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1996 Atlanta Olympic pins

Atlanta History Center’s archive is a treasure trove of Olympics memorabilia

Architectural models of Olympic venues. A lacquered flower bouquet like those presented to gold medalists. Licensed Olympic merchandise, from dolls and key chains to motor oil and wine. Oh, and pins—lots and lots of pins.
1996 Atlanta Olympics Izzy merchandise

These 26 pieces of Izzy memorabilia were actually created

We recently took a trip to the Izzy archives, where we found memorabilia that in some cases was as strange than the mascot itself.
1996 Atlanta Olympics Izzy

What is it? An oral history of Izzy, the mascot marketing snafu of Olympic proportions

John Ryan settled on a character that was neither human nor animal. It resembled a blue tear, with hands sprouting three fingers and a thumb, lightning eyebrows, and a big, sheepish grin.
1996 Atlanta Olympics Opening Ceremony

Winning gold and chauffeuring Ali: Memories of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics

Athletes, musicians, local leaders, and metro Atlanta residents share their memories of the games—taking home the gold, chauffeuring Muhammad Ali, collecting pins, riding MARTA, performing for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and more.

Johnnie B. Hall, the Georgia state trooper assigned to Muhammad Ali during the 1996 Olympics, remembers the moment that defined the Atlanta Games

The retired Georgia state trooper recalled the week he spent with “The Greatest,” who on Friday night died at age 74 after being treated in Phoenix hospital for respiratory complications.
1996 Olympics

Share your 1996 Olympics memories

We invite you to share your memories and photos of the 1996 Olympics with Atlanta magazine for the 20th anniversary of the games. A select number of submitted stories and photos, as chosen by the editors, will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
Millennials

A brief timeline of Atlanta millennial milestones

A few big moments from the past 35 years, including the 1996 Olympics, the plan for the BeltLine, the introduction of the iPhone, and more.

Atlanta’s true Olympic legacy: Not brick, mortar, or granite

Between three syllables uttered on September 18, 1990, everything changed in Atlanta, and so did our city’s place in the world.

The remains of the games: Ranking our Olympics infrastructure

Atlanta poured $1 billion into an Olympic building frenzy—supplemented by cash from TV rights, corporate sponsorships, and ticket sales. This generated a $5 billion economic impact that summer, and decades of population growth and international investment. But how have those construction projects paid off?
1996 Olympics Billy Payne

Where are they now? Billy Payne

In 1990, when Atlanta beat out Athens to host the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, it was an impressive come-from-behind win, even for a former University of Georgia football star. William “Billy” Porter Payne, an All-SEC defensive end for the Dawgs and Dunwoody real estate lawyer, dreamed up Atlanta’s quixotic bid and served as CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.

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