Written by sports guru- Wallace Muya:
Atlanta Georgia came out shining as the city of the century. Hosting a record 10,318 athletes from 197 nations this event remains in the minds and hearts of many globally.
The International Olympic Committee voted in the 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the year since 1924 concurrently and place them in alternating even-numbered years, beginning in 1994.
The city of Atlanta became the 5th city in America to host the event and third to host the summer Olympics games. This affirmed the commitment that the United States has on enhancing and improving talents.
The games came in handy with the US perfectly winning in major events. This reminded the world that US citizens were ready for the games.
The 42nd president of the United States Bill Clinton officiated the opening ceremony with very remarks. Most US superstars had been picked including the legendary Mohammed Ali.
World boxing champion lit the Olympic torch symbolic of games kick off. A host of other celebrities graced the all important occasion including Award-winning and Grammy Award-time nominated film composer, John Williams, French Canadian sensational singer Celine Dion and American singer Gladys Knight.
Celine Dion electrified the whole stadium receiving the longest applause ever known. The song ‘power of the dream ‘ to date remains a hit in major cities around the globe.
The games officially kicked off on July 19th 1996 all the way to August 4th 1996. Before the start of the games Teresa Edwards gave the athletes the ‘athletes oath’.
The US was top leading with 101 medal of which 44 were gold medals, 21 silver medals and 16 bronze medals. Russia, Germany, China and France topped five best.
The initial push for summer Olympics 1996 coming to Atlanta came from Billy Payne and then Atlanta mayor Andrew Young. Their main push for the Olympics to come to Atlanta mainly came from as a motivation to showcase a changed,vibrant and resurgent American South which was overcoming racial tensions from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. They also wanted to showcase a robust and growing Southern economy to help offset international stereotypes that the region was still plagued with poverty and backwardness.