should ALL be a little bit more generous in our criticisms. Unless there is a terrorist attack with great loss of life - nothing else can possibly mar an Olympics. Problems will always arise and if they are dealt with, credit should be given. Ask the athletes who won medals at those games and they will tell you how great it felt. Ask those KNOW IT ALLs who HAVE TO find sth to moan about and they will come up with a list of things.

Each and every host city deserves a big Thank you. And everytime you visit one, just the mere association and the instant memories makes it ALL worthwile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In my first ever trip to the states, I touched down in Atlanta.

And looking at the skyline while landing, the FIRST thing that came to my mind, was that I am landing at a city that once hosted the Olympics.

That alone is a legacy. The association of a city with what we are all here for.

I dont care about the problems, the bomb or Samaranch trying to create impressions and "punish" them in his speech at the closing ceremony.

I still have very fond memories of those Olympics - as of ALL olympics in my lifetime.

For some reason MY definitive image of those games, was the spectacular entrance of the teams in the stadium at the opening ceremony. Unsurpassed.

The rest is history. And I do think that we should ALL be a little bit more generous in our criticisms. Unless there is a terrorist attack with great loss of life - nothing else can possibly mar an Olympics. Problems will always arise and if they are dealt with, credit should be given. Ask the athletes who won medals at those games and they will tell you how great it felt. Ask those KNOW IT ALLs who HAVE TO find sth to moan about and they will come up with a list of things.

Each and every host city deserves a big Thank you. And everytime you visit one, just the mere association and the instant memories makes it ALL worthwile.

Thank you, Poliochni, for...again...a very mature, healing and soothing post.  Each Games is unique...with their own problems and their own glories, their own ardent supporters and their equally zealous detractors.  

They can't be all Sydney or Salt Lake City.  As you said, we should just celebrate the differences and focus on the positive contributions they accomplished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought that the Atlanta Games were not bad at all. Pretty good, must I say. However, those unofortunate events had to get in the way. Otherwise, Atlanta did a good job in hosting the Games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've copied this from another thread but it should really be here:

As one of the younger members here (20 years old) Atlanta is the first Olympics I really remember and I really got into it as a 11-12 year old. I vaguely remember the bombing but I don't think it spoilt my enjoyment of it. Obviously I didn't have anything to compare it to as the older members here will have, and perhaps it wasn't as good as previous games, but as far as I was concerned it was great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts re Atlanta 96:

1. The Model Bid When Atlanta won the right to host the 96 games at the Tokyo session, there was plenty of dark mutterings about the influence of big dollars from the likes of Coke and CNN having some kind of influence. Of course the Athens 96 team were the loudest protesters, and that myth seems to stick. But I know there was also some criticism here downunder from Melbourne. Be that as it may, what really got Atlanta over the line was some brilliant relationship building between the committee and the IOC. Billy Payne was a model bid leader, and I know for sure that Rod McGeoch learnt shitloads from him for Sydney's bid. How a realtively lesser Southern States city won the rights to host the 100 years games is an amazing achievement in itself.

2. The Centennial Park Bombing Even though it wasn't an ACOG sponsored venue as such, the bombing at Centennial Park will always be associated with the Atlanta games. I don't think this can be seen as a failing of Olympic security, and in some ways it doesn't define Atlanta as did, say, the Munich massacre did the 72 games. But unfortunately as long as layfolk look back on Atlanta they will always say 'weren't the the games where there was a bombing'.

3. Organisational Problems Unfortunately, even though the bid and build up for the Atlanta games were very smooth, there were some serious problems during the games with IT and transport. How much of the IT problem was ACOGs fault is hard to say, and of course ACOG again wasn't specifically responsible for the implementation and organisation of all aspect of Atlanta's transport during the Olympics. But even though these problems marred some aspects of the games, the failure of a single body to take control of Olympic transport in Atlanta meant that future cities like Sydney could learn from this and institute governmental authorities for this crucial role.

4. Big dollar games No matter which way you cut it, Atlanta was a games that saw huge amounts of money invested and made. Whether you're talking about tickets bought, broadcast deals made, new facilities built, tourism revenue and the much criticised stalls round Atlanta, everyone was either making or using bucks. Perhaps these weren't the Private Enterprise games like LA84, but Atlanta 96 sure had the cash registers ringing.

5. The Centenary Just Missed? A lot of the importance of the Olympics is based on its ethos of mythic history and symbolism. The torch, the ceremonies, the past years and hosts. Atlanta 96 almost delivered here, but perhaps (in my opinion) just missed the mark as a truly historic or grand celebration of the games. For every moment like the truly wonderful sequence in the opening ceremony that Baron has provided the illustration for, you had utes/pick ups with chrome and cheerleaders. It may have been very much heartfelt and Atlanta, but of course there was no way that it could do what Athens did in 2004 to recreate the history of what the Olympics are about.

6. The cheat that wasn't caught Okay, as an Aussie who spent hours watching the swimming, Atlanta will always be the games Michelle Smith fell from some nandrolone inspired heaven to win her medals. How she was able to sidestep the drug testing agencies of the time is a stain on the games; not a huge one, but enough to remind us that drugs in sport are a legacy from every games.

7. Great athletes doing great things Two names stand out for me: Kieran Perkins and Carl Lewis. Perkins swam a #### heat, was in no real contention coming into the 1500 metres freestyle final, yet came through and won a real 'told you so' gold. And Carl Lewis's long jump gold, his 9th over 4 Olympics was pure magic.

