Atlanta is a beautiful,vibrant city with many things to offer. It is one of the top metropolitan cities in the entire United States and while it is not on par as far as being a major hub of the world with the likes of New York City or Los Angeles, but it is definitely on par with other major cities, like Boston or Miami. Atlanta is on the upswing, and has been for the better part of two and a half decades, however the city does not always get the respect it deserves.
Partly because of what Atlanta comprises, which is many smaller neighboring towns making up the entire city, it has been hard to maintain that certain city wide unity that a place like New York has. However, for a shining moment, in 1996, the world was focused on Atlanta for the first time that did not involve Yankee’s trying to burn it down. The 1996 summer olympics was a huge, fleeting moment for not just Atlanta, and not just the south but all of America.
It is important to look back, and truly take in and capture what the games meant. While the Olympics may at time seem boring due to the lack of Football, hosting the Olympic games is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a city. It is a mark that ultimately signifies that this city is of the upper echelons of planet earth. Atlanta beat out Toronto, Tokyo, Athens Greece, and basically every other country of the world as well.
The games are estimated to have brought upwards of five billion dollars to the city. The Olympic games, in a way created modern Atlanta. The Games were the catalyst for a lot of change that improved and bought the modern ATL we see today. Turner Field, Philips Arena, and obviously Centennial Olympic Park are all direct results of the games happening in Atlanta and the need for the city to become more modern as well as tourist-like. All of these things will drive people to Atlanta, and create more revenue, as well as becoming tourist attractions and eventually landmarks. Olympic Village also become the first Georgia State University student housing, which paved the way for GSu to become a more prestigious institution across the southeast. The park itself is now the epicenter of Atlanta tourism, leading millions of visitors every year to not only the park, but the surrounding downtown area. Atlanta was revitalized and built anew, and the Olympic games are to thank.
However, there were certain difficulties. Many criticized the games and Atlanta especially for their opening ceremonies which included cheerleaders and monster trucks. The entire Olympics were very commercial, and Atlanta was determined to make as much money as humanely possible. The androgynous demon mascot “ Izzie” was also dumb. The fact of the matter is that the city may just not have been fully prepared for the games, evidenced by inadequate space in Olympic village and not enough food or vendors. The biggest tragedy however was the bombing in Centennial park. A pipe bomb killed two and injured 111 more. It was thought to be the largest pipe bomb in American history. The Olympic committee ultimately decided to press on with the games.
Despite the tragedies and difficulties, the Olympics were a fantastic success for the City of Atlanta. Besides bringing in a great amount of money, they also were also for Atlanta being reinvented to the empire city of the South that it now is. While Atlanta was always great, the city has flourished afterwards. The city has been marked as one of the greatest in the world by the Olympic committee, and has proven to be more far more than just the City with Ted Turner, Coca-Cola, and an awesome airport.