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  1. #1

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    Cool Atlanta welcomed the world 11 years ago

    11 years ago, yesterday, The 1996 Olympics began in my hometown of Atlanta. Of course everyone remembers the Opening Ceremony and its' very moving moment when Muhammad Ali lifted the torch up in the air and lit the cauldron. I am not even sure if the organizers of the Opening Ceremony realized how moving and emotional the moment would be. It ended up dwarfing the rest of the ceremony itself. If not, no one would have been able to forget this, Atlanta's really campy and unabashedly southern "Welcoming The World" complete with Cheerleaders, Dancers, steppers, a marching band, cloggers, and pickup trucks! Doesn't seem like it would all add up and fit together but they made it work! Nonetheless if remembered outside of Atlanta it probably would be a huge embarrassment since an Olympic ceremony is supposed to be formal and cultured.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Po9AV3p7qkU


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  2. #2

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    Re: Atlanta welcomed the world 11 years ago

    I've been to 4 Games, Atlanta is by far my least favorite attended Olympics.

    First off: Atlanta, in July and August. HELLO! They should have had them in either May or September when the temps aren't AS bad. I remember one day it was 100 with 99% humidity.

    I hated the way the torch was lit. Having Ali light some ball of Kleenex, then have that flaming ball get pulled up some wire (getting stuck mind you half way up) to the cauldron was not very exciting to me. I was so thrilled to think that someone was actually going to run up all the stairs around the cauldron to light it. Didn't happen.

    The volunteers all had their hearts in the right place, they were all very friendly, but there was so much confusion about where you could and could not go and such that that really was a distraction.

    The "spirit" just didn't seem to be there. My heart was really looking forward to these Games and I was so disappointed when I left. Luckily I had Salt Lake to pick myself up a few years later (those were my favorite attended Games believe it or not).

    Then when I heard after the Games how they wanted to tear down the cauldron and get rid of it, that REALLY cemented my dislike for these Games. Here you have a symbol of a huge world event in your city and you want to tear it down? Luckily some citizens fought this and it stayed. But that still left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I'm looking forward to Vancouver's Games. I'm hoping they will be on par with how Salt Lakes Games were.

  3. #3

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    Re: Atlanta welcomed the world 11 years ago

    I also thought it was a shame to tear the cauldron down after the games were over. There were many in Atlanta who did not like the design and thought it should be torn down. I liked it. No matter what the cauldron should have kept somewhere. The problem was where to put it. The Olympic stadium was designed to become the current baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves. that is in contrast to LA's Coliseum which stands today and is used as a football stadium.

    I was a teen at the time of these games but that does not make me less proud or want to shy away from my memories of them. I am greatly disappointed that many did come away with your feelings O-Nut. You're not alone.

    The lighting can be seen here

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=5TaITzi64Sw
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