1996 Atlanta, XXVIth Olympic Summer Games
from 07/19 to 08/04/1996
Day 1 – Opening Ceremony – July 19
Arrival in Atlanta in the morning. Installation in a youth hostel (not terrible, but do not complain!) located 20 minutes from the center by metro. Stand in line for several hours to get competition tickets. Discover the Centennial Park and sponsor pavilions. To witness the passage of the flame.
Day 2 – July 20
Meeting with a former American athlete, Hilary Smart, gold medalist on Star Class sailing ship at the London Olympic Games in 1948. Another meeting with Edgar Grospiron, gold medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville. Consultant for Canal + during the Games.
Day 5 – July 23
Pins exchanges are well under way at the Centennial Park. The show is in the street, Budweiser, famous beer, chartered a carriage with eight horses.
Day 7 – July 25
We leave the youth hostel and Atlanta. We fly toward Orlando to get there a rented motor home. We take the opportunity to make a tour at Epcot Center, the famous amusement park.
Day 9 – July 27
We comeback from Orlando in the motorhome. After having parked near the youth hostel, we are watching two women’s basketball matches. First Japan against Italy, beat 52 to 66, then Brazil beating China, 98-83, despite the presence of its imposing player Haixia Zheng. Leaving the stadium, surprised at the increased safety, we learn that a bomb exploded.
Day 10 – July 28
Pins trading near the Olympic Village. Meeting with Naïm Suleymanoglu, Turkish weightlifter, gold medalist for the 3rd time in 3 consecutive games and with Kader Chekhemani, French rider on the 1500 m. In the evening, direction Varsity, a place of exchange of pins.
Day 11 – July 29
Handball match at the program, with Edouard and Anna, my friends from Marseille. France beat Egypt 25 to 20, while in the next match, Sweden beat Kuwait 33-18. At the end of the match, the athletes are accessible and we take a few photos, in the company of Jackson Richardson.
Day 12 – July 30
We are watching a baseball match between the USA and Holland. This one is largely beaten by the host country 17 to 1. A game that seemed very boring!
Day 13 – July 31
Again, we have two preliminary handball matches, the first against Sweden, Croatia, 27-18, Germany to France 24-23. In the evening, we exchange pins at the exit of the Olympic village.
Day 14 – August 1st
Ticket sales are very active on International Boulevard, not far from the entrance to the Olympic Park. Despite the bomb, the atmosphere was still good, and security is not too heavy.
Day 15 – August 2
It is hot and humid. The fountains, which regularly trigger at Centennial Park, allow to cool.
Day 16 – August 3
It’s time to go back to Orlando to return our motor home before comeback to France.