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 lightweight rowing and women's football (soccer). The 1996 Olympics are the most recent edition of the Summer Olympics to be held in the United States.  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). There were at least 10 athletes from Cuba and Argentina a few feet (a meter) from the blast, said Sheryly Fillmore, a friend of a Cuban judo competitor. Along with addressing the shortcomings of its 1996 bid, it was lauded for its efforts to promote the traditional values of the Olympic Games, which some IOC observers felt had been lost due to the over-commercialization of the 1996 Games. He was subsequently arrested behind a grocery store in Murphy, North Carolina, in 2003. 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. , In November 2016, a commemorative plaque was unveiled for Centennial Olympic Park to honor the 20th anniversary of the Games.. , 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). This story was sent on the AP wire in the early-morning hours of July 27, 1996, as the city of Atlanta awakened to news of a deadly bombing in Centennial Olympic Park. 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. The strong economy of Atlanta and improved race relations in the South helped to impress the IOC officials. ``There were rivers of blood.″. Sharpshooters killed three of the terrorists, and in the ensuing battle all nine athletes, two terrorists and a policeman were killed. The mascot for the Olympiad was an abstract, animated character named Izzy. , At the closing ceremony, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said in his closing speech, "Well done, Atlanta" and simply called the Games "most exceptional."  The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) also proposed a substantial revenue-sharing with the IOC, USOC, and other NOCs. The total cost of the 1996 Summer Olympics was estimated to be around $1.7 billion. 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. Greece, the home of the ancient and first modern Olympics, was considered by many observers the "natural choice" for the Centennial Games. were also official sponsors, and both aired Olympic-themed episodes during 1996. Court records show Rudolph, who is serving his sentence at the “supermax” federal prison in Florence, Colorado, also is challenging his plea in Atlanta’s Olympic Park bombing, but the case is stalled because of the coronavirus pandemic. 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. Subsequent court decisions don’t void Rudolph’s plea, they also argued. The blast shattered windows, rocked buildings and echoed through downtown, where thousands of people have gathered every night since the Olympic Games began July 19. Atlanta was selected on September 18, 1990, in Tokyo, Japan, over Athens, Belgrade, Manchester, Melbourne, and Toronto at the 96th IOC Session. 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. Vintage 1996 USA Atlanta Olympics Water Polo Pin - Olympic Games Pinback Vtg. Security at the games became a major concern, leading up to the extraordinary measures that were already in place at the Atlanta Games. The park initiated a revitalization of the surrounding area, and now serves as the hub for Atlanta's tourism district. FBI spokesman Jay Spadafore said the deadly package was in a trash can. A memorial service was held in the Olympic Stadium and the games were suspended for 34 hours. , The syndicated game show Wheel of Fortune taped three weeks of Olympics-themed episodes from the Fox Theater in Atlanta for broadcast in April, May and July 1996, which included prizes from the Games' official sponsors. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Lee Lai Shan won a gold medal in sailing, the only Olympic medal that Hong Kong ever won as a British colony (1842–1997). The clinic bombing occurred in downtown Birmingham on Jan. 29, 1998. In Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park was opened just a week before the Olympics began, built on an area formerly occupied by vacant and decrepit buildings. ``The next thing you saw was people on the ground.″, Snenetricus Warford said the explosion appeared to come from a garbage can: ``People were dancing, watching the concert, having a good time and it went up. 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). FILE - This Saturday morning, July 27, 1996, file photo shows an overview of Centennial Park in Atlanta after an explosion struck a tower near a stage where thousands of people were watching a concert(AP Photo/Clive Brooks, File), Connect with the definitive source for global and local news.  The city of Atlanta had also licensed street vendors to sell products from competitors to Olympic sponsors. 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. , 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. There were a series of national firsts realized during the Games.
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