All up, I think history will look more kindly on Atlanta than most did during or immediately after the games. The things that were badly done in Atlanta were problems that could have been prepared for, but then again who is to say something else might not have arisen. The venues were in place on time, the IOC were satisfied (all this talk about what Samaranch had to say is unfair...it was his agenda and not Atlanta's to talk about best games ever, and if he didn't say it that was his responsibility), no one seems to be varrying billions of debt afterwards and post 96 Olympics have learnt lessons from the Atlanta experience. Not the greatest games, maybe not even a one in a centennial games. But a very very worthy games with great achievements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atlanta's legacy is really in that it raised the international profile of the city by giving it a name worldwide.   It also proved to many foreigners that the American South is not Miss Scarlett and Miss Melanie waiting on Prissy to fetch her iced tea while fanning themselves on the veranda at Tara.  

OMG BSTout, you hit it right on the nail with that statement and did so in a humorous way. I get asked that alot now that i'm in NZ and it's like "No, go to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, etc. and it's really like any other city with a few distinc characteristics".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"No, go to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, etc. and it's really like any other city with a few distinc characteristics".

Actually, 2 other cities in the U.S. South that I really like and retain the gracious charm of the old South (and no perjorative connotations here -- just what it is) are Charleston, SC, and Savannah - the site of the 1996 yachting events.  Only an hour's drive apart, each is different in her own way.  Charleston has seen a total re-do due to the ravages of hurricane Andrew in the early 90s; while Savannah retains its unique musty, moldy charms.

Another southern city I would like to visit someday is New Orleans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5. The Centenary Just Missed? A lot of the importance of the Olympics is based on its ethos of mythic history and symbolism. The torch, the ceremonies, the past years and hosts. Atlanta 96 almost delivered here, but perhaps (in my opinion) just missed the mark as a truly historic or grand celebration of the games. For every moment like the truly wonderful sequence in the opening ceremony that Baron has provided the illustration for, you had utes/pick ups with chrome and cheerleaders. It may have been very much heartfelt and Atlanta, but of course there was no way that it could do what Athens did in 2004 to recreate the history of what the Olympics are about.

Have finally had to read and digest Seb's long post.  I'd like to comment on #5.

Seb, I think you miss the mark on that one.  If the Centennial were indeed held in Athens, then it would've been the glorious 100th year anniversary that they should've been.  But the Olympic gods ended up picking a new world city for the Centennial, and Atlanta (or whichever other city it might have been) did all that it could to mark 1996 as the Centennial Games.  I mean from the logo alone at the get-go to all the other wonderful graphic design of the Games, ACOG incorporated and paid as much allegiance to a 100-year-mark without appearing to be kissing Greek ass.  I mean Atlanta too had to incoporate its own identity and image into these Games -- after all, she was paying for them.  

So, Seb, that was missing but it probably would've been missing too had they been in Melbourne or Manchester or...I don't recall the other failed 1996 bids now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately I remember the '92 Games in Barcelona more than I do Atlanta '96.  Maybe that's because as a European the viewing timetable of the games in Barcelona were more convenient.  I remember Michael Johnson being in a league of his own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atlanta's legacy is SIMPLE...

In 1990, Atlanta was a third rate sports city with poor facilities and it's only blip on the travel screen was Delta's Hub in the ATL..

In 2000, Atlanta's established itself as the capital of the Sports Tourism Industry in this country..playing host to..

-World Series Games

-The Olympic Games

-MLB All Star Game

-NBA All Star Game

-Super Bowl's

-PGA Championship

-US Figure Skating Championship

-NCAA Men's Final Four

-NCAA Women's Final Four

-Bowl Games

-The Masters

-NCAA Football and Basketball Conference Championships

It will, in the next few years play host to..

-The NHL All Star Game

-NCAA Football and Basketball Conference Championships

-The NCAA Men's Final Four

-The NCAA Women's Final Four

-Another unannounced Super Bowl (Likely 2010 since the Jets deal won't go through)

-The Masters

-Bowl Games

These things all add up, and pour tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. Atlanta is a growing, bustling, city...unlike many in the Northeast, West, and Midwest....It's Olympic experience officially crowned it "Capital of the New South", passing cities like Charlotte, Dallas, and Houston....And it truly has become a place to be buisness wise.

Compared to New York City...

-NHL All Star Game

-NBA All Star Game

-1996 NCAA Final Four (E. Rutherford)

-US Open Golf

-US Open Tennis

-PGA Championship...

-1998 Goodwill Games

That's Atlanta's Legacy...Don't give me this sporting bull#$^.....Atlanta's Legacy has made it a huge spot on the American Buisness, and Tourist Maps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"No, go to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, etc. and it's really like any other city with a few distinc characteristics".

Actually, 2 other cities in the U.S. South that I really like and retain the gracious charm of the old South (and no perjorative connotations here -- just what it is) are Charleston, SC, and Savannah - the site of the 1996 yachting events.  Only an hour's drive apart, each is different in her own way.  Charleston has seen a total re-do due to the ravages of hurricane Andrew in the early 90s; while Savannah retains its unique musty, moldy charms.

Another southern city I would like to visit someday is New Orleans.

Actually you are right,  Charelston and Savannah have both held onto the old South architecture and charm. I've never been to Savannah but I imagine they probably have more of the old buildings than Charelston when a majority of them were destroyed by Hurricane Hugo(not Andrew) back in 1989.

New Orleans is another one but still Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond, Nashville, etc. are pretty much like any other big city except for a few different characteristics and sights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...