How The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Made Its Mark On The Memoirs Of The Olympics

1721 words - 7 pages

Did you know that during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, all of the Olympic committees were present for the first time ever? It is surprising when things happen in one’s own backyard which have influenced and shaped history. There were many elements that made these Olympics so memorable. They were the world’s participation in the events, the outstanding sponsorship of the community and businesses, and the platform for women's rights beginning a standard for the world. Incredible record breaking demonstrations of both strength and perseverance in Olympic and World records, as well as the centennial celebration of the rebirth of the original Greek Olympics distinguished these events from past games. However, the event that shook the community and the Olympics, was the bomb in Atlanta’s Centennial Park. However, the determination and courage demonstrated by athletes in the games was reflected in the community as the olympics had a strong finish.

As one of the biggest events the city has ever hosted, the games in Atlanta rang in at over $5 billion. Hosting the largest participation ever in Olympic history added to this expense. Recruiting the participation of the community and business sponsors like CNN and Coca-Cola were crucial to funding the games and their exorbitant costs. Among the more costly parts of hosting this event is the production of the opening and closing ceremonies. As a centennial celebration of the rebirth of the Olympics in 1896 from Athens, Greece, Atlanta did a special tribute to that as part of the opening ceremony.* It was quite spectacular and highlighted some of the Greek gods and the original competing games from the ancient Olympics which were held in Olympia. President Bill Clinton, who was in office at the time, did the official opening of the Olympics. Also, the world famous boxer, Muhammed Ali, was the surprise guest who lit the 100th anniversary Olympic torch; due to his condition with Parkinson's disease, Ali jogged the last segment shaking as he approached the Olympic flame and lit it. This may have been one of the most emotional, tear-jerking moments of the events.
*Watch the attached clip:
These Olympics included more than 10,000 athletes ( which was another factor involved in the expense of hosting) of which 3,512 were women. The Atlanta Olympics became a platform for women’s rights and equality as suggestions of bans against countries who forbid women’s participation in the games came to light. According to CNN, “the committee has been reluctant to ban the 34 countries without women athletes, saying it fears discriminating against Islam and against poor nations that say they cannot afford athletic programs for women.” However, one benefit that came from all of this is the addition of many women's events, such as softball, women’s soccer, and women’s beach volleyball to name just a few. A female German rower, Birgit Fischer, won a total of 12 Olympic medals...

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