Washington, D.C. –– Today U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), who was the president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for 2002 Games, introduced a resolution marking the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Ga.
The resolution commemorates the impact of the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games on Atlanta businesses, job growth, and culture. The resolution also highlights the resilience of the people of Atlanta in the wake of the tragic bombing on July 27, 1996.
The 1996 Olympics and Paralympic Games brought more than 13,000 athletes from nearly 200 countries together in Atlanta, and the 1996 United States Olympic Team finished first in the medal tally with 44 gold medals and 32 silver medals.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-GA-05) introduced a companion resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives co-sponsored by Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson (D-GA-04), David Scott (D-GA-13), Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), and María Elvira Salazar (R-FL-27).
“Like all Atlantans and all Georgians, I’ll never forget the ‘96 Games — from Muhammad Ali carrying the torch through the stadium, to Michael Johnson breaking the world record, to Kerri Strug’s heroic vault performance,” said Sen. Ossoff. “Let’s celebrate this wonderful Georgia history.”
“Louisiana has a long history of Olympians including in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics: Skip Bertman coaching the baseball team, LSU baseball players Warren Morris and Jason Williams, and now Tulane Coach Derek Mills participating,” said Dr. Cassidy. “I appreciate the Olympics as a call to national unity. My hope is that spirit of national unity we all felt in 1996 will be present in future Olympics.”
“The Olympics represent some of the best qualities of the human spirit,” Sen. Romney said. “It was one of the greatest honors of my life to organize the Salt Lake Games in 2002. I’ll always remember the profound moment when Muhammad Ali lit the cauldron at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. With this resolution, we recognize the 25th anniversary of the ‘96 Games and celebrate the Olympics’ commitment to sportsmanship and excellence on the world stage.”
“This year, the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, is a time for celebration and appreciation to the great city of Atlanta and its host committee for their contributions to the Olympic and Paralympic movement,” said Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. “And while Team USA saw incredible success on the podium from its largest delegation to date, the true legacy of these Games can still be felt today through the lasting impact and transformation of the city’s infrastructure and through its incredible commitment to the Paralympic Games where they secured the movement its first-ever national television broadcast and facilitation of worldwide corporate sponsorships. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee offers its sincerest congratulations to all involved and will continue to highlight these Games as best-in-class and inspiration for all future hosting opportunities.”
Key Georgia leaders also praised the introduction of the resolution:
“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, we celebrate the dedicated coalition of people who dreamed big and, in turn, placed Atlanta on the international stage,” said Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor of the City of Atlanta. “Organizers, volunteers, City employees and residents came together to introduce Atlanta to the world by hosting the best Olympic Games in modern history. Those two weeks in the Summer of 1996 proved that with a big vision and hard work, you can accomplish anything.”
“The Olympics brought the world to Atlanta and the world liked what it saw,” said Ambassador Andrew Young, who helped land the Olympics and served as Co-Chair of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. “The world came back to visit and invest in the city. I think what they liked was that we have an Olympic spirit about us. The City of Atlanta showed up and showed out and we couldn’t have done anything any better to help the City of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Everybody got along and everybody loved Atlanta hospitality. The Atlanta Olympics was a wonderful experience. I went to my first Olympic movie when I was four years old. I’d always been in love with the Olympics, and I was blessed enough to bring the Olympics to Atlanta.”
“The 1996 Atlanta Olympics were transformational for the city of Atlanta and Georgia State University,”said M. Brian Blake, Ph.D., President of Georgia State University. “The Olympic Village helped move Georgia State from a commuter college to a university that offered residential housing. The Olympic Stadium now serves as the home of Panther football as Center Parc Stadium and the university is honored to continue the legacy of the Olympics.”
“The 1996 Summer Olympic Games represent a legacy that elevated the city of Atlanta and our region to a position of national and international prominence,” said Dr. George T. French, Jr., President, Clark Atlanta University.“Communities, including the Atlanta University Center, benefited greatly from the Games. The 5,000-seat Panther football stadium at Clark Atlanta University in the Atlanta University Center served as the host venue for field hockey competitions during the Games. New streetscapes and public art were created throughout the AU Center, including the James P. Brawley Dr. promenade as an Olympic legacy which will endure for the benefit of the community and CAU students for years to come.”
Click here to read the resolution.
